The Palestine Papers

It is a period of sudden upheaval in the Middle East, portenting great things to come. In the spirit of the international organisation against official secrecy Wikileaks, the Arab news channel al-Jazeera has published a great collection of papers relating to the so-called peace process between Israel and Palestine.(1) What these Palestine Papers reveal is not anything surprising for any diligent observer of Middle Eastern affairs, but their contents are explosive nonetheless. The more than 1600 documents revealed show irrefutably how the Palestinian Authority and its official negotiators have used the veil of secrecy to go much beyond what even the most peace-loving Palestinian would condone, and have offered to cede basically all bones of contention to Israel in exchange for a recognition of an independent Palestinian state. Not just the right of return for expelled Palestinians was sacrificed in the offer, leaving five million Palestinians permanently in exile, but negotiatior Saeb Erekat also offered to cede Palestinian claims to East Jerusalem, and even actively asking Israel to occupy strategic positions within Palestinian territory in order to undermine the position of the ruling party’s main opposition, Hamas. This does not just reveal the egocentrism, the mendacity and the opportunism of Fatah and the so-called representatives of the Palestinian people in their sham negotiations with Israel, where they were willing to sell virtually all of the significant demands of the Palestinians for a mess of pottage consisting of some fleeting prestige in the West and subverting their domestic opponents, but it also reveals the even greater hypocrisy and mendacity of the Israelis. After all, Israel and its supporters have forever been claiming that Israel is always willing to sacrifice so much to achieve a lasting peace, but those crazy Arabs are just unwilling to see reason. That old story should now be definitively dead and buried, now that the world knows how without any such mandate the PA was willing to give up virtually everything in order to rule its little bogus enclave as Palestine, and even that was too much for the Israelis and their ‘clean hands’. Continue reading “The Palestine Papers”