Bob Woodward’s ’Rage’ paints in-depth portrait of Trump’s foreign policy approach
By Matthew Kassel - September 11, 2020
(...) The president’s son-in-law, for his part, concluded that Tillerson was ill-equipped to do his job and that he “resented” Kushner’s long-standing rapport with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But Tillerson believed that Kushner’s relationship with Netanyahu was “nauseating to watch” and “stomach churning.”
Woodward also recounts an incident on May 22, 2017, when Trump met with Netanyahu in Israel and was presented with a disturbing video of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “It sounded like Abbas was ordering the murder of children,” Woodward writes. Trump, who was scheduled to meet with Abbas the next morning, was appalled. But Tillerson, who watched the “spliced-together” video, believed Netanyahu had doctored the tape and shown it to Trump in order to “counter any pro-Palestinian sentiments that were surfacing,” according to Woodward, though Kushner disputes this.
When Trump met with Abbas behind closed doors, according to the book, he accused the Palestinian leader of deceiving him and called him a “murderer” and a “liar.” Though the two played nice for the press, Woodward notes that after Trump saw the video, he took decisive action, ordering “the closure of the Palestinian Liberation Organization office in Washington, D.C. in September 2018” while canceling “nearly all U.S. aid to the West Bank and Gaza, as well as $360 million in annual aid previously given to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.” (...)