The administration of US President Donald Trump lashed out at Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas for calling US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman “a son of a dog” on Monday.
“President Abbas’s comments were outrageous and unhelpful,” said US State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert.
“We urge the Palestinian Authority to focus its efforts on improving the lives of the Palestinian people and advancing the cause of peace. The administration remains fully committed to those goals.”
Abbas made his remarks during a meeting with other officials in the Palestinian Authority and shortly after the US ambassador called the PA out for not condemning separate terror attacks over the last few days. While insulting Friedman, the PA chairman referred to the ambassador’s acceptance of Israel’s presence in the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.
“The ambassador, David Friedman, said they’re building on their own land,” Abbas was reported to have said. “You son of a dog, building on their own land?! You are a settler and your family are settlers!”
Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt also condemned Abbas’ disparaging remarks.
“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,” Greenblatt wrote in a statement on Twitter.
“Notwithstanding his highly inappropriate insults against members of the Trump administration, the latest iteration being his insult of my good friend and colleague Ambassador Friedman, we are committed to the Palestinian people and to the changes that must be implemented for peaceful coexistence,” he added.
For his part, Ambassador Friedman responded from Jerusalem while addressing the Sixth Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism. “Antisemitism or political discourse? Not for me to judge, I will leave that up to you,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also joined in the chorus of criticism directed against Abbas.
“For the first time in decades, the American administration has stopped pampering the Palestinian leaders and tells them, that’s it,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
“Apparently the shock of the truth has caused them lose their cool. Mahmoud Abbas’s attack on US Ambassador David Friedman says it all.”