Palestine papers: Will a big scoop change business as usual?
A roundup of opinion so far.
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Of course, senior PLO leader Yasser Abed Rabbo alleges Al Jazeera has faked the documents. "We did not agree to any proposal regarding east Jerusalem. The only position to which we adhere is Abbas' position that east Jerusalem, according to the 67 borders, belongs to us... Al-Jazeera decided that it would attack the Palestinian Authority in an attempt to harm it."Skip to next paragraph
Dan Murphy is a staff writer for the Monitor's international desk, focused on the Middle East. Murphy, who has reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and more than a dozen other countries, writes and edits Backchannels. The focus? War and international relations, leaning toward things Middle East.
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Erekat said "this is part of a campaign targeting President Mahmoud Abbas and the PA at a time when we are going to the UN Security Council regarding the settlements" and also denied that any major concessions in East Jerusalem were offered.
What comes next is always the big question. At best, a monkey wrench has been thrown into efforts to revive the peace process, but not frozen the machinery completely. Or, it could lead to a major political realignment in the West Bank, bolster Hamas' standing in the eyes of Palestinians as more principled than their antagonists in the PA, and encourage those on the Israeli side that take a maximalist approach to land in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Robert Grenier, a former senior CIA official, writes for Al Jazeera, that "the overwhelming conclusion one draws from this record is that the process for a two-state solution is essentially over, that the history of the peace process is one of abject failure for all concerned."
"As an American, the reaction I draw, frankly, is one of shame. My government has consistently followed the path of least resistance and of short-term political expediency, at the cost of decency, justice, and our clear, long-term interests. More pointedly, The Palestine Papers reveal us to have alternatively demanded and encouraged the Palestinian participants to take disproportionate risks for a negotiated settlement, and then to have refused to extend ourselves to help them achieve it, leaving them exposed and vulnerable. The Palestine Papers, in my view, further document an American legacy of ignominy in Palestine."
Politicians are already hastening to make hay. Israel's hawkish Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says the documents, which portray a Palestinian Authority bending over backwards for peace, are evidence that everyone should do what he wants them to do. He argues that a permanent deal isn't possible now at all and wants an interim arrangement that gives the Palestinians about 50 percent of the West Bank.
"While the leaked documents on Middle East negotiations are received in Israel and in the world as incisive evidence of the moderate positions of the Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas, the Hamas leadership as well as Abbas' rivals in Fatah will see the documents as additional proof of what they call the "defeatism" of the PA... The leaked documents completely discredit the claim that there is "no peace partner" made by the leader of the newly formed Atzmaut faction, Ehud Barak, and his boss, Benjamin Netanyahu.
I'll be following this throughout the day. One immediate, not particularly surprising impact? Al Jazeera English correspondent Alan Fisher says on his Twitter feed that Palestinian security forces have entered the news services Ramallah office in the past hour.