Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas already has angrily dismissed the U.S. as a peace partner for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but now he is escalating the rhetoric, calling the U.S. ambassador to Israel a “son of a dog.”
In a speech to Palestinian leadership Monday in Ramallah, Abbas used the epithet in response to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem and Ambassador David Friedman’s insistence that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are a part of Israel.
Abbas said Trump “views the settlements as legitimate.”
“More than one official has said that,” he said, according to the Times of Israel. “The ambassador, David Friedman, said they’re building on their own land. You son of a dog, building on their own land?! You are a settler and your family are settlers!”
Islamic legal tradition regards dogs as impure, and there are several injunctions that warn Muslims against contact with the animal.
Previous U.S. administrations, as well as most members of the international community, have viewed the expansion of Jewish communities in the disputed territory reclaimed by Israel during the 1967 war launched by Arab nations as “illegitimate.”
Friedman, speaking Monday at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem, said the Palestinian leader’s remarks amounted to anti-Semitism, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
“Three young Israelis were murdered over the weekend … in cold blood by Palestinian terrorist and a reaction from the Palestinian Authority was deafening. No condemnation,” Friedman said.
“I saw his response on my iPhone. His response was to refer to me as son of a dog. Is that anti-Semitism or political discourse? I leave that up to you.”
Friedman was referring to the deadly Palestinian terrorist attacks on two Israeli soldiers and an Israeli man in Jerusalem over the weekend.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented Monday that Abbas’ condemnation of Friedman “says everything.”
“For the first time in dozens of years the American administration has stopped pampering the Palestinian leader. … Apparently the shock from the truth made them lose their heads.”
Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., wrote in a tweet that by “personally and crudely disparaging my distinguished colleague Ambassador David Friedman, Mahmoud Abbas has insulted Americans and Israelis alike.”
“Can he really be a peace partner? Should his representative continue to work in Washington?” Oren asked.
On Friday afternoon, Israel Defense Forces Capt. Ziv Dawes and Sgt. Netanel Kahalani were killed in a vehicle-ramming attack while guarding the entrance to the Jewish town of Mevo Dotan.
The third victim, Adiel Kolman, 32, was stabbed in the chest repeatedly by a terrorist in Jerusalem. Kolman was an employee at the City of David excavations.