Washington (QNN)- Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, used a fake video, showing Abbas calling for the murder of children, to push for US anti-Palestine decisions, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told Bob Woodward in his new book “Rage”.
Bob Woodward said in May 2017 US president had doubts and wondered aloud about whether Netanyahu was an obstacle to peace. However, Netanyahu showed him a clip, which Rex Tillerson believed had been crudely fabricated.
The doctored video, which showed the PLO President Mahmoud Abbas calling for the murder of children, was used by Netanyahu to sway the American leader to the Israeli side, according to journalist Bob Woodward’s new book on Trump’s administration, “Rage.”
According to excerpts from the book, which is set to be released next week, The Independent said that early on in his presidency, Trump began to waver in his support for Netanyahu.
The US president was having “doubts about Netanyahu and wondering aloud if the Israeli prime minister might be the real problem,” according to Woodward. “Trump had even earlier said to Netanyahu on a Washington visit that he believed he was the obstacle to peace, not Abbas.”
Then, when Trump came to ‘Israel’ in May 2017, Netanyahu presented him with a video of Abbas in which “it sounded like Abbas was ordering the murder of children.”
Netanyahu wondered: “And that’s the guy you want to help?”
Trump was disturbed by the video and called in then-secretary of state Rex Tillerson to watch the clip.
“Watch this! This is unbelievable! You’ve got to see this,” he said.
Tillerson watched the clip but was highly skeptical. He later said he believed it had been crudely cut together using various bits of speech by Abbas.
After Netanyahu left the room, Tillerson told Trump: “Mr. President, you realize that the whole thing was fabricated?”
But Trump was unconvinced. “Well it’s not fabricated,” he said. “They got the guy on tape saying it.”
There are no known videos of Abbas calling for the murder of children.
When Trump traveled to Bethlehem the next day, according to Woodward, he lashed out at the Palestinian leader, calling him a “liar” and “murderer.” Elements of that exchange were reported at the time.
Woodward appears to insinuate in the book that the video played a part in Trump’s decisions in 2018 to close the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington and to cut almost all aid to the Palestinians. These have been widely seen as reactions to the Palestinians cutting ties with Washington over Trump’s decision in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation state.