'PA's rhetoric is ugly and anti-Semitic'

U.S. Ambassador to Israel criticizes PA response to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Elad Benari ,

David Friedman
David Friedman

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman criticized the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) response to President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Some of the PA’s rhetoric has been “ugly, needlessly provocative and anti-Semitic,” he told The Jerusalem Post.

The ambassador said the PA reaction was “largely emotional,” saying they “unfortunately overreacted” because Trump made clear that the U.S. was “not taking a position on any final status issues, including the specific boundaries of the Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem.”

Last week, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared he would "no longer accept" any peace plan proposed by the United States in wake of Trump's decision on Jerusalem.

"The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from it," Abbas said.

The PA had also planned to boycott a visit to the region by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, which was ultimately delayed to the vote on the budget in Washington.

Responding to the PA’s rejection of any U.S. role in the peace process, Friedman said there will be no process without Washington’s involvement.

“There is no path around the United States,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “Israel has made it clear that they will not engage under the sponsorship of any other nation. You cannot clap with one hand. Moreover, only the United States has the regional credibility to bring forward a historic peace agreement.”

Trump, Friedman added, will go down in history “as one of Israel’s greatest friends,” and “we must all recognize and applaud the courage and moral clarity displayed by the president in affirming, against the wishes of so many other nations, the centrality of Jerusalem to Israel and the Jewish people.”