What happened: Mnuchin was speaking to Israeli, Emirati and American businessmen in Abu Dhabi. He gave a historical overview of previous peace talks, but did not mention Rabin, say several in the room.
- Mnuchin spoke about the Israeli-Egyptian peace accord of 1979 and referred to the work of US President Jimmy Carter, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
- He then moved on to the Israel-Jordan peace accord of 1994, mentioning the work of Bill Clinton and Jordan’s King Hussein but not Rabin, who negotiated and signed that accord.
- He also left aside the Oslo accords, which Rabin, Clinton and Yasser Arafat negotiated.
Between the lines: The omission may not have been intentional, but it stunned at least one attendee: Dalia Rabin, the daughter of the late prime minister, according to a person who discussed it with her.
- She contacted Mnuchin immediately after the speech, asking him why he hadn’t mentioned his father and if he thought his father’s work for peace was unimportant.
- A surprised Mnuchin said to him, “It was my speech and I owe you no explanation.
What they say: Mnuchin didn’t realize he was speaking with Rabin’s daughter, according to Deputy Treasury Secretary for Public Affairs Monica Crowley.
- “She did not introduce herself or identify her relationship with the Prime Minister. After their brief conversation, the secretary asked another guest for his identity, ”Crowley told me.
- “It’s unfortunate because if she had presented herself correctly, the secretary would have been happy to discuss her father and his historic legacy of peace. “
To note: Next week, Israel will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Rabin by an Israeli terrorist who opposed the Oslo accords.