It appears, thanks to some fine work by Jorndorff at Daily Kos, that the emails between Abramoff and the White House indicate that this may have happened.
From: Jack Abramoff
Monday, March 18, 2002 8:31 AM
Subject: RE: Sunday
I was sitting yesterday with Karl Rove, Bush's top advisor, at the NCAA basketball game, discussing Israel when this email came in. I showed it to him. It seems that the President was very sad to have to come out negatively regarding Israel, but that they needed to mollify the Arabs for the upcoming war on Iraq. That did not seem to work anyway. Bush seems to love Sharon and Israel, and thinks Arabfat [sic], is nothing but a liar. I thought I'd pass that on.
Karl, you've got some 'splanin' to do!!