Abbas Says He Rebuked Antony Blinken over Peace Talks with Israel: ‘You Little Boy’

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly
AFP

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas revealed to a group of Palestinian Americans at the sidelines of the U.N. he told off Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the Biden administration’s inaction in pressuring Israel into peace talks, calling the top American diplomat a “little boy.”

According to a report by The Times of Israel, which obtained a recording of the meeting, Abbas also encouraged Palestinian Americans to engage with the pro-Israel AIPAC lobby, as well as conservatives, including from Israel’s Likud party and Republicans.

“You must talk to everyone in order to arrive at your goal,” Abbas said.

“You must not exclude anyone … including the Zionist lobby,” he said. “There are many people who say that the Zionist lobby is the most dangerous. No! We must speak to the Zionist lobby.”

His remarks run counter to the prevailing trend among progressive American lawmakers including the Squad and Bernie Sanders, which have made a point of spurning AIPAC.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian National Council at his compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, April 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

File/Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting of the Palestinian National Council at his compound in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, April 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

“We are speaking to the entire American community. It never came across our mind that we’d deal with a Democratic administration and then when a Republican administration comes [that we’d spurn them],” he said.

“The truth is, we should talk to Likud first,” he added.

According to Abbas, during peace negotiations under the Obama administration, the Americans vehemently tried to prevent him from speaking with AIPAC – a claim the former U.S. envoy categorically denies.

Abbas said former Maine senator George Mitchell, who headed the peace negotiations, “begged” Abbas not to meet with AIPAC, The Times of Israel reported.

Mitchell said AIPAC was full of “animals” and that former President Barack Obama “went crazy” when he found out that he wanted to meet with members of the lobby, and warned the PA president that he’d “regret” it.

Mitchell denied the conversation ever took place.

“President Abbas’s recollection is incorrect as to me. I don’t know about his conversations with others, but I can state categorically that there never was any such conversation with me. Furthermore, I have never used the language about AIPAC he cites, with him or anyone else,” Mitchell told the Times of Israel.

Abbas told the Palestinian Americans that the Biden administration’s steps to reverse all of the Trump administration’s moves against the Palestinians were not enough. The current administration restored funding that Trump cut off from the Palestinians, and pledged to reopen the shuttered the U.S. consulate eastern Jerusalem as well as Washington’s mission.

But Abbas said it wasn’t enough and Blinken should have been much more

“I told Blinken, ‘You little boy,’” he said in Arabic.

Shortly after the so-called “Vision of Peace” for Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy was presented by the Trump administration, the 87-year-old Palestinian leader called Trump’s senior advisor Jared Kushner “that boy.”

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