Former Secretary of State John Kerry allegedly told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “stay strong” and not to “give in to Trump,” the leading Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reported. The comments were reportedly made by Kerry in a conversation with Hussein Agha, a close associate of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to the media reports, Kerry was seriously considering a presidential run in 2020 and predicted that “Trump will not remain in office for a long time.”
Jerusalem Post reported the conversation between Kerry and the senior Palestinian interlocutor:
While the White House has confirmed that since the Jerusalem Declaration there has been a complete disconnect between the Palestinian Authority and the Trump administration, it turns out that the previous administration has maintained contact with PA officials.
Maariv reported that former US secretary of state John Kerry met in London with a close associate of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Hussein Agha, for a long and open conversation about a variety of topics. Agha apparently reported details of the conversation to senior PA officials in Ramallah. A senior PA official confirmed to Maariv that the meeting took place.
Agha is one of Abbas’s closest associates and one of the veteran peacemakers with Israel. (…)
During the conversation, according to the report, Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.”
According to Kerry, Trump will not remain in office for a long time. It was reported that Kerry said that within a year there was a good chance that Trump would not be in the White House. (…)
He asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the US or the Trump administration, but to concentrate on personal attacks on Trump himself, whom Kerry says is solely and directly responsible for the situation.
According to the report, when referring to the president, Kerry used highly derogatory terms. Kerry offered to help create an alternative peace initiative and promised to help garner international support from Europeans, Arab states and the international community.
Kerry hinted that many in the American establishment, as well as in American intelligence, are dissatisfied with Trump’s performance and the way he leads their country.
If these latest statements attributed to Kerry are true, this won’t be the first time the former Secretary of State is peddling his unsolicited ideas to resolve current geopolitical crises. In July 2016, he proposed offering an Iran-style deal to the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. “We were able to be successful with Iran,” Kerry said. “We’ve set the model. We can be successful ultimately with North Korea.”
Like other members of the Obama administration, Kerry has been critical of President Trump. He is also resentful of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government for not getting behind his quixotic plan to bring ‘peace to the Middle East.’ When his diplomatic efforts finally failed in 2014, he placed the blame on the Israelis.
The White House declined a media request for comment on Kerry’s reported remarks. The State Department also refused to comment.