Trump Thought Abbas ‘Desperate’ for Peace, I Changed his Mind: Former US Envoy
Trump was reportedly stunned by a video of the PA leader, shown to him by David Friedman.
By United With Israel Staff
Former President Donald Trump originally believed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was “desperate” for peace, and that Israel’s then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was obstructing a solution to the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman revealed in his new book.
In his book, which is set to be released on February 9, the former diplomat said the Palestinians had executed a “brilliant” strategic move by sending an unnamed major philanthropist and Trump supporter to speak to the president ahead of a visit to Israel in May 2017.
He apparently convinced Trump that the Palestinians “were prepared to make peace with Israel on very favorable terms, even to include conceding all of Jerusalem to Israeli sovereignty and giving up the return of refugees.”
The influential donor convinced Trump that the only problem standing in the way was Netanyahu.
During a meeting with then-Israeli President Ruven Rivlin, Trump said that “he understood that Abbas was desperate to do a peace deal,” but that “the prime minister of Israel was unwilling.”
Understanding that Trump had an inaccurate idea of Abbas’ perspective, Friedman told Netanyahu’s office to produce a video compilation of the PA leader’s incendiary speeches to show “his true colors.”
After a one-on-one meeting between Netanyahu and Trump, the American president watched the montage of Abbas’ remarks, which were markedly different from the peace-seeking image that he presented.
“We watched two minutes of Abbas honoring terrorists, extolling violence, and vowing to never accept anything less than Israel’s total defeat,” Friedman wrote.
“Abbas ranted that the blood of every shaheed – literally a martyr but also a terrorist – was holy and would be avenged.”
Trump was reportedly stunned by the video.
“Wow, is that the same guy I met in Washington last month? He seemed like such a sweet, peaceful guy,” Friedman recounted Trump as saying.
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