The US administration issued a rare public stinging rebuke of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, days after he lauded Russian President Vladimir Putin while slamming the United States.
“We were deeply disappointed to hear President Abbas’s remarks to President Putin. Russia does not stand for justice and international law, as evidenced by the vote at the UN General Assembly,” a National Security Council spokesperson said.
According to Israeli sources, the spokesperson’s remarks are only part of US President Joe Biden administration’s rage over Abbas’ meeting with Putin and saying he has no trust in the US.
They affirmed that the US anger will translate into practices against the Palestinian Authority.
The sources added that some people in Tel Aviv sought to leak the text of Abbas’s remarks, which were not mentioned in the presidency’s official statement at the time, and in which he was keen to insult Biden and his administration.
The Palestinian president on Thursday used an audience with Putin to denounce the US, telling the Russian leader that he has no faith in Washington as a Mideast peace broker.
Abbas met Putin on the sidelines of the 6th summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Astana, Kazakhstan.
He reiterated his support for the so-called Quartet of international mediators – Russia, the US, the UN, and the European Union – but said the US could not be left a free hand to act alone.
His comments about the US, traditionally the main broker between Israel and the Palestinians, came at a time when the US and Russia are at loggerheads over Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
“We don’t trust America and you know our position. We don’t trust it, we don’t rely on it, and under no circumstances can we accept that America is the sole party in resolving a problem,” Abbas told Putin.
Later in televised remarks, the Palestinian President said Washington can be within the Quartet since it is a great country but that the PA will never accept it as the only one.
In return, Abbas said he was “completely satisfied” with Russia’s position towards the Palestinian people.
“Russia stands by justice and international law and that is enough for us,” he stressed.
“When you say you stand by international legitimacy, this is enough for me and that is what I want. Therefore, we are happy and satisfied with the Russian position,” Abbas added.
According to the publication in Tel Aviv on Sunday, Biden’s team was outraged by these statements and considered them a blow to the US efforts to resolve the Palestinian cause and cancel the decisions of former President Donald Trump, which severed the US-Palestinian ties.
Yedioth Ahronoth Newspaper published an opinion piece by Ben-Dror Yemeni, who said that when it comes to major international conflicts throughout history, the Palestinian leadership has often, if not always, chosen to support “the wrong side.”
He cited the “wrong” positions, stating that During World War II, then-leader Mufti Hajj Amin al-Husseini chose the German Nazi Reich and spent the duration of the war in Berlin, and allegedly advised Hitler to destroy all Jews in the Arab world.
“In the 1960s, then PLO-leader Ahmad Shukeiri, conspired with Jordan, Syria, and Egypt to drive away the Jews, leading to their defeat in the 1967 Six-Day War,” the article stated, adding that in the Gulf War Yasser Arafat supported Saddam Hussein, and now Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Abbas has opted to side.
A source in the Palestinian presidency responded to this publication, saying that Abbas briefed Putin on the situation and underlined the Israeli escalation in Palestine.
“It was clear to us that the timing of the meeting with Putin would constitute a problem, but we did not have many options left,” the source stressed.