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The Palestine Papers: over to you ...

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Robin Lustig | 10:58 UK time, Monday, 24 January 2011

There are various ways of looking at the cache of Palestinian documents that have apparently been leaked to al-Jazeera and published in The Guardian.

(I say "apparently" because Palestinian officials are denying their authenticity and the BBC has not independently verified them. The Guardian says many of them "have been independently authenticated ... and corroborated by former participants in the talks and intelligence and diplomatic sources.")

Here are some options for you:

1. The Negotiators as Traitors: what right did the Palestinian negotiators have to offer so much to Israel in return for so little? Nearly all of east Jerusalem? Joint control of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, the third holiest place in Islam? No right to defend their own territory with their own armed forces? No right of return for Palestinian refugees? That's not negotiating ... that's surrendering.

2. The Negotiators as Statesmen: Look how far they were prepared to go. Look at the painful concessions they were prepared to make. How can the Israelis claim they have no "partner" to negotiate with when these papers show the exact opposite to be the case? How can anyone argue now that it's the Palestinians who are being unreasonable?

3. The Negotiations as Charade: Doesn't this just prove what a waste of time this whole so-called "peace process" is? Who do these negotiators represent, other than themselves? If their Fatah party were to be tested in elections, they'd be wiped out - and they know it. Besides, they don't even control the Gaza Strip, so nothing they supposedly "offer" will matter a damn. In any case, they still don't get it. Israel will give up not an inch of Jerusalem, and will never agree to anything that might threaten its existence.

Over to you ...


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