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Abbas Claims He Called U.S. Secretary of State: ‘You Little Boy’

Abbas Claims He Called U.S. Secretary of State: ‘You Little Boy’
Berates Blinken for not forcing Israel to surrender to U.S. demands.
By Hugh Fitzgerald

Mahmoud Abbas met with a group of Palestinian-Americans on September 22, a week before making his Israel-bashing speech at the U.N., and offered them an intimate look at his recent meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It was quite a performance by Abbas, that revealed his special house blend of arrogance, rancor, and sheer miscomprehension. Abbas’ self-satisfied recounting of his phone conversation with Blinken can be found here: “‘You little boy’: Abbas says he scolded Blinken for not pressuring Israel,” by Jacob Magid, Times of Israel, September 29, 2022:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of Palestinian Americans last week that he scolded US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for failing to pressure Israel to make peace.…

Mahmoud Abbas is in no position to scold Blinken or any other American official. The P.A. is deeply dependent on aid from the U.S. Without the $330 million that it now receives each year from the Bidenites, its economy would collapse.

In a recording of the September 22 meeting obtained by The Times of Israel, the PA leader recalled a recent phone conversation with Blinken during which Abbas said he grew frustrated with what he called a recurring US practice of claiming that Israel is not interested in peace, while refusing to use the American bully pulpit to pressure Jerusalem into moving in that direction.

“I told Blinken, ‘You little boy, don’t do that,’” Abbas told the Palestinian Americans, speaking in Arabic. Some details of the meeting were first published by the Haya Washington Arabic news site.

Abbas said he then recalled to Blinken how during the 1956 Suez Crisis, Israel agreed to withdraw its forces from the Gaza Strip after US president Dwight Eisenhower ordered prime minister David Ben Gurion to do so.

“I know your history,” Abbas said he told Blinken, detailing a string of phone calls that Eisenhower held with Ben Gurion at the time. In one of those conversations, the PA leader said the US president called the Israeli prime minister and asked, “David, have you gotten out of [Sinai]? Tonight, you’ll withdraw and you’ll tell me yourself that you’ve done so.’”

“Ben Gurion wrote in his memoirs that he withdrew that same night,” Abbas said, seeking to prove that the US has the power to press Israel when it wants to.

This is, of course, absurd. First, as to the actual withdrawal: Eisenhower threatened to withhold $100 million in aid to Israel in February 1957. Ben Gurion did not rush to withdraw overnight, as Abbas claims, but took a month to complete an orderly pullout. Second, and much more important, Abbas appears not to realize that Israel in 2022 is not the Israel of 1956. In 1956, Israel’s population was 1.6 million. Today it is over 9 million. Israel’s GDP in 1956 was $1.8 billion. Today it is $410 billion. Israel’s exports in 1956 of manufactured commodities were worth $34.3 million. In 2022, Israel’s exports reached $165 billion. In 1956 Israel was almost completely dependent for weaponry on outside suppliers, mainly France. In 2022, Israel is itself one of the top ten exporters of weapons in the world, and has been so for five years running. It exports weapons to European countries and since 2020, to Arab members of the Abraham Accords; its top three export markets for weapons are India, Azerbaijan, and Vietnam. It also exports weapons to the United States. The American military have a deep appreciation for Israeli advances in weaponry, including, recently, both the Iron Dome and Iron Beam anti-missile defensive systems. In Operation Breaking Dawn, the Israelis achieved a successful interception rate of 97% using Iron Dome. The Americans have benefited, too, from Israel’s advanced drones, its avionics (including improvements Israeli scientists made to the top-of-the-line F-35 that both air forces rely on), and its cyberwarfare and cyber defense capabilities, which are on a par with those of the U.S. and Russia. Israeli intelligence in the Middle East, especially about Iran and Islamic terror groups, is freely shared with the Americans.

Israel in 1956 could not say no to Washington. In 2022, though Abbas apparently does not realize it, Israel could manage, if it had to, without the $3 billion in aid it receives annually from the U.S. But could the U.S. do without Israeli advances in so many types of weapons, or without its cyberwarfare capability, or without the intelligence gathered by its satellites and by Mossad agents? Israel is not just an ally, but arguably, is America’s most valuable military ally.

Abbas seems to think that Israel today can be pressured by Washington as it was in 1956-57. He’s wrong.

Commenting on the testy conversation with the US secretary of state, the PA president said he told Blinken: “The lesson [from this] is not to say, ‘My beloved, do this or don’t do that,’” when dealing with Israel, but rather to use the “red phone” and the authority of the president’s office to strong-arm Israel into changing its policies. He claimed the US deals with “190 countries” in this manner, but not Israel.

It is not true that the US strong-arms “190 countries.” The President cannot “pick up the red phone” and get Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba, to do what he wants, nor can he do that with the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, or the rest of the European countries. He can’t even get the recipients of large amounts of American aid, such as Egypt and Jordan, to change their policies on human rights. And even though the Americans gave the P.A. $330 million in aid so far in 2020, they have been unable to get Abbas to shut down his “Pay-For-Slay” program. The days of diktats by the major powers are over.

Abbas told the meeting’s attendees that he used to believe the US administrations that claimed that Israel does not want peace. However, he now realizes that “it’s not that the Israelis don’t want peace but the Americans don’t want peace.”

Nothing makes sense here. No administration would have said Israel “doesn’t want peace.” They likely have said – but this distinction escaped Abbas – that Israel was unwilling to agree to start negotiations for a peace “based on the 1967 lines” (that is, the 1949 armistice lines), which is what the 2002 Saudi peace initiative demanded, and what Abbas still demands. That is a different thing from not “wanting peace.” Israel has made great sacrifices for peace – giving up fully 95% of the territory it won in the Six-Day War in order to have a peace treaty with Egypt – as much as, or perhaps more than, any nation.

And when Abbas says that the “Americans don’t want peace,” it’s hard to fathom what he means, given the enormous amount of time and attention successive administrations in Washington have devoted to that ever-receding will-o’-the-wisp, a “two-state solution.”

Asked for comment on Abbas’s remarks, a State Department spokesperson said that Blinken “has maintained a respectful dialogue with President Abbas. Beyond that, we’ll decline to comment on the content of their conversations.”

A separate source familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel: “This is not an accurate characterization of their discussions.”

Abbas was all swagger and swank before his friendly audience of Palestinian-Americans. He proudly described how he had told off Blinken, or so he says: addressing him condescendingly as “you little boy.” I doubt if he ever said that to Bllnken. But he’d like others to believe that he did. “See, I put the Jewish Blinken Boy in his place.”

Fundamentally, Abbas cannot face the awful truth: that the American government is not willing, and even more importantly, is not able, to pressure the Israeli government as it did in 1956-57. Israel is six times more populous, hundreds of times richer, and infinitely more advanced in its military capability than it was 65 years ago. The Jewish state cannot be pressured, not by the UN, not by the EU, not even by the United States, to do what Israelis think would endanger their existence. And Washington, in any case, despite the squawks of assorted squadlettes, continues to stand with its plucky, brave, infinitely resourceful little ally.

Abbas Claims He Called Blinken “You Little Boy”; Berates Him For Not Making Israel Yield To U.S. Demands

Mahmoud Abbas met with a group of Palestinian-Americans on September 22, a week before making his Israel-bashingspeech at the U.N., and offered them an intimate look at his recent m with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It was quite a performance by Abbas,, that revealed his special house blend of arrogance, rancor, and sheer miscomprehension.

“Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of Palestinian Americans last week that he scolded US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for failing to pressure Israel to make peace.

Comment:

Mahmoud Abbas is in no position to scold Blinken or any other American official. . The P.A. is deeply dependent on aid from the U.S. Without the $330 million that it now receives each year from the Bidenites, its economy would collapse.

“While Abbas has not shied away from publicly vocalizing his frustration with the Biden administration over the past year, his remarks during a private meeting with representatives of the Palestinian diaspora on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York appeared to go further and included the belittling of the United States’s top diplomat.

“In a recording of the September 22 meeting obtained by The Times of Israel, the PA leader recalled a recent phone conversation with Blinken during which Abbas said he grew frustrated with what he called a recurring US practice of claiming that Israel is not interested in peace, while refusing to use the American bully pulpit to pressure Jerusalem into moving in that direction.

“I told Blinken, ‘You little boy, don’t do that,’” Abbas told the Palestinian Americans, speaking in Arabic. Some details of the meeting were first published by the Haya Washington Arabic news site.

“Abbas said he then recalled to Blinken how during the 1956 Suez Crisis, Israel agreed to withdraw its forces from the Gaza Strip after US president Dwight Eisenhower ordered prime minister David Ben Gurion to do so.

“I know your history,” Abbas said he told Blinken, detailing a string of phone calls that Eisenhower held with Ben Gurion at the time. In one of those conversations, the PA leader said the US president called the Israeli prime minister and asked, “David, have you gotten out of [Sinai]? Tonight, you’ll withdraw and you’ll tell me yourself that you’ve done so.’”

“Ben Gurion wrote in his memoirs that he withdrew that same night,” Abbas said, seeking to prove that the US has the power to press Israel when it wants to.

Comment:

This is of course absurd. First, as to the actual withdrawal: Eisenhower threatened to withhold $100 million in aid to Israel in February 1957. Ben Gurion did not rush to withdraw overnight, as Abbas claims, but took a month to complete an orderly pullout. Second, and much more important, Abbas appears not to realize that Israel in 2022 is not the Israel of 1956. In 1956, Israel’s population was 1.6 million. Today it is over 9 million. Israel’s GDP in 1956 was $1.8 billion. Today it is $410 billion. Israel’s exports in 1956 of manufactured commodities were worth $34.3 million. In 2022 Israel’s exports reached $165 billion. In 1956 Israel was almost completely dependent for weaponry on outside suppliers, mainly France. In 2022 Israel is itself one of the top ten exporters of weapons in the world, and has been so for five years running. It exports weapons to European countries and since 2020, to Arab members of the Abraham Accords; its top three export markets for weapons are India, Azerbaijan, and Vietnam. It also exports weapons to the United States. The American military have a deep appreciation for Israeli advances in weaponry, including, recently, both the Iron Dome and Iron Beam anti-missile defensive systems. In Operation Breaking Dawn, the Israelis achieved a successful interception rate of 97% using Iron Dome.. The Americans have benefited, too, from Israel’s advanced drones, its avionics (including improvements Israeli scientists made to the top-of-the-line F-35 that both air forces rely on), and its cyberwarfare and cyber defense capabilities, which are on a par with those of the U.S. and Russia. Israeli intelligence in the Middle East, especially about Iran and Islamic terror groups, is freely shared with the Americans.

Israel in 1956 could not say no to Washington. In 2022, though Abbas apparently does not realize it, Israel could manage, if it had to, without the $3 billion in aid it receives annually from the U.S. But could the U.S. do without Israeli advances in so many types of weapons, or without its cyberwarfare capability, or without the intelligence gathered by its satellites and by Mossad agents? Israel is not just an ally, but arguably, is America’s most valuable military ally.

Abbas seems to think that Israel today can be pressured by Washington as it was in 1956-57. He’s wrong.

“Commenting on the testy conversation with the US secretary of state, the PA president said he told Blinken: “The lesson [from this] is not to say, ‘My beloved, do this or don’t do that,’” when dealing with Israel, but rather to use the “red phone” and the authority of the president’s office to strong-arm Israel into changing its policies. He claimed the US deals with “190 countries” in this manner, but not Israel.

Comment:

It is not true that the US strong-arms “190 countries.” The President cannot “pick up the red phone” and get Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba, to do what he wants, nor can he do that with the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, or the rest of the European countries. He can’t even get the recipients of large amounts of American aid, like Egypt and Jordan, to change their policies on human rights. And even though the Americans gave the P.A. $330 million in aid so far in 2020, they have been unable to get Abbas to shut down his “Pay-For-Slay” program. The days of diktats by the major powers are over.

“Abbas told the meeting’s attendees that he used to believe the US administrations that claimed that Israel does not want peace. However, he now realizes that “it’s not that the Israelis don’t want peace but the Americans don’t want peace.”

Comment:

Nothing makes sense here. No administration would have said Israel “doesn’t want peace.” They likely have said – but this distinction escaped Abbas – that Israel was unwilling to agree to start negotiations for a peace “based on the 1967 lines” (that is, the 1949 armistice lines) which is what the 2002 Saudi peace initiative demanded, and what Abbas still demands. That is a different thing from not “wanting peace.” Israel has made great sacrifices for peace – giving up fully 95% of the territory it won in the Six-Day War in order to have a peace treaty with Egypt – as much as, or perhaps more than, any nation.

And when Abbas says that the “Americans don’t want peace” it’s hard to fathom what he. means, given the enormous amount of time and attention successive administrations in Washington have devoted to that ever-receding will-o’-the-wisp, a “two-state solution.”

“Asked for comment on Abbas’s remarks, a State Department spokesperson said that Blinken “has maintained a respectful dialogue with President Abbas. Beyond that, we’ll decline to comment on the content of their conversations.”

“A separate source familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel: “This is not an accurate characterization of their discussions.”

Comment:

Abbas was all swagger and swank before his friendly audience of Palestinian-Americans. He proudly described how he had told off Blinken, or so he says: addressing him condescendingly as “you little boy.” I doubt if he ever said that to Bllnken. But he’d like others to believe that he did. “See, I put the Jewish Blinken Boy in his place.”

Fundamentally, Abbas cannot face the awful truth: that the American government is not willing, and even more importantly, is not able, to pressure the Israeli government as it did in 1956-57. Israel is six times more populous, hundreds of times richer, and infinitely more advanced in its military capability than it was 65 years ago. The Jewish state cannot be pressured, not by the UN, not by the EU, not even by the United States, to do what Israelis think would endanger their existence. And Washington, in any case, despite the squawks of assorted squadlettes, continues to stand with its plucky, brave, infinitely resourceful little ally.

Original Article

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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