Abbas: Public Recognition of Israel ‘Meant to Trick the Americans’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas/ AP

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is more sympathetic to Hamas than he lets on publicly and has admitted that much of his public rhetoric is a ploy “to trick the Americans,” according to private conversations recounted by Hamas’ former spokesman.

Former Hamas government spokesman Ihab al-Ghussein recently revealed in comments on Facebook that Abbas has been lying in public, according to Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

“When I go out [publicly] and say that the [PA] government is my [Abbas] government and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine—these words are meant to trick the Americans,” al-Ggussein recalled Abbas as saying in private meetings.

PMW translated al-Ghussein’s full remarks:

“You know what Mahmoud Abbas says behind closed doors?? He says: ‘Guys, let me [continue] saying what I say to the media. Those words are meant for the Americans and the occupation (i.e., Israel), not for you [Hamas]. What’s important is what we agree on among ourselves. In other words, when I go out [publicly] and say that the government is my [Abbas] government and it recognizes ‘Israel’ and so on, fine—these words are meant to trick the Americans. But we agree that the government has nothing to do with politics (i.e., foreign relations). The same thing happened in 2006,’ he [Abbas] said: ‘Don’t harp on everything I tell the media, forget about the statements in the media.’

Come on [Abbas]!

The problem really isn’t with him [Abbas], the problem is with whoever believes him. Ha, Ha, Ha! (I really do want real reconciliation, meaning partnership and achieving unity, but not reconciliation as Abbas means it).”