Greenblatt: Abbas must choose between hate and peace

Trump’s envoy denounces PA chairman who called Ambassador Friedman the "son of a dog".

Elad Benari ,

Jason Greenblatt
Jason Greenblatt
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, on Monday evening denounced Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, after he called U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman the "son of a dog".

“The time has come for President Abbas to choose between hateful rhetoric and concrete and practical efforts to improve the quality of life of his people and lead them to peace and prosperity,” said Greenblatt.

“Notwithstanding his inappropriate insults against Ambassador Friedman, we are committed to the Palestinian people and to the changes that must be implemented for peaceful coexistence. We are finalizing our plan for peace and we will advance it when circumstances are right,” he added.

In a speech in Ramallah earlier on Monday, Abbas said, "The United States legitimizes settlements. That's what American officials do, and at their head, in Tel Aviv, is David Friedman. He said, 'They're building on their own land.' The son of a dog, they're building on their own land? He himself is a settler, and his entire family are settlers."

Speaking later on Monday at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, Friedman responded to Abbas and said, "Three Jews were killed in cold blood by the Palestinian terrorists, and the reaction from the Palestinian Authority was deafening. No condemnation whatsoever. I pointed that out, without further adjectives, without further commentary."

"Abu Mazen (Abbas) chose to respond. ... His response was to refer to me as the 'son of a dog.' Anti-Semitism, or political discourse? Not for me to judge. I'll leave that all up to you."

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) also commented on Abbas’s remarks and said, "David, after just one year in office, we can already see that you're going to go down in Israel's history as a true friend of the State of Israel."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded, "For the first time in decades, the U.S. administration has stopped pampering Palestinian leaders and tells them 'that's enough'. Apparently the shock of the truth has caused them to lose their mind.”