Opinion

With 'Son of a Dog' Remark, Abbas Showed He's Finished With America. And Jerusalem Rejoiced

What better gift for Israel in honor of the 51st anniversary of the occupation than Mahmoud Abbas showing there's no longer a Palestinian partner

FILE PHOTO: President Mahmud Abbas attends a meeting with the Revolutionary Council of the Fatah party in Ramallah, March 1, 2018.
ABBAS MOMANI/AFP

So Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called U.S. Ambassador David Friedman a “son of a dog,” and added that the envoy “is a settler and his family are settlers.” There’s nothing to be surprised about. We’ve always known who Abu Mazen is.

When he bestowed this wish upon the U.S. president, “May your house be destroyed," it was still possible to wonder whether the Palestinian leader really meant that Trump’s house should be destroyed, or whether he was referring to the White House or to the president’s private home, or whether he was only using a popular expression, part of the usual jargon in a friendly conversation.

The expression “son of a dog” has dispersed the fog. Abu Mazen has crossed the line of good taste. That’s not how you talk to the ambassador of the world's greatest superpower, a good friend of the State of Israel. Who does he think he is? Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who called U.S. President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch”? George W. Bush, who cursed a reporter from The New York Times, describing him as a “major-league asshole”? Or maybe U.S. President Harry Truman, who said that Gen. Douglas MacArthur was “a dumb son of a bitch”?

Leaders can deceive, steal, destroy countries and abuse citizens, but only on the condition that their most horrendous acts are carried out politely, in clean language, when they are dressed in suits and ties, and delicately holding the stem of a tall glass of wine with a napkin under it. Abbas can’t be a member of that club, which is reserved only for real leaders who rule real countries. Again and again he tries to muscle his way in, and each time the bouncers kick him out.

Meanwhile, they are stealing his citizens’ land; strangling the Gaza Strip with a devastating closure that has lasted for almost a dozen years; threatening him with removal from his insignificant official position; tripping him up every time he tries to achieve recognition of his country; during night entering the homes of his citizens, who don’t know if they will return to their beds, and dispatching them early in the morning via the barbed-wire filter of the checkpoints on their way to work.

Abbas knows he won’t be make it through America's protective wall. The last holes in it were completely sealed after Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and decided to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. He certainly can’t get any support – or even anything resembling support – from Ambassador Friedman, president of the American Friends of Beit El Institutions, who warned that evacuating settlers was liable to cause a civil war in Israel, and declared that Israel must rule over the Jordan Valley so that the West Bank won’t turn into Gaza.

Egypt ignores Abbas, and is trying to crown someone else in his place, perhaps Mohammed Dahlan. The Saudi crown prince, who was received this week with much pomp by the U.S. president, is an enthusiastic supporter of Trump’s “deal of the century,” and even suggested to Abbas that he accept Abu Dis outside Jerusalem as the capital of his future state. Palestinian salvation won’t come from him either.

King Abdullah of Jordan is very interested in the Temple Mount, but his relationship with Abbas is frosty. If Abbas ever dreamed of some kind of legacy, or at least of a diplomatic achievement that could be attributed to him – that dream turned into a nightmare when, before his eyes, Hamas received full responsibility from Israel for running Gaza. Abbas will even find it difficult to appoint a successor, because he is constrained by domestic political battles, a personal settling of accounts with everyone who ever insulted him, and a pathological melancholy that underlies his outbursts of anger.

Abbas is finished with the U.S. All he can do now is to throw small stones at its windows and curse from afar. And there is great rejoicing in Jerusalem: There couldn’t be a better gift than this, in honor of Israel's 70th birthday and the 51st anniversary of the occupation.

After the “son of a dog” it’s clear there is no longer a Palestinian partner. How can you sit with someone who curses your father?