A mysterious letter from Donald Trump to Abu Mazen.* Generic “reassurances” that the U.S. Embassy in Israel will not be moved to Jerusalem. A few days ago, in the daily Saudi paper published in London, Asharq al-Awsat, an article (a scoop) appeared with a lot of editorial support, that supported this bold thesis. But in the following days, no one spoke any more about what seems, if not a hoax, at least a so-called “post-truth” of Palestinian propaganda against Israel and the United States.
More precisely, the article from Jan. 25 referred to this imaginary “risala” (which in Arabic means both letter and message) written personally by Trump and sent to the leader of the Palestinian National Authority promising him that the U.S. embassy would remain in Tel Aviv. It was a letter mentioned multiple times in the article and in the editorial but from which not even a quotation was extracted. A closer reading of the two pieces reveals that they spoke of “hadith,” which in context can be translated as “rumors.”
Essentially, even the “liberal” Arab press, as the daily paper printed in London is defined, with the unequivocal green color of its first page, has initiated a policy made up of “rumors” and backstory. They have not even learned from the Italian papers, Reppublica or Corriere della sera. The truth, when it emerges, always comes too late compared to the publications that allow post-truths.
It must be said that in the days that followed, after Trump started writing the letter and applying, in certain cases brutally, the promises of his campaign platform, no newspaper, not even Palestinian Authority officials, reprinted the news. It mentioned least of all on Al Jazeera or other Arab media.
The leak that enabled the “scoop” by the Saudi daily, on the other hand, was, as required by the school of hoaxes, anonymous and from someone inside the Palestinian Authority. The manner in which the letter made it to Abu Mazen was not indicated either. But the proof that it had arrived, according to the Palestinian Authority’s anonymous source, lay in the fact that “nevertheless, there is a great level of satisfaction at this time in Ramallah.”**
Essentially, they were celebrating a letter of generic reassurances that no one had ever seen.
Now, aside from the similarities to Totò and Peppino’s letter to the “evil woman” in the eponymous film,*** it seems very strange that someone like Trump, someone who thinks and acts like him, personally wrote a diplomatic message directed at a leader like Abu Mazen, who surely is not on the new president’s good side. Maybe one day it will come out that Barack Obama wrote it before leaving the White House. Or perhaps the Palestinian post-truth will be covered with a veil of national pride.
*Editor’s note: Abu Mazen is another name for Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas.
**Editor’s note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.
*** Editor’s note: The author is referring to the film “Toto, Peppino and the Hussy,” a 1956 Italian comedy.