Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

David Friedman Denies Calling For Ouster Of Abbas

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said reports about an interview in which he suggested that the White House was waiting for someone to replace Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas misrepresented his comments.

The interview will be published in Shevi’i, a Religious-Zionist newspaper that comes out on Fridays. Excerpts of the interview were released on Wednesday.

“If Abu Mazen is not interested in negotiating, I am sure that someone else will want to,” Friedman said in the released excerpts. Abu Mazen is Abbas’ nom de guerre. “If Abbas creates a vacuum, I am convinced that someone else will fill it, and then we will move forward” with the peace process.

On Thursday, Friedman clarified his comments in a tweet.

“I was misquoted in various reports stemming from an interview that published today. The United States is not seeking ‘to replace’ Mahmoud Abbas. It is for the Palestinian people to choose its leadership,” the tweet said.

Abbas’ five-year term as head of the Palestinian Authority ended in 2009; no new elections have been called and he remains in his post.

Abbas cut ties with Friedman and U.S. peace negotiators in December, when President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and said he would move the U.S. embassy there.




Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.