President Joe Biden told Americans in an Oval Office address on the Middle East conflict Thursday that he had spoken with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on his visit to the region this week — but a Palestinian source says he did not.
Biden visited Israel in a show of solidarity in its fight against Hamas in the wake of a devastating terror attack. Abbas and the leaders of Egypt and Jordan pulled out of a meeting with Biden after Israel was falsely blamed for an explosion at a Gaza hospital.
The Times of Israel reports that a Palestinian source told an Israeli broadcaster that Abbas also refused to talk to Biden by phone:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to hold a phone call with US President Joe Biden during the latter’s visit to Israel on Wednesday, the Kan public broadcaster reports.
Citing an unnamed Palestinian source in Ramallah with knowledge of the matter, Kan says Biden administration officials tried to arrange a phone call between the leaders, but Abbas rejected the request.
But Biden told the nation the opposite in his Oval Office address (via White House transcript): “I also spoke with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and reiterated that the United States remains committed to the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and to self-determination. The actions of Hamas terrorists don’t take that right away.”
It is not clear who is correct.
Abbas has a history of antisemitic rhetoric, including Holocaust denial. He recently compared the State of Israel to Nazis, and also said — a month before the Hamas terror attack — that Adolf Hitler was not an antisemite, while the Jews had deserved their fate.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.