Monday, January 24, 2011
JazeeraLeaks Expose Palestinians: Settlements are a Non-Issue
The Palestinian Papers Revealed -Seumas Milne & Ian Black
Confidential documents reveal that Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to accept Israel's annexation of most Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. A cache of thousands of pages of confidential Palestinian records has been obtained by Al-Jazeera and provides an extraordinary and vivid insight into the 20-year peace process. Many of the 1,600 leaked documents were drawn up by PA officials and lawyers working for the British-funded PLO negotiations support unit and include extensive verbatim transcripts of private meetings.
Leaked: Palestinian Leadership Accepts Israeli Settlements -Robin Shepherd
The uncompromising message that comes out of the revelations on Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is that the Palestinian leadership itself has long accepted that the vast majority of Israeli settlements can be considered legitimate and would become part of Israel under any reasonable peace agreement. This shows that the so-called 1967 "borders" - the gold standard for practically every anti-Israeli polemic around - are irrelevant to the prospects of a lasting peace.
Privately and morally, senior Palestinians can see that there is nothing illegitimate or even especially problematic about most of the "settlements."
Palestine Papers -Noah Pollak
The papers show that one of the only areas on which the sides had come close to an agreement was the acceptability of land swaps as a solution to the settlements controversy. Today, at Obama's behest, the Palestinians insist on a complete settlement freeze before they'll even talk - including in areas that just two years ago they had agreed were already de facto Israeli. Thus did Obama turn back the clock on one of the only points of relative consensus and progress between the two sides.