After his tirade against Bibi, Trump now calls Palestinian leader Abbas a 'father' figure

December 12, 2021


Above: Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu meeting former Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, at the Knesset on Thursday. Idan is in Israel for today's Miss Universe contest, which is being held in Eilat for the first time.

During his term in office Netanyahu made major peace breakthroughs with several Arab countries. Idan previously met Netanyahu when she visited Israel while he was prime minister in 2018. Video of her visit here.

Idan also condemned attacks on Jews during the war Hamas launched on Israel this past May.

Several Arab countries, including Bahrain, the UAE and Morocco , have sent beauty queens to Israel this week, having entered the Miss Universe contest for the first time.



[Note by Tom Gross]

After the surprise revelations broadcast on Israeli TV on Friday evening, in which Donald Trump cursed Israel's former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, last night a new tape was made public in which Trump lauded Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas has a decades long record of sponsoring terrorism including helping to organize the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, as well as Holocaust denial.

Trump lashed out at Netanyahu in an interview with former Haaretz reporter Barak Ravid for a new book on US-Israel relations that Ravid is writing which will be called "Trump's Peace: The Abraham Accords and the Reshaping of the Middle East."

Trump was furious at Netanyahu, who was then still Israel's prime minister, congratulating Joe Biden on his victory in last November's election, and acknowledging that Biden had won it. Trump disputed the result and had urged allies to back him in his claims. (He was also furious with others who defied him including his own Vice-President Mike Pence.)

"I haven't spoken to him since. Fuck him," Trump told Ravid about Netanyahu.

Trump's remarks were published by the English-language website of Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper, and the tape was broadcast on Israeli TV.

"Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu were the closest of political allies during the four years they overlapped in office, at least in public. Not any more," Ravid said.

Ravid's interviews with Trump took place in April and July this year.

"Nobody did more for Bibi. I liked Bibi. I still like Bibi. But I also like loyalty," Trump told Ravid.

Netanyahu responded to the revelations in a statement on Friday evening, saying: "I highly appreciate President Trump's big contribution to Israel and its security. I also appreciate the importance of the strong alliance between Israel and the US and therefore, it was important for me to congratulate the incoming president."

Netanyahu was replaced as Israel's prime minister in June by an eight party coalition headed by former Netanyahu chief of staff and now political rival Naftali Bennett, after Netanyahu was unable to form a governing coalition following four closely fought elections in less than two years.



In further surprising comments to Ravid broadcast yesterday evening on Israeli Channel 12 news, Trump warmly praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who Trump only met once or twice.

Trump said: "I will be honest. I had a great meeting with him, Abbas, right. I had a great meeting with him. And we spent a lot of time together, talking about many things. And it was almost like a father. I mean, he was so nice, couldn't have been nicer."

Trump calls Abbas a 'father' even though he is only a few years older than Trump. Trump also claimed that Abbas was eager to make a peace deal -- even though, as I have noted before in my writings and interviews, Abbas refused to allow his representatives to negotiate with the Trump Mideast peace team throughout almost the entirety of Trump's presidency.

Abbas, 86, has been head of the Palestine Liberation Organization for over 17 years -- since 11 November 2004 -- and for 40 years before that he served as Yasser Arafat's deputy head.

He is widely disliked within the Palestinian territories for his dictatorial rule and the use of torture and extrajudicial killings by his security forces. He has turned down peace offers by repeated Israeli prime ministers.

Abbas is also disliked for his corruption and helping to enrich those around him. Among the claims, is one by the former economic advisor to Yasser Arafat, Mohammed Rachid, who has accused Abbas's son Yasser of taking $100 million from the Palestinian government for himself, with his father's complicity.



Both Trump and Netanyahu could yet return to power.

Trump retains support among many Americans, and he has left open the possibility that he may run for president again in 2024.

Netanyahu says he wants to return to power. According to new opinion polls, he remains the most popular politician in Israel.



A stronger Israel in a less stable world"(An interview with Tom Gross)

* The rise and fall of "King Bibi": Haviv Rettig Gur and Tom Gross discuss the Netanyahu legacy

* Naftali Bennett, The Man Behind the Slogans and Stereotypes

* 'Yasser Abbas': Has anything really changed? (By Tom Gross, Wall Street Journal op-ed after Abbas came to power in 2005)


It is not only the former Miss Iraq, whom I have met, who is sympathetic to Israel. A number of Iraqis subscribe to this email list and I have met others both outside and inisde Iraq who would like Iraq to establish relations with Israel. (Above, Tom Gross in Iraq in 2019.)


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All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.