Palestine Wanted Deal Badly

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Read here.
This has all been such a fiasco over the years. Some Israeli friends of mine have argued that Palestine couldn’t deliver on what it promised — maybe so, but this shows how far at least some Palestinians were willing to go and how little Israel was willing to give to make this problem history.
I’m reminded in these revelations of the Palestine Papers of Netanyahu’s video taped comments that Americans are easily manipulated.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

117 comments on “Palestine Wanted Deal Badly

  1. non-hater says:

    Carroll – thanks for linking to that report.

    Reply

  2. Carroll says:

    I believe the highest authority on Apartheid has now spoken on Israel’s status with this study.
    Talk of Israel ‘becoming’ an apartheid state is now moot, apparently it already is.
    http://www.hsrc.ac.za/Media_Release-378.phtml
    The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) has released a study indicating that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
    The interim report, which will form part of a discussion at an upcoming HSRC conference on the subject, on 13 and 14 June in Cape Town, serves as a document to be finalised later this year.
    The HSRC commissioned an international team of scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel and the West Bank to conduct the study. The resulting 300-page draft, titled Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law, represents 15 months of research and constitutes an exhaustive review of Israel’s practices in the OPT according to definitions of colonialism and apartheid provided by international law. The project was suggested originally by the January 2007 report by eminent South African jurist John Dugard.
    Regarding apartheid, the team found that Israel’s laws and policies in the OPT fit the definition of apartheid in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
    Israeli law conveys privileges to Jewish settlers and disadvantages Palestinians in the same territory on the basis of their respective identities, which function in this case as racialised identities in the sense provided by international law.
    Israel’s practices are corollary to five of the six ‘inhuman acts’ listed by the Convention. A policy of apartheid is especially indicated by Israel’s demarcation of geographic

    Reply

  3. Dan Kervick says:

    Tzipi Livni in November, 2007 during one of the negotiation sessions:
    “NO. I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer

    Reply

  4. nadine says:

    Abbas says that the Palestine Papers are a deliberate distortion: Abbas says all the positions that the papers claim the Palestinians ACCEPTED, were really the Israeli positions which the Palestinians REFUSED:
    “The Palestinian Authority has accused al-Jazeera TV of distortion, after it leaked documents purporting to show offers of major concessions to Israel.
    President Mahmoud Abbas said the leaks had deliberately confused Palestinian and Israeli negotiating positions.
    The documents suggest the Palestinians agreed to Israel annexing all but one settlement in occupied East Jerusalem – an offer Israel apparently rejected.
    The BBC has been unable to verify the documents independently.
    Al-Jazeera says it has more than 1,600 confidential records of meetings, e-mails, and communications between Palestinian, Israeli and US leaders covering the years 2000-2010.
    The Palestinians are reported to have proposed an international committee to take over Islamic and Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem, and limiting the number of returning refugees to 100,000 over 10 years.
    The papers are believed to have originated from the Palestinian side.
    Mr Abbas, who is due to hold talks on the peace process on Monday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, said negotiations had been carried out openly, and his fellow Arab leaders were aware of their contents…
    “What is intended is a mix-up. I have seen them yesterday present things as Palestinian but they were Israeli… this is therefore intentional,” he said in Cairo, in remarks quoted by the Reuters news agency.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12263671

    Reply

  5. nadine says:

    Hi questions, the Khaled Abu Toameh piece you linked is worth discussing:
    “Al-Jazeera

    Reply

  6. jdledell says:

    wigwag – Of course I read the article. Just because some guy named Freedland said that he THINKS the Palestinians would be angry about this does NOT make it so. I’ve been on the phone with numerous of my Palestinian friends and I detect NO significant anger at all.Obviously this is the talk of the town but they do not detect anything approaching a problem. I’m sure there will be some (ie the thugs that trashed the Al Jezeera offices) who are angry but it will be a fairly small minority. It was you who took Freedland’s words and forcefully took the position that he spoke G-d’s truth.
    I NEVER said that Olmert did not make an offer – go back and read EXACTLY what I said. It’s not an offer until it’s ALL laid out in detail, fine print included.
    What is your definition of a long term presence in the Jordan Valley? How many years, decades, centuries are we talking about here? Second question does the IDF presence in the Jordan Valley mean Israel controls everything and everyone entering or exiting Palestine? As I’m sure you are aware it is a paperwork jungle for Palestinians to obtain permission to exit Palestine and export and import goods. Israel trys to make it difficult to buy or sell to the outside world, except thru Israel.

    Reply

  7. non-hater says:

    Would the residents have gone with the Israeli Arab villages that were proposed for swapping? That would be pretty sick if that’s what the Israeli government officials were proposing. Otherwise, it would just be criminal.

    Reply

  8. Cee says:

    Jan-23-2011 12:45printcomments
    Medvedev’s Palestine-Jordan Trip Promoted Religion And Independence
    James M. Wall Salem-News.com
    The diplomatic foot-dragging highlighted Israel

    Reply

  9. samuelburke says:

    When Livni spoke of ethnic transfer, Abu Alaa said only
    solution is

    Reply

  10. Cee says:

    Interesting timing of the Moscow attack
    IMEMC – 18 January 2011
    Prior to Russian president Dmitri Medvedev

    Reply

  11. WigWag says:

    “For both of you – do you honestly believe Netanyahu is capable of offering the Palestinians a true 95% of the west bank with land swaps? If he did, could he survive the leadership struggle within Likud or would Lieberman sweep to victory.” (jdledell)
    I don’t know what Netanyahu would offer or not offer; I do know that you and others previously suggested that the supposed Olmert offer was a mirage. You should admit you were wrong about that.
    As for what Netanyahu should do as opposed to what he would do, all I can do is give my opinion. I would not make the deal on the “Old City” that Olmert seemed prepared to make and I would not make the deal without a long term IDF presence in the Jordan Valley. If that’s a deal breaker, I would prefer no deal. If it’s not a deal breaker then the rest of what was discussed seems at least somewhat reasonable to me.
    Before you tell me that the Palestinians would never agree to a long term IDF presence in the Jordan Valley; don’t bother.
    You don’t know what they would agree to and neither do I.

    Reply

  12. WigWag says:

    “Wigwag – you are making a mountain out of a molehill. There are no big demonstrations in the West Bank against Abbas. Sure he is scared but that does not mean the Palestinians are against a peace agreement – that is making too much of a leap.” (jdledell)
    May I suggest, jdledell, that you have not read the Guardian article that Steve linked to very carefully. It was not me who concluded that the Palestinian people would rise in outrage over the material released to Al Jazeera, it was Jonathan Freedland who wrote the Guardian article.
    Here’s what he said,
    “Perhaps the first casualty will be Palestinian national pride, their collective sense of dignity in adversity badly wounded by the papers revealed today.”
    He also said,
    “Many on the Palestinian streets will recoil to read not just the concessions offered by their representatives

    Reply

  13. nadine says:

    “For both of you – do you honestly believe Netanyahu is capable of offering the Palestinians a true 95% of the west bank with land swaps? If he did, could he survive the leadership struggle within Likud or would Lieberman sweep to victory.” (jdledell)
    If Abbas or Fayyad stood up and acknowledged ‘two states for two peoples’, told the Palestinians – in Arabic, not just in English – that it was time to pay the price of really acknowledging Israel as a legitimate state in order to get Palestine as a legitimate state, and said, now let’s talk for real, Netanyahu would have absolutely no choice but to offer at least the equivalent of the Taba accords, or be swept from office, to be replaced by a centrist candidate.
    As Erekat was quoted saying in the Palestine Papers, the Israelis want the two state solution more than the Palestinians.
    It’s just that the Palestinians are operating in such obvious bad faith. You can’t acknowledge the legitimacy of a party that you spend all your time demonizing as part of an international propaganda campaign of delegitimization. You can’t look like you are serious about talks when you spend all your time running away from them.
    But to be fair to the Palestinians, Hamas would immediately try to kill Abbas or Fayyad as traitors if they tried that, and would probably succeed.

    Reply

  14. jdledell says:

    Nadine – Lets get one thing straight. I never said Olmert’s offer never existed – it’s just that we do NOT know the details. The maps and other high level issues have been known, much of which the James Baker Institute at Rice University has in their possession. However, as they say the devil is in the details and I harken back to listening to Livni during the last election explain CLEARLY that the Palestinian percentages included all the land east of Route 90 from north to south, leased to Israel. Livni explained how this would continue to allow Israel to control everything and everybody entering or exiting the Palestinian state – a deal breaker.
    wigwag – you are making a mountain out of a molehill. There are no big demonstrations in the West Bank against Abbas. Sure he is scared but that does not mean the Palestinians are against a peace agreement – that is making too much of a leap.
    For both of you – do you honestly believe Netanyahu is capable of offering the Palestinians a true 95% of the west bank with land swaps? If he did, could he survive the leadership struggle within Likud or would Lieberman sweep to victory.

    Reply

  15. Dan Kervick says:

    “Those who claim that the settlement issue was an obstacle to substantive discussions about a peace deal now need to admit that they were wrong and apologize for their error.”
    That doesn’t follow. Surely there is some reason for thinking that getting talks re-started in the wake of Cast Lead required some Israeli gesture.
    “This is troubling but it is entirely consistent with the idea noted by neoconservative commentators that the Palestinian people are far more unwilling than the Israeli people to make the sacrifices that will be necessary for peace.”
    Consistent perhaps. But it also doesn’t follow. Think of it this way: Suppose both sides restricted both their public and private statements to the same consistent positions, positions acceptable to the populations of the two sides. Then what we would find is that the two sides remain significantly far apart. Under such circumstances, it would make no sense to say it is either one side or another that is unwilling to make sacrifices, since both sides are equally responsible for the distance that stands between them.
    Of course, not every problem out to be solved by splitting the difference – as King Solomon showed. One might hope that outside parties with the power to enforce justice would use that power, rather than underwrite aggression, ethnic cleansing and the acquisition of territory by force.
    What the papers seem to show then, is that the Palestinian leadership is much more willing to explore in private talks compromise approaches that go beyond what their people are currently ready to accept, while the Israeli leaders are relatively unwilling to budge from the positions held by their constituents. As we see now, the release of the details of these private negotiations has landed the Palestinian negotiators in a lot of political hot water. So which group of leaders is it, then, who showed greater personal courage in exploring compromise positions that were politically and personally dangerous to them?
    As I understand it, the whole reason for having private or secret negotiations is so that the negotiators can explore positions that are politically unpopular among their people.
    But this whole sad revelation just shows how wrongheaded is the negotiations-based approach to peacemaking between two parties between whom stands a gross power asymmetry, and in a matter in there are fundamental international legal and justice issues involved, as well as other international and state interests. The Israelis felt entirely comfortable in not budging at all from positions that were politically popular in Israel, and waiting for the Palestinians to hand everything over, because the Americans let the Israelis know that they would back them no matter what. The Palestinians, on the other hand, were apparently given the message by George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Barack Obama, George Mitchell, Dennis Ross and Hillary Clinton that they are worthless slaves whose rights are of no account, and that there is no end to the concessions for which they will me asked, and so they had better move their position wholly over to the immovable Israeli position.

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    Posted by nadine, Jan 24 2011, 4:02PM – Link
    >>>>>>>>>>
    I feel no need to explain. It’s perfectly clear.
    This particular disaster in waiting you are creating in Israel is yours alone…you will have to own it. Israel has rejected every chance to change the eventual outcome.
    It fascinates me that those like you don’t understand the simple reasons why Israel’s grandiose ambitions in the ME will never be…that it’s not possible in the larger scheme of the world.

    Reply

  17. DonS says:

    Wig wag, you repeat yourself again, and again.
    So if it is still that the documents are of questionable authenticity, why/how can you jump to the demand that those who linked settlements must immediately “apologize”. And, absolute linkage aside, settlements cannot help but be a major impediment, to the interim and final agreements. What is this hang up with apologizing, as if that is even in the Israeli vocabulary. Certainly it’s not part of the neocon vocabulary, and they’ve been responsible for many hundreds of thousands of deaths, inadvertently or irresponsibly; perhaps criminally. What’s the worst you can accuse those who see linkage, hard or soft? Naivety in the pursuit of international law?
    Beyond that, you simply recite again your spin from the Israeli perspective, as dictum, or maybe just the Peter Pan version.

    Reply

  18. Bill Pearlman says:

    That’s exactly what Carroll is saying. Its a threat.

    Reply

  19. WigWag says:

    “It is Israel’s interest to have peace. How is this negative?” (jdledell)
    I never said it was negative, just that a final resolution to the conflict is unlikely to be achieved.
    I think that there is good news and bad news in all of this. The good news is that it is now apparent that the Israelis and Palestinians have engated in very substantive discussions about all of the hard issues. The fact that settlement building was ongoing during all of these discussions didn’t impede the negotiations one iota. Those who claim that the settlement issue was an obstacle to substantive discussions about a peace deal now need to admit that they were wrong and apologize for their error.
    The bad news is that the concessions made by Erekat and Abbas appear to be so unpopular that the Palestinians would prefer the status quo to making a deal based on the parameters mentioned in the Al Jazeera release.
    I don’t know if the released documents are a fraud or not. There is some reason to believe that they might be at least partially forged. In the documents there is a claim that Erekat accepted the idea of Israel as a Jewish State. It is my recollection that this was never a demand of Olmert’s and only started being discussed after Netanyahu came to power. This suggests that it is possible that Abbas and Erekat are being truthful when they claim the documents are not real. But hey, who knows?
    Both the Wiki Leaks document and the Al Jazeera documents demonstrate that the United States and Israel say essentially the same thing in private as they say in public. If the Al Jazeera documents are real, they indicate that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority is unwilling to say the same thing in private to the Israelis and Americans as they say in public to their people.
    This is troubling but it is entirely consistent with the idea noted by neoconservative commentators that the Palestinian people are far more unwilling than the Israeli people to make the sacrifices that will be necessary for peace. This doesn’t mean that a significant portion of the Israeli public isn’t also unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to get a peace deal. But it does demonstrate that the compromises needed for a peace deal are so unpopular with the Palestinian people that they would replace the PA with Hamas if Abbas and Erekat made the needed compromises.
    In light of this, what is there to be optimistic about?

    Reply

  20. nadine says:

    “I would caution you (again), that you are creating another disaster for yourselves, but I don’t really think you are capable of understanding where you are headed.” (Carroll)
    “Creating another disaster”? Does that mean you think the Jews are responsible for the “first disaster”, by which I presume you mean the Holocaust? Do explain what you mean, Carroll.

    Reply

  21. Carroll says:

    “Oh, I see the Steve “Israel Lobby” Walt is backing Clemons’ efforts. If Steve keeps on his roll, he will soon join Walt in being called more than just “Israel Basher.”
    “I strongly suspect you are getting toned-down criticism from those you know you; but those who just read you will come to much harsher conclusions.”
    ……….Nadine.
    You and Israel are in much more danger from what people call you and think of you than anyone is from being slurred by your group.
    I would caution you (again), that you are creating another disaster for yourselves, but I don’t really think you are capable of understanding where you are headed.
    Too bad, but you are doing it to yourselves.
    ..and that’s what the world sees.

    Reply

  22. nadine says:

    “What is publicly emerging is discussions along the lines of Taba.” (jdledell)
    …which Steve used to conclude that the Palestinians really truly wanted a deal, but the Israelis didn’t. Which might fly – if you knew nothing else about the negotiations then, or the non-negotiations now. In short, once again it’s all Israel’s fault.
    BTW, if these papers are accurate, wouldn’t they disprove your claims that Olmert’s offer never exsisted?

    Reply

  23. jdledell says:

    “Just because you are personally a nice guy does not mean that your policies are realistic or unbiased.”
    Good Grief Nadine – Do you REALLY think your positions are unbiased? Do you really think either Rubin is unbiased?

    Reply

  24. DonS says:

    Nadine, your chutzpah is incredible. Not only do you dissemble in legalistic fashion from your obvious inferences and name calling — which you most likely hold in private but serially tread the line here — you come back and dissemble further, then presume to counsel Steve on his own ability to judge his situation.
    Besides stating obvious — which is just a shield for depersonalizing criticism through generalization — with regard to any human being’s interactions with others and degree of self awareness, your lack of humility and presumption of importance is embarrassing. Perhaps you have no inkling of this, which would explain a lot.
    True, neither do I have any ground to take your inventory but since I can rarely stomach direct interaction with you because of your proven lack of character in argument, not to mention substance, I’ll break my own rule just now since your input on this blog is frequently an insult to all who attempt honesty. I have called you a propagandist, which is bad enough. And an Israel Firster for that cause, which may be worse. Both of those descriptions are factually accurate via your own words. If you are in any way a ‘nice’ person, you have covered it over with really ugly traits.

    Reply

  25. jdledell says:

    Nadine & wigwag – I don’t understand your strong reaction to what Steve is trying to do and the release of the peace negotiation papers. At least Nadine professes to support a settlement along the lines of Taba. What is publicly emerging is discussions along the lines of Taba.
    I think all this publicity and the possible UN resolutions is focusing all parties on the need to move off the status quo. Even David Makovsky is producing peace maps along the lines of Taba and Netanyahu and Lieberman are trying to put together a map of an interim Palestinian state that won’t be laughed at.
    It is Israel’s interest to have peace. How is this negative?

    Reply

  26. nadine says:

    Steve, I think you are confusing your personal amiability and ability to make friendships across the board (which I have no doubt is great) with the reasonableness of your policy prescriptions. Just because you are personally a nice guy does not mean that your policies are realistic or unbiased. I strongly suspect you are getting toned-down criticism from those you know you; but those who just read you will come to much harsher conclusions.

    Reply

  27. JohnH says:

    Wow! The hasbara crowd (Nadine, Wig, Pearlman) is in hyper-drive. The release of the Palestinian transcripts must be really damaging to Israel’s image.
    I’ve never seen them so desperate.

    Reply

  28. Steve Clemons says:

    Nadine – I’ll navigate my own course on that front. I view myself as a friend of Israel and a great supporter of Israel’s right to exist — its legitimacy (though not control over Occupied Territories) and of many of its leading politicians. I have met folks from Labor, Kadima, Likud, Shas, Lieberman’s party, and other smaller groups — and I maintain healthy constructive relations across the board. Some of my neoconservative friends — and yes, they are friends, have also said that I see the balances differently than they do — but they don’t name call over it. I have friends within AIPAC — and they don’t call me names over this, though we have constructive discussion, and I think they don’t agree with or support my general approach.
    Credible policy debate among people with differences can occur among serious people without name-calling, and when I’m involved, I insist on it. Yes, I realize that people disagree with me — I’ve got a basket of emails from neoconservative associates filling me in on that disagreement, but those folks are adults, are serious, and are civil.
    Those who engage in name-calling per se and not rise to engage in something better and more serious are disappointing and not really worth my time. One thing is I won’t host such name-calling on my own blog.
    Thanks for your response and glad you are not going to move down that path.
    Steve Clemons

    Reply

  29. nadine says:

    Steve Clemons, I am not calling you a thing. I am just alerting you to the reputation you are earning in the blogosphere. If you think this is just a Jen Rubin thing, think again.

    Reply

  30. nadine says:

    Barry Rubin is sympathetic to Fatah claims that the Palestine Papers are forged to make them look bad, noting how much the supposed Palestinian negotiating concessions contradict every Palestinian statement at the time. For example,
    “In November 2008 Olmert, who talked today about his proposal to Abu Mazen, offered the 1967 borders, but said: `We will take 6.5% of the West Bank, and give in return 5.8% from the 1948 lands, and the 0.7% will constitute the safe passage, and East Jerusalem will be the capital, but there is a problem with the Haram and with what they called the Holy Basin.’ Abu Mazen too answered with defiance, saying: `I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. I came to demarcate the borders of Palestine

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  31. Steve Clemons says:

    Nadine — I have zero patience for name-calling. Are you threatening to call me some disgusting name regarding this back and forth I am having with Jennifer Rubin?
    If so, you are clearly in violation of the rules that I have established for this blog and have privately, repeatedly communicated to you.
    I would, if you and wanting to remain a part of this community, immediately retract your statement or make clear what you mean, so that I can respond.
    This is no game — and I will not renegotiate terms with you again. You are on the line. You know it. And if you remain on the line — you will be banned and not allowed to post here any longer.
    Best regards, Steve Clemons

    Reply

  32. Carroll says:

    Steve Walt…
    “So kudos to Steve for his efforts to build a broader consensus around a more sensible Middle East policy, and for his spirited defense of a more open yet civilized discourse on this vital subject.
    Maybe his example will encourage more people to stand up for themselves too, and not be intimidated by the fear of a baseless smear campaign.”
    Yay Clemons,yay Walt!..lead dogs lead.

    Reply

  33. shocked says:

    “If Steve keeps on his roll, he will soon join Walt in being called more than just “Israel Basher”.
    Pass the smelling salts, nadine is getting ready to threaten the “anti-Semite” word, just as she has regularly called in the past. Maybe this time she’ll be gone for good. She continues to endorse the “Israel basher” label of her idol Ms. Rubin, despite the host’ signal that this is thin ice.

    Reply

  34. nadine says:

    Hey Dan, you seem to forget that the Israelis offered a deal in 2008, and the Palestinian response was….nothing. If you really want the deal, you make a counter. But there has never ever been a Palestinian counter. Why not, Dan? They could get you and your fellow lefties to rally round it, whatever it was, so why no counter? Ans: They can’t back any deal. They are dealing to gain concessions, not to sign a deal.
    Nothing in the “Palestine Papers” is news, if you’ve ever followed the negotiations. What the negotiators were supposedly “giving up” were the major Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem they were never going to get anyway. The fact that normal negotiations is being used to discredit Abbas and Erekat shows you how unready they & the Arab world are to ever make a deal.
    Steve is just putting a brave front on his rapidly sinking case. It’s been rough couple of months for the realists. First Wikileaks destroys the theory of “linkage” and now the Palestine Papers destroy the theory of Palestinians being ready to deal if only Netanyahu is replaced by Livni.
    Oh, I see the Steve “Israel Lobby” Walt is backing Clemons’ efforts. If Steve keeps on his roll, he will soon join Walt in being called more than just “Israel Basher”.

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    “In Israel, the revelations were considered proof of long-established beliefs and positions, depending on who was doing the talking. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/25/world/middleeast/25mideast.html?_r=1&hp
    JPost has a bunch of itemettes up, but I don’t have time to paste them all. Worth a trip…..
    By the way, Cee, I have taken it upon myself, on Steve’s behalf, unasked and therefore possibly in unwanted fashion, to suggest that we all limit the copy/pasting some so that he’s not in line for copyright infringement issues. Not everyone plays really nicely in that field. Of course, Steve may not really care about it, I don’t know. But it does seem like a good idea to paste a snippet and a link instead.

    Reply

  36. samuelburke says:

    I’ll wager that some zionist group somewhere is going through
    all of Steve’s written papers to see if he can be labeled.

    Reply

  37. Cee says:

    Israel: The Ugly Truth
    Israel offers the Western world a reflection of itself.
    by Mya Guarnieri
    Global Research, January 23, 2011
    Al Jazeera
    There was that jarring week in December – a protest against Arab-Jewish couples, a south Tel Aviv march and demonstration against migrant workers and African asylum seekers, the arrest of Jewish teenagers accused of beating Palestinians and the expulsion of five Arab men from their home in south Tel Aviv. It left me with the question: What is next?
    It is impossible to predict the future. But there are signs that violence, perpetrated by citizens, could be spreading.
    In mid-January, dozens of young Jews attacked Muslims at a mosque in Yafo or Jaffa, the historically Arab city just south of Tel Aviv. An Israeli media outlet reports that the youth, who were armed with stones and Israeli flags, shouted “Mohammed is a pig” and “Death to Arabs” just as the Muslims were preparing to pray.
    When the police arrived, they did not arrest any of the assailants.
    And just a few days before that march in south Tel Aviv, seven Sudanese men were attacked in Ashdod, a coastal city in the south of Israel.
    According to Israeli media reports, someone threw a flaming tyre into the apartment the men shared. Five suffered from smoke inhalation, two were hospitalised.
    Another alarming act of violence took place in south Tel Aviv that same night. The Hotline for Migrant Workers, an Israeli NGO, reports that three teenage girls – Israeli-born, Hebrew-speaking daughters of African migrant workers – were beaten by a group of Jewish teenagers. The attackers, one of whom was armed with a knife, allegedly called them “dirty niggers”. One of the girls needed medical treatment for her injuries.
    “It’s worth noting that the girls had already experienced such violence in the neighbourhood,” Poriya Gal, the spokeswoman for the Hotline for Migrant Workers, says. “But they chose not to report it to the police out of the fear that they would be attacked again.”
    Another frightening indicator of the mood here: In south Tel Aviv, on the day of the protest, a number of afterschool programmes closed early so that children could get home safely before the demonstration began. Administrators were worried that the children might otherwise get caught up in the march and attacked by protestors.
    Because asylum seekers are often reluctant to ask for help – and they are unlikely to turn to the police – it is hard to determine the precise number of racially motivated attacks.
    But the African Refugee Development Committee (ARDC) reports that asylum seekers are increasingly being evicted from their homes, despite the fact that they have paid rent. And the committee has been alerted to another alarming trend. Dara Levy-Bernstein of the ARDC says: “There have been a lot of [asylum seekers] complaining about being stopped by police or soldiers – we’re not entirely sure which – but they’re people in uniform who have been taking their visas and tearing them up.”
    Some argue that asylum seekers and Palestinians represent distinct issues that are distinctly complicated. In some ways, they do. But the police or soldiers who tear asylum seekers’ visas are the same people who fail to arrest Jewish citizens for throwing stones at Muslim worshippers. And it boils down to something very simple: How Israel, and some of its citizens, views those it considers ‘others’.
    Turning away the other
    When I ask Orit Rubin, a psycho-social coordinator at ASSAF Aid Organisation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel, if she has noticed a rise in violence, she asks me to define violence.
    While she has not seen an increase in physical attacks, she has recently received reports from Sudanese caf

    Reply

  38. Paul Norheim says:

    Steve Walt: “Kudos to Clemons.”
    “Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation is on a roll, doing his
    best to help the United States move toward a more sensible Middle East
    policy and to conduct a more civilized public discourse on that difficult
    topic. He made two important contributions in the past week, and I want
    to call your attention to both.”
    More here:
    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/01/24/kudos_for_clemons

    Reply

  39. DonS says:

    Well Cee, don’t look for too much honesty from the US govt, Obama on down. Just as we are now being manipulated, domestically, to ‘look over here’ at pro-business growth/competitiveness agenda providing trickle down jobs, not actual remedies for immediate job creation; we will ALWAYS be told to ‘look over here’ at the Muslim boogeyman. The graveyard of politicians is littered with the bodies of those who tried to acknowledge Western complicity in the arising of Islamic fundamentalism: shorthand for ‘911 changed everything’ As to wising up that Israel is taking the US for a ride, those PR battles may never be fought either: too embarrassing, you know.

    Reply

  40. Cee says:

    Now we’re being distracted.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/08/usa.russia
    And now the Likudization narrative has spread to Russia. In that same meeting with foreign journalists on Monday, The Guardian reports that President Putin ?made it clear he sees the drive for Chechen independence as the spearhead of a strategy by Chechen Islamists, helped by foreign fundamentalists, to undermine the whole of southern Russia and even stir up trouble among Muslim communities in other parts of the country. ?There are Muslims along the Volga, in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan…This is all about Russia’s territorial integrity,? he said.? It used to be just Israel that was worried about being pushed into the sea.
    There has indeed been a dramatic and dangerous rise in religious fundamentalism in the Muslim world. The problem is that under the Likud Doctrine, there is no space to ask why this is happening. We are not allowed to point out that fundamentalism breeds in failed states, where warfare has systematically targeted civilian infrastructure, allowing the mosques start taking responsibility for everything from education to garbage collection. It has happened in Gaza, in Grozny, in Sadr City. Mr. Sharon says terrorism is an epidemic that ?has no borders, no fences? but this is not the case. Everywhere in the world, terrorism thrives within the illegitimate borders of occupation and dictatorship; it festers behind ?security walls? put up by imperial powers; it crosses those borders and climbs over those fences to explode inside the countries responsible for, or complicit in, occupation and domination.
    Ariel Sharon is not the commander in chief of the war on terror; that dubious honour stays with George Bush. But on the third year anniversary of September 11, he deserves to be recognized as this disastrous campaign?s spiritual/intellectual guru, a kind of trigger-happy Yoda for all the wannabe Luke Skywalkers out there, training for their epic battles in good vs. evil.
    If we want to see the future of where the Likud Doctrine leads, we need only follow the guru home, to Israel ? a country paralyzed by fear, embracing pariah policies of extrajudicial assassination and illegal settlement, and in furious denial about the brutality it commits daily. It is a nation surrounded by enemies and desperate for friends, a category it narrowly defines as those who ask no questions, while generously offering the same moral amnesty in return. That glimpse at our collective future is the only lesson the world needs to learn from Ariel Sharon.
    Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo and Fences and Windows.

    Reply

  41. DonS says:

    “Palestine EWanted Deal Badly”
    The headline of the post is looking more accurate the more one looks.
    Not very flattering to the PA leadership (no surprise)
    Not very flattering to the Israeli leadership (no surprise)
    Palestinian leverage, that Israeli tries to pretend it is contending with : non-existent.
    U.S influence that tries to bluster about it’s relevance, while not using any real leverage to move Israel.
    Israels portrait: the bully that wouldn’t take ‘yes’ for an answer.
    Negotiations: real negotiations cannot take place in an environment of disproportionate power. All the Israeli bluster about ‘security issues’, a straw man after all.
    Land for peace: only after Israel has taken all they want; then they’ll tidy up the borders.

    Reply

  42. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Bottom line???
    The American public is so successfully misinformed on Isr/Pal by the Hasbara machine, and our own media’s complicity, that any strong opposition to Israeli policies, in Washington, or at the UN, can easily be presented as weakness and capitulation to “terrorists”. Obama doesn’t dare take a strong stance in opposition to the settlements, as the new majority will rip him a new asshole over it, and the brainwashed public will buy into it hook, line, and sinker. We tend to forget, when discussing this issue, that these sacks of shit like Nadine and her scriptwriters have had the public’s ear for decades now, and that they have shaped the narrative and the American public’s perceptions of this “conflict”. Obama has already shown us that he is a political coward, and to be optimistic that Clinton will bring the Israel’s to heel is absurd. If Obama wants to finish his destruction of any chance he has for a second term, all he need do is offer strong opposition to Israeli policy. The ignorant misinformed masses will be appalled at his treasonous abandonment of the those poor abused Jews, and the new majority will be sure to rub it in, with peripheral party mouthpieces in the so called “Tea Party” making insinuations about Obama’s citizenship and religious affiliations.
    “See, we told you so, who other than a Muslim would take the side of those heathen savage Palestinians and betray our friends and allies, the Israelis?”
    There IS NO scenario for changing the status quo. Obama doesn’t dare do it, as it would be political suicide, and the new majority has no desire to do it. Clinton is a non-starter. No matter WHO gets in as next President, the Palestinians lose. Left, right, it matters not. Simply put, the Palestinians are fucked, as long as the United States plays a role in mediation. And time is running out for the Palestinians. Its endgame time, and they get NOTHING.

    Reply

  43. kotzabasis says:

    Kervick
    You are RATTLED even with my

    Reply

  44. rc says:

    “… Are people of such low character really worthy of being engaged in serious debate? . . .
    And who gives a shit what Pearlman has to say??? Has anyone ever seen him say anything worthwhile? If so, how about a link? I musta missed it.”(PissedOffAmerican, Jan 23 2011, 11:07PM)
    —-
    POA: Take a break dude … tag on & off as suits your wellbeing and equilibrium etc. They’ve gotten under your skin it seems. Detox and get back into your healthy country-style gestalt poetry when you feel the wind back in your sails again.
    The trick is communicate through the noise — not with it! … 😉
    Noise-to-signal ratio is evaluated in the mind of the beholder. You are not talking to these mental zombies (or if you are it will be exhausting and draining for you) — you are talking through their background drone to/with the many others out there/here who appreciate a healthy antidote to the continual septic drip-feeding of opinionated PR poisons being peddled in the name of truth and fact.
    You provide perspective — and that is good community work imo.

    Reply

  45. Dan Kervick says:

    “As for that other phony strategist Dan Kervick who in his narrow intellectual range all he sees in this conflict is a

    Reply

  46. Dan Kervick says:

    “Nope, the timeline is wrong. The deal was wrecked back in 2008, before Obama came along with his brilliant moves which prevented new negotiations.”
    So why weren’t the Israelis willing to accept a deal? Look at everything they had been offered. And yet they kept demanding more. What would it have taken to get Tzipi Livni to say yes?
    Maybe nothing. Because she was running for election and was just stalling for time with the Palestinians. She and her both her rivals and colleagues all had Cast Lead in the works, and began conducting a six-month disinformation campaign in the months leading up to it.

    Reply

  47. questions says:

    “Israel’s foreign minister is confirming that he has drawn up a plan that seeks to create an interim Palestinian state with temporary borders in the absence of a full peace agreement. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/01/24/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Israel-Palestinians.html?hp
    ********
    “Despite longstanding protests against the construction of Jewish developments in contested areas, Palestinian negotiators agreed to cede large tracts of Jerusalem to Israel during peace negotiations in recent years, according to a set of documents Al Jazeera says it has obtained. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/world/middleeast/24nations.html?hp

    Reply

  48. rc says:

    “To expect someone who is emotionally attached to Palestinians to be cool and objective about the most complex and intricate conflict in our times…” — (kotzabasis, Jan 24 2011, 3:25AM)
    A touch over done I think. Yes, it is complex for sure, but no more so than Korea, Kashmir, Chechnya, Pakistan, Balkans, Sri Lanka, Tibet and probably the Sudan and a host of other African post-colonial hot spots.
    There is nothing overly special about the I/P situation except that it is grounded in dubious historical and mythology significance for Western pundits locked into the Semitic (Judeo/Christian/Islamic) myth/mind set.
    I’m sure the Indians and Chinese are not blinded by this quaint M/E pseudo-religious drama. They both represent ancient civilizations that makes 6,000 BCE look like last summer.
    What makes I/P overly ‘special and complex’ (in some minds) is the emotional-religious issues that create the blind spot for many — especially in the U.S.
    However, there is a simple way of re-framing the situation to help reduce this mystical mist that tends to cover the mind’s eye. Simply remove or control one of the key parameters in the equation as a mental exercise — e.g. control the ‘Judaism’ parameter.
    Seeing the issue as a cluster of ‘Russians’ in Palestine, and who happen to be Jewish, sets a slightly different tone to the debate — especially for Americans.
    Then we can see the situation as having similar dynamics as Russians in Afghanistan or Georgia or Cuba etc. That fact that these ‘Russians’ are untrustworthy brutes and their values and behaviors more aligned with the Stalin’s Steppes than the Semitic Sinai helps separate out some of the complexity. At least in respect to understanding the tactics being deployed.
    Perhaps if the American public, especially POA’s good hearty country-kitchen folk, understood this I/P issue as more of a hangover from the USSR cold war era (and the Stalinist orientated tactics being used) then there might be more progress in public discourse on the fundamental pragmatic questions.
    Keeping it as a ‘Jewish vs. the rest’ paradigm just reinforces the blind spot. Carroll was correct imo when she said that it was conflating ‘Jewish-ness’ as a religion with a people that created problems (my paraphrasing of

    Reply

  49. rc says:

    Then again there is this twist in the tale/tail. There is a certain ‘odor’ about this imo …
    <<<<<
    Palestinians question ‘offers’ leaked by al-Jazeera
    Top Palestinian officials have questioned the veracity of leaked documents purporting to show offers of major concessions to Israel.
    The documents, obtained by al-Jazeera, suggest the Palestinians agreed to Israel keeping large parts of illegally occupied East Jerusalem – an offer Israel apparently rejected.
    But chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the leaks were “a pack of lies”.
    The BBC has been unable to verify the documents independently. . . .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12263671

    Reply

  50. kotzabasis says:

    Steve Clemons has long ago been smitten by his inamorata, i.e. the Palestinian cause. To expect someone who is emotionally attached to Palestinians to be cool and objective about the most complex and intricate conflict in our times that for more than fifty years now a most fertile crop of the best and smartest politicians was unable to resolve, is to expect Clemons to transport his emotions to the arctic and take a bath in it.
    No wonder that for many years now he castigates and lashes the Israelis for their Zionist intransigence and by implication for their nationalistic chauvinistic lebensraum.
    But all of Clemons proposals for resolving the I/P conflict flew on artificial wings and when the wax melted under the first ray of reality they plunged ever after into the Icarian sea.
    As for that other phony strategist Dan Kervick who in his narrow intellectual range all he sees in this conflict is a

    Reply

  51. DonsBlog says:

    It’s always been apparent Israel doesn’t want a deal. Why else would they immediately start targeted assassinations every time they sign a truce with Hamas?
    Still, I wonder, with all the stalling what kind of solution will be forced on both sides by time.

    Reply

  52. nadine says:

    Didn’t you read WigWag’s incisive explanation of what wrecked the deal. She’s full of regrets that the interloping Obama came along with a brief and half-hearted suggestion that the US might defend Palestinian rights for a change.
    Nope, the timeline is wrong. The deal was wrecked back in 2008, before Obama came along with his brilliant moves which prevented new negotiations.

    Reply

  53. Dan Kervick says:

    “And Dan, doesn’t your own illogic ever get to you? If the Israelis really had the Palestinians “tied up” then the Palestinians would have been forced to sign something. But nope, again there was no deal.”
    Didn’t you read WigWag’s incisive explanation of what wrecked the deal. She’s full of regrets that the interloping Obama came along with a brief and half-hearted suggestion that the US might defend Palestinian rights for a change.
    And then of course everyone had to take a time out for the Great War against the Bottle Rockets in Gaza.

    Reply

  54. Dan Kervick says:

    It takes a lot of brass to read over the lists of abject Palestinian capitulations and concessions that have been revealed today, to smug and condescending Israeli leaders offering nothing in return, and try to spin this into more blame for the Palestinians for not making a deal.
    The Israelis always want more. By the time the Palestinians get around to accepting the previous humiliations, there are three new humiliating Israeli demands on the docket.
    By the way, don’t look now but the Middle East might be unraveling. And I have no doubt but that the Palestine Papers will add fuel to the fire. Maybe some day Barack Obama will tire at looking at the inside of his ass and do something about this mess, and maybe try to get the US government out of the treachery and predation business. But I wouldn’t count on it happening any time soon.

    Reply

  55. nadine says:

    Wigwag, debka says “the documents were sold to the TV network [al Jazeera] by a disgruntled Palestinian staffer fired from the PA’s NFU-Negotiating Support Team.”
    That makes sense. Leaked to al Jazeera so al Jazeera could flog the scandal of the Palestinian leadership actually negotiating with Israelis for that two state solution that Dan thinks the Palestinian want.
    And Dan, doesn’t your own illogic ever get to you? If the Israelis really had the Palestinians “tied up” then the Palestinians would have been forced to sign something. But nope, again there was no deal.
    The only time they were ever roped into signing something was 1993 and 1995, and it was all a ruse anyway.

    Reply

  56. Dan Kervick says:

    I can see why WigWag is appalled. The Israelis had the Palestinians tied up in knots and at the end of their rope, and ready to trade away pretty much everything Israel wanted for nothing in return. But with the Palestinian head already in the lunette, events conspired to jam up the guillotine blade.
    It looks like the Palestinians were even willing to give up their right to self-defense. Since the right to individual and collective self-defense is inherent in the very concept of a state under international law, then any agreement to establish an entity that renounces that right in advance is an agreement to establish something that is not a state. If this is the sort of outcome the US was encouraging when it was claiming to support Palestinian statehood, then those claims were lies.
    Poor Israel. Their militarily rabbis tell the IDF to go treat the Palestinian heathens like the sub-human non-Jews they are, and after the ugly mess of Cast Lead, Israel has to endure mean words and condemnations – though no actual punishments – from other countries. This apparently causes Israel great anxiety about their right to defend themselves.
    Meanwhile, Israelis are telling Palestinian negotiators that the right of the Palestinians to defend themselves, to even control their own airspace, is a non-starter if they every hope to get the Israelis to call off the confiscation of their land.

    Reply

  57. nadine says:

    “The world is getting used to WikiLeaks-like moments.
    Livni covers all the ground here. She’s diplomatic, notes the possible inaccuracy, and is hopey changey. Can’t ask for better.” (questions)
    I suspect Tsipi Livni just cooked her goose with the Israeli public by saying airily, “oh, we’re giving the Golan away” – to Syria, now a client state of Iran. Not many will trust her to mind the store, after words like that. Score more centrist voters who will move from Kadima to Barak’s new Atzmaoot party.

    Reply

  58. nadine says:

    “A genuine two-state solution based on the withdrawal of Israel from the territories occupied in the 1967 war, or with equal territorial exchanges on each side of the Green Line, with nominal and symbolic right of return and a shared Jerusalem. That’s what the Palestinians wanted at Camp David, and that’s what the Israelis and Clinton mocked them for. Mocking them ever since has been joint Americans and Israeli party.” (Dan Kervick)
    Far from “mocking”, this describes the Taba Accords very closely. Ask Bill Clinton! Ask Dennis Ross! Ask Shlomo ben Ami! Which the Palestinians replied to with the terror war of the 2nd intifada.
    You keep insisting they weren’t offered the deal they WERE offered, based primarily on their refusal. It’s an unshakeable article of faith with you that the Palestinians want a two-state solution, so however many times they refuse one, you believe the only possible reason is that they weren’t actually offered one.
    This is faith-based foreign policy, Dan. It’s just wrong on all counts.
    Nobody gets the perfect deal, Dan. Not in real life. If you want the deal, you compromise, bargain hard, and take what you can get. The Palestinians never have.
    That’s because they never wanted a two-state solution. They want a two-stage solution instead.

    Reply

  59. non-hater says:

    P.O.A. – I doubt anyone who is debating Team Hasbara here is doing so because they think the bigots’ little minds are going to be changed.

    Reply

  60. Dan Kervick says:

    “… they agreed on which party would control the other 96 percent of the territory.”
    Yes, they both agreed that Israel should control all 96 percent of the territory. It’s amazing what progress can be made when slaves negotiate with their masters.

    Reply

  61. DonS says:

    Seems like wigwag’s bottom line is ‘hooray’, let the building continue. And let us not forget her analysis that the status quo is fine — for generations. It’s pretty low to take a tragedy, like the beaten down state of the Palestinian polity and psyche, and revel in it.
    This nasty business, read in the worst light of the Guardian story, does little but confirm the subservience and misguided efforts of Palestinian leaders and their powerlessness at the hands of the perfidy of Israeli and US officials. Whether the Palestinians were trying to make the best deal out of a no win situation or some other indescribable motive, the Israelis could apparently not be seen as accepting the outcome. The long term plan for continued theft of Palestinian land had to remain intact.
    Whether a groveling partner for peace, or a back channel actual partner, Israel comes off stripped of all it’s public excuses that no partner existed. Though wigwag chooses to distract attention to the nuances of the settlement issue — in which who is to say that Israel has indeed not played the US for a sucker as much as the Palestinians, as we have suspected — the fact of Israel’s apparent insincerity is clear.
    And speaking of crocodile tears, shed by the Israeli hardliners, the lamenting that real negotiations have been prevented for two year by the settlement freeze advocates isn’t even laughable. As their advocates have admitted, they want not genuine move towards peace.
    I sort of agree with Paul’s last words.

    Reply

  62. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Why the hell does anyone continue to bat heads with Nadine on this issue? Or Wig-wag??? They are damned propagandists, and despicable bigots. Both of them, recently, have made extremely racist comments directed towards the Arabs, that can ONLY be described as overt bigotry of the most detestable kind. Are people of such low character really worthy of being engaged in serious debate?
    People are beginning to get a complete picture of what Israel is becoming. First the New York Times, and now the Los Angeles Times, have ran large articles in the “A” sections of their papers, reporting on the increasingly racist direction Israeli government is taking, and the inevitable effect it has on Israeli society, fracturing it upon racial, religious, and ethnic lines.
    It is actually quite remarkable that ANY debate continues that has proponents presenting Israel as being interested in peace, human rights, democracy, or the rule of law. The “debate” has become a farce, little more than bad slapstick.
    Does anyone reading the daily dose of excrement that rolls off of Nadine and Wig-wag’s keyboards REALLY have any doubts what they are going to say from one thread to the next? Is there any point in reading any of it? Debating against it? What, all the sudden these propaganda spewing hasbarists are going to concede one iota of Israeli wrongdoing?
    When hell freezes over. What a pathetic waste of time.
    And who gives a shit what Pearlman has to say??? Has anyone ever seen him say anything worthwhile? If so, how about a link? I musta missed it.

    Reply

  63. WigWag says:

    Wow, reading the documents released by Al Jazeera is very revealing.
    The Israeli Government and the Abbas Government were apparently discussing almost every issue that served as an obstacle to a peace agreement. They were having detailed discussions about sovereignty in the Holy Basin and they seemed to be headed in the direction of an interim solution involving Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
    They were having an incredibly detailed discussion, going neighborhood by neighborhood to determine how Greater Jerusalem would be divided.
    They were discussing borders between the West Bank and Israel with the total difference between them amounting to about 4 percent of the territory; they agreed on which party would control the other 96 percent of the territory.
    They were even discussing the problem of Palestinian refugees.
    All of this was occurring while Israelis continued building in the West Bank; the problem of Israeli construction i West Bank settlement communities turned out to be no problem at all; at least when it came to serious negotiations.
    Then three things happened; (1)Hamas encouraged the launching of thousands of rockets into Israel reminding the Israelis that withdrawing from territory had little to do with achieving peace. (2) When Israel retaliated with Operation Cast Lead, the world made plain to the Israelis through Mr. Goldstone that it could not respond militarily to Palestinian provocation without risking international opprobrium. (3) Finally, Obama insisted on his settlement freeze which forced the Palestinians to withdraw their willingness to negotiate after the Israelis refused.
    This makes it quite likely that the Administration will announce shortly that it is vetoing the UN Security Council Resolution. Surely it must now see that by focusing on settlement construction it impeded rather than advanced the peace process. Of course another possibility is that Obama will fear that the revelations contained in the Al Jazeera leaks will so weaken the Palestinian Authority that he needs to at least abstain in the UN vote as a sign of support for an increasingly weak Palestinian Authority.
    All of this raises the question of who actually leaked the material. One would think that only three parties could have been in possession of it; members of the Israeli delegation, members of the Palestinian delegation or a third party such as the United States that might have been trusted enough by the parties to be given copies of the documents.
    Could the release have come from a disaffected member of the Palestinian team? I think this is highly unlikely given that few members of the PA have anything but hatred for Hamas and the document release supposedly weakens the PA and strengthens Hamas.
    It’s hard to see any reason why the Americans would leak the documents (if it even had them). What would be in it for the Obama Administration?
    It seems to me that it is highly likely that Israel leaked the documents to Al Jazeera. The documents strongly support the Israeli position that substantive negotiations can take place in the absence of a settlement freeze. They also support the proposition that Israel was willing and able to discuss borders in a serious way. The release of the documents also prove that the UN resolution about settlements is besides the point and that Hillary Clinton is right when she says that the only thing that matters is negotiations between the parties. Arguing against the release by the Israelis is that the documents demonstrate what Olmert was willing to offer and Netanyahu does not want to begin the talks where they left off between Olmert and Abbas. The Palestinians do want the discussions to begin where they left off.
    Perhaps the Netanyahu Government takes pleasure in embarrassing the Abbas Government for pushing the resolution in the first place.
    What’s remarkable about these documents (and the Wiki Leaks documents) is how they prove in a really incontrovertible way that the strategy recommended by the left and by the realist community seems always to be wrong.

    Reply

  64. Dan Kervick says:

    “has been joint Americans and Israeli party.”
    was supposed to be
    “has been joint American and Israeli policy.”

    Reply

  65. Dan Kervick says:

    “What, short of turning Israel into an Arab state, and driving out the Jews, could be sold the Palestinian people?”
    A genuine two-state solution based on the withdrawal of Israel from the territories occupied in the 1967 war, or with equal territorial exchanges on each side of the Green Line, with nominal and symbolic right of return and a shared Jerusalem. That’s what the Palestinians wanted at Camp David, and that’s what the Israelis and Clinton mocked them for. Mocking them ever since has been joint Americans and Israeli party.
    “… which you claim show the Palestinians in such a good light.”
    Excuse me, a good light? “Absurd”, “Impotent”, “Fake”? Read again please.
    “… is that the Israelis are shown saying the same thing in private as they say in public, while it’s the Palestinians who are running around denying the whole thing as the lies of their enemies.”
    Well of course. Why would the Israelis have to lie to their public about their team’s success in obliterating and humiliating their negotiating partners, pocketing every concession they asked for and getting the Palestinians to relinquish their dream of a state in favor of an Israeli patrolled Arab Quarter? If I were the Israelis, I would brag about that too.

    Reply

  66. nadine says:

    “The surrender of land Palestinians have lived on for centuries ”
    What rubbish.
    Most of the Palestinians haven’t been in East Jerusalem any longer than the Jews. In the mid 19th century, Jerusalem was a small town, and mostly Jewish and Christian at that. Somehow the Guardian has swallowed the Palestinian narrative in which each Arab of today gets to attach himself as the heir of the Arabs of past centuries, whether related or not; but this only works for Arabs. When you point out that most of Jerusalem was Jewish back then, you get told, “but they weren’t Zionists”. Well not one of the Arabs was Palestinian!

    Reply

  67. nadine says:

    “Nothing that came out of this zany political dada could have possibly been sold to the Palestinian people as an acceptable resolution of the conflict.” (Dan Kervick)
    What, short of turning Israel into an Arab state, and driving out the Jews, could be sold the Palestinian people?
    Remember the Palesitnians have been sold a steady diet of grievance and denial of Israel’s legitimacy. The Jews have nothing to do with Palestine, they are taught. Never did. The Jews come from Europe and Africa, says the PA. Israel was only created because of the Holocaust, which is another lie the Jews invented.
    Not a very fertile ground for peace.
    The thing worth noting about these leaked documents, which you claim show the Palestinians in such a good light, and the Israelis in such a bad one, is that the Israelis are shown saying the same thing in private as they say in public, while it’s the Palestinians who are running around denying the whole thing as the lies of their enemies.
    Can’t wait for JohnH to once again conclude this leak must be a Mossad operation on that account.

    Reply

  68. Paul Norheim says:

    “And if anyone is brave enough to paste in something from
    Ha’aretz, go for it.”
    Questions, I couldn’t see anything so far, in the couple of
    articles in Ha’aretz, that hasn’t been reported elsewhere.
    It all boils down to this: “Israeli leaders, backed by the U.S.
    government, said the offers were inadequate.”
    Fuck the US. Fuck Israel.

    Reply

  69. Bill Pearlman says:

    Boy, al-jazeera and the guardian. You might has well dig up Julius Streicher. Then of course your buddy boys, the sainted Palestinians ( which meant Jews before 1948 ) denied the whole thing. Interesting situation, or not.
    btw Don’t any of you ever take a break from the elders of Zion conspiracies and watch a football game. I know soccer and camel racing are probably the favorite sports, maybe ballet. But what the hell.

    Reply

  70. Dan Kervick says:

    The protracted negotiations were evidently going absolutely nowhere outside the insane little circle of their own fermented participants. They had apparently descended into depths of inbred absurdity, with impotent and unpopular Palestine leaders making desperate and humiliating and fantastical concessions to please their mad American and Israeli bosses, and to hold onto their own ridiculous positions as the fake negotiating partners in a fake process of fake show negotiations designed purely for world public diplomatic consumption.
    Nothing that came out of this zany political dada could have possibly been sold to the Palestinian people as an acceptable resolution of the conflict. The Israeli and American contribution to the challenge of Palestinian self-determination and statehood was, “please accept this slave box and call it a state.”
    From the Guardian editorial page,
    “The surrender of land Palestinians have lived on for centuries prompts more demands. Not only does Israel want all of East Jerusalem, Har Homa, and the settlement blocs of Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim which carve strategic swathes out of the West Bank. Not only does it insist on a demilitarised state. It also wants Palestinian leaders to sign away their future. When Mr Erekat asked Ms Livni: “Short of your jet fighters in my sky and your army on my territory, can I choose where I secure external defence?”. She replied: “No. In order to create your state you have to agree in advance with Israel

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  71. Dan Kervick says:

    “Drawing inspiration from the revolt in Tunisia, thousands of Yemenis fed up with their president’s 32-year rule demanded his ouster Saturday in a noisy demonstration that appeared to be the first large-scale public challenge to the strongman.”
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110123/ap_on_re_us/tunisia_spreading_protests

    Reply

  72. WigWag says:

    If the documents released by Al Jazeera are genuine they are devastating to the assertion made by Steve Clemons and other that settlement construction is a serious impediment to peace talks. They also prove how tragically wrong the Obama Administration was when it listened to the likes of Daniel Levy and his J-Street friends and focused on promoting a settlement freeze.
    If the documents are to be believed, as recently as late 2008, the Israeli Government and the leaders of the Palestinian Authority were engaged in substantive and detailed negotiations about borders, the status of the Old City and the rest of Jerusalem and the fate of Palestinian refugees. Even a cursory examination of the documents shows that discussions between Qureia and his Israeli counterparts were so intensive that they literally included a neighborhood by neighborhood discussion about what areas would be retained by the Israelis, what would be ceded to the Palestinians and what land Israel would trade in return for some of the land that it kept.
    During the entirety of these discussions Israeli settlement construction continued unhindered (except by the Israeli promise to George Bush and Condi Rice to only build up and not out in the West Bank). The fact that we now know how detailed the negotiations got, puts the lie to the idea proposed by Steve and his fellow travelers that settlement construction was a fatal blow to negotiations. If these documents are true; that assertion is now put to rest.
    It also proves how seriously flawed President Obama’s strategy was. The documents verify that very serious bargaining was taking place between Israelis and Palestinians. These negotiations only stopped after Obama took office and the new President insisted that Israel freeze settlement construction even in Jerusalem. When the Israelis refused (citing the fact that a freeze in construction had never been a condition of prior negotiations) the Palestinians walked away because they were unable to insist on conditions less dogmatic than what the Obama Administration was insisting on.
    No wonder the star of Dennis Ross is ascending; he realized from the start that the strategy being pursued by the Obama Administration was more likely to impede the serious discussions that were taking place rather than advance them. Tragically, Obama decided to follow the advice of Steve Clemons, Daniel Levy, Jeremy Ben-Ami and others and make the settlement issue a cause-celebre. As a result, the once serious discussions are now moribund and there

    Reply

  73. Dan Kervick says:

    “There are only two possibilities; (1)that Saeb Erekat and Ahmed Qureia are telling the truth when they say the released documents are a fabriation; or (2) despite Erekat’s and Qureia’s claims to the contrary, the documents are real and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority fears leveling with the Palestinian people about the proposals that it made.”
    I’m betting on the second, which is what happens when you sponsor a “peace process” that forces a weak leader of a weak and invaded people to lick the bottom of his oppressors’ shoes to beg for a fake puppet state, and then hope that when his people find out they are willing to accept the dust they have been handed and engage in the same pathetic groveling.

    Reply

  74. questions says:

    Off topic, totally,but geeze:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/23/global-health-fund-fraud_n_812801.html
    Vast fraud in celebrity international fund. The privates can do better than the publics fer sure.
    Of course, this is HuffPo, so who knows!

    Reply

  75. questions says:

    And this:
    http://transparency.aljazeera.net/document/4736
    This is for the “package”.
    “Security
    * The

    Reply

  76. Dan Kervick says:

    “Why not just let it alone, and pay attention to Iran like the Arabs want?”
    Because the United States and Europe shouldn’t be taking its lessons in international law from a bunch of backward monarchies and despotisms. Arab states didn’t build the international order that is crumbling.

    Reply

  77. questions says:

    Here’s more from the same document:
    “Rice: – You can trust that we will have no one take part in what is happening between you.
    * We will not announce Berlin meeting but we may announce about it after it takes place.
    Livni: We will see what will happen between Abu Ala? and me, and then decide about the meeting.
    Rice: It will be helpful to declare that the negotiations are achieving slow progress and that there are calls to convene international conferences since Annapolis has been torn apart.”
    ****
    Again, the diction would seem to suggest that this isn’t verbatim speech, but is rather notes or some other thing.

    Reply

  78. nadine says:

    questions, it’s interesting that according to the jpost writeup, one of the documents describes the Olmert offer to Abbas, the one jdledell keeps claiming never existed:
    “One of the documents is a summary of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer to PA President Mahmoud Abbas on August 31, 2008.
    According to the offer, which Israel maintains Abbas never responded to, Israel would annex 6.8% of the West Bank, including the four main settlement blocs: Gus Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, and Ariel, as well as all of the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line, including Har Homa, in exchange for 5.5% of Israeli territory elsewhere.
    A special road would connect Bethlehem with Ramallah that would bypass east Jerusalem and go around Ma’ale Adumim. East Jerusalem would be divided territorially along the lines of the Clinton parameters, meaning Jewish neighborhoods to Israel, and Arab neighborhoods to the Palestinians, with the exception of the “Holy Basin,” whose sovereignty would be negotiated later with the involvement of the US, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.
    On refugees Israel would acknowledge the “suffering” of refugees, but not take responsibility for it, and there would be mention in the agreement of Israeli or Jewish “suffering.”
    Israel would take in 1,000 refugees a year for five years on “humanitarian grounds, and would contribute to compensation of refugees “based on suffering.”
    This package made no mention of the Jordan Valley, nor of Israel’s security requirements.”
    The jpost says this cache was not part of Wikileaks. So who leaked it?

    Reply

  79. questions says:

    Here’s a quotation from Livni that makes almost no sense to me….
    “Livni: – I want to be able to live with the decisions that I take. I am not an expert in everything and I do not know if we are in need of alert stations. It is not our army only that decides. I supported withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.”
    So is this being typed up by a court stenographer, or what?
    http://transparency.aljazeera.net/document/2825
    The point here is that if this is note-taking, subtleties seem to be off a bit. If it’s transcription, then it’s just odd. At least this line seems odd.

    Reply

  80. questions says:

    Here’s a link to al-Jazeera’s site with the actual documents.
    http://english.aljazeera.net/palestinepapers/
    They are minutes from meetings, so this is already at some level of indirectness. It’s not transcriptions of voice recordings, or video. These are meeting notes by one side.
    It’s a job to go through and verify….

    Reply

  81. Carroll says:

    “I’m reminded in these revelations of the Palestine Papers of Netanyahu’s video taped comments that Americans are easily manipulated.”
    I have seen that on the net before, but has anyone ever shown that clip on any US TV channels or networks, Fox, MSNBC, CNN?
    If they have I didn’t see it…wonder what would happen if they did show it for Americans to see?
    Maybe we need more grassroots as well influential personages like Steve to help demand an I/P settlement. I think I will copy and send the clip to our locally broadcast news hour and political talk show. Couldn’t hurt.

    Reply

  82. questions says:

    And Livni,
    “Opposition leader Tzipi Livni reacted to the leaked Palestinian documents by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian saying she intended to continue to respect the discreet nature of peace talks so as to allow them to be renewed so the conflict could be resolved.

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  83. WigWag says:

    Thanks, Questions, for the link to the New York Times article; it provides even more evidence that the claim that Steve made in this post, that “Palestine wanted deal badly” is wildly off the mark.
    There are only two possibilities; (1)that Saeb Erekat and Ahmed Qureia are telling the truth when they say the released documents are a fabriation; or (2) despite Erekat’s and Qureia’s claims to the contrary, the documents are real and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority fears leveling with the Palestinian people about the proposals that it made.
    If the documents were a forgery and the putative offers attributed to the Palestinian side where never made, than Steve has no basis for his claim that the Palestinians “badly wanted” a deal.
    If the documents are genuine and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority is now so desperate to hide the offers they made on behalf of the Palestinian people because they know Palestinians will be outraged by the compromises they were willing to make, it still proves that Palestinians don’t badly want a deal. It would make plain that the Palestinians are happier with the status quo than they would be with a peace based on what Erekat proposed.
    Either way, Steve’s assertion is plainly not supported by the facts of this story and should be withdrawn.

    Reply

  84. questions says:

    No offense taken. I rarely do get offended, though there are some things that set me off (smile).
    Emotionally connected — yes. But not in any position to judge what’s up here.
    Education policy I pay lots of attention to, I read a lot, I think I know something about the issues, so I feel quite fine being fairly anti-Duncan as I think he’s made many bad decisions.
    But the veracity of a document dump to al-Jazeera that is being denied by the people quoted in the dump in a situation rife with psy-ops and claims and counter-claims…. Makes me wonder.
    And just the fantasy component has me wondering. Seriously, EVERYthing that has been complained about shows up just as people wanted it…. Is it because these really are the issues and the Palestinians were really ready to give in to all of this, or is it because it hits some buttons and will cause some misery to … everyone involved.
    I don’t know.

    Reply

  85. DonS says:

    Not meaning to be too snarky Questions. But, know, in ‘my’ opinion, it’s important to jump into the fray, not just reflect from the outside. And I know you do jump in the fray and, on many, mostly domestic issues (e.g., arne duncan) are pretty forceful. I applaud that.
    Maybe you don’t feel too emotionally connected to the issue. Anyway, sorry if I offended you.

    Reply

  86. questions says:

    DonS,
    The principals are denying things. I give them a bit of weight at this poin, though not vast weight. People will deny stuff.
    It’s all early in the dump, there’s much to be analyzed, and the analysis is way above my pay grade.
    So for now, maybe it’s not true. If I see principals start to fess up, I’ll change the negation. And note that the negation is qualified with a question mark, my favorite punctuation mark.

    Reply

  87. questions says:

    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=204916
    The al-Jazeera war on the Palestinians….
    And on a slightly different topic, A. Lieberman denies map, or something…..
    http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=204910

    Reply

  88. DonS says:

    “Maybe it’s just not true?”
    Now why, questions, would you resolve the rhetorical quandary that way instead of the other.
    To piss off Clemons. To be contrarian as a matter of principle? Because of prior analytical analysis and verification?
    To jump in the conversation somewhere?

    Reply

  89. questions says:

    And here’s the JPost write up….
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=204914
    Their take:
    “With the Palestinian Authority making an international incident over every plan to build in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem beyond the Green Line, a cache of some 1,600 documents

    Reply

  90. nadine says:

    Of course I don’t agree with so-called international law that says the Green Line was no border at all pre 1967, but is absolutely sacred post 1967.
    If you bother to read the documents on which international law is based, like, say, the Geneva Conventions, they take a dim view of aggressive wars and do not recommend simply handing lost territory back to the aggressor; still less do they require it as a point of law.
    The Left has turned the traditional concept of international law upside down in its quest for one-world government by non elected elites.

    Reply

  91. nadine says:

    I didn’t accuse Arafat, that was the arch-dove, Shlomo Ben Ami.

    Reply

  92. samuelburke says:

    More Norman Finkelstein.
    “My concern is let

    Reply

  93. nadine says:

    questions, from the raw material of 1600 leaked cables you can construct nearly anything you’ve a mind to. Maybe I missed the footnotes, but the Guardian’s coverage seemed long on conclusions and short on quotes.

    Reply

  94. JohnH says:

    Funny! Nadine accuses Arafat of not being interested in international law. Let’s see, how many UNSC resolutions has Israel blown off? How many times has it disregarded Geneva Conventions?
    And Nadine herself has never seen an Israeli atrocity that she didn’t like.

    Reply

  95. questions says:

    “The chief Palestinian negotiator in the 2008 talks, Ahmed Qureia, told The Associated Press that “many parts of the documents were fabricated, as part of the incitement against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian leadership.” ”
    From the same link as above.
    I think a little calm, unhysteria, time for the press to do its thing…might be in order. Maybe.
    When a document, or 1600 documents, seem too good to be true, maybe they are too good to be true?
    This ‘leak’ hits every single fantasy point, from land and international control of Jerusalem to absorption of some returnees…. Land exchanges, the whole 9 yards.
    Maybe it’s just not true?

    Reply

  96. questions says:

    “Palestinian negotiators quickly denied the reports, saying parts of the documents were fabricated. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he has kept Arab countries fully briefed on the negotiations with Israel. ”
    ….
    “The current chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, dismissed the TV report as “lies and half truths.”
    Abbas told Egyptian newspaper editors in Cairo on Sunday that he kept the Arab League updated on all details of the negotiations with Israel, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa. “I don’t know from where Al-Jazeera came with secret things,” Abbas was quoted as saying. “There is nothing we hide from our brothers, the Arabs.” ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/01/23/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Israel-Palestinians-Talks.html?hp
    ************
    AIPAC psy-ops?????!!!!!!

    Reply

  97. nadine says:

    This Shlomo Ben Ami quote is more to the point
    “…international law was the last

    Reply

  98. samuelburke says:

    Here is an exerpt from the transcript of the debate between
    Shlomo Ben-Ami and Norman Finkelstein.
    “The main context, in my opinion, is as follows. Since the mid-
    1970s, there

    Reply

  99. Dan Kervick says:

    If the reports are accurate, they only add further attestation to a fact long since in evidence: the utter sterility and manifest bad faith of US peace-processism. The latter is a sham policy, designed to appease global audiences with a semblance of good faith and progress, while accomplishing absolutely nothing.
    You can’t solve a conflict between a predator and its prey through bilateral negotiations, at least not in a way that defends justice and the rule of law.
    The international community must find a way either to put more pressure on the US to come up with something really serious and prove it is the actual leader of the international community, or else to begin to elbow the US aside. And the US has to decide whether it wants to rebuild a strong international order in which it occupies a privileged place, or else wants to preside with a top-heavy military load of sham power over its own continued decline and decadence.
    Right now, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Obama administration actively supports territorial aggression, ethnic cleansing, old-school colonialism and racial chauvinism. I suppose it shouldn’t be too hard for people around the world to believe that a nation that owes much of its development to the labor of enslaved Africans, and that spent three centuries pushing native Americans out of their homes and onto miserable reservations, would continue to support these kinds of depredations. But one might have hoped for more from America’s first African-American president.

    Reply

  100. JohnH says:

    Nadine, the outrageous: “Steve is working hard to undermine the diplomatic efforts he thinks he is championing?!?”
    In fact, Steve is focusing on precisely the issue that would jump start the peace process–ending Israel’s non-stop land grab and settlement construction.
    Instead, Netanyahu killed any hopes of a peace process when he refused to give any tangible sign that Israel is willing to forgo settlement activity ever.

    Reply

  101. Carroll says:

    Most of us already knew this.
    “Al-Jazeera TV reports that the Palestinian Authority offered in June 15 of 2008 that Israel annex all settlements in Jerusalem except Har Homa, the first time in history the Palestinians made such a proposal, one that they refused to in Camp David.
    Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, also proposed in an October 2009 meeting that Jerusalem’s Old City be divided, giving Israel the control over the Jewish Quarter and part of the Armenian Quarter.” Ha’aretz Service
    As I have said repeately, Israel does not understand anything but force. Starting with financial force would be first, ending with military force as a last resort if necessary….and some day it will be…scorpions always bite the frog.
    My crystal ball is never wrong.

    Reply

  102. nadine says:

    “Any fair reading of the article proves that if it is correct, Steve has it exactly backwards; it suggests the Palestinians far from being anxious for a deal oppose any of the compromises that will be needed to get one.” (Wigwag)
    …and as even Steve points out, the Palestinians could not at all be trusted to deliver the deal they spoke of in private but denied in public. Somehow, this too is supposed to increase Israel’s guilt. Never mind that Israel would be giving up real tangible assets, while the Palestinians would only give up promises, which their track record suggests they never keep.
    I can’t follow Steve’s logic here. I suppose it’s the usual – Israel, being the only grown-up in the room, is responsible for everything.
    I must say, the new Left functionally infantalizes the poor “brown, oppressed” people they claim to champion. At least the 19th century colonialists thought the natives were capable of improvement. Today’s Left thinks it’s bigoted to hold them up to Western standards.

    Reply

  103. JohnH says:

    Interesting point, DonS. Wigwag also refuses to acknowledge the psychological operation that government leaders, media, and wealthy elites conduct constantly to shape and rally public opinion around their agenda.
    The fact that much American opinion is sympathetic to Israeli reveals nothing more than successful public relations. And the fact that American public opinion is becoming less sympathetic reveals that Zionist elites are losing their grip on the narrative.

    Reply

  104. Carroll says:

    Most of us already knew this.
    “Al-Jazeera TV reports that the Palestinian Authority offered in June 15 of 2008 that Israel annex all settlements in Jerusalem except Har Homa, the first time in history the Palestinians made such a proposal, one that they refused to in Camp David.
    Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, also proposed in an October 2009 meeting that Jerusalem’s Old City be divided, giving Israel the control over the Jewish Quarter and part of the Armenian Quarter.” Ha’aretz Service
    As I have said repeately, Israel does not understand anything but force. Starting with financial force would be first, ending with military force as a last resort if necessary….and some day it will be.
    My crystal ball is never wrong.

    Reply

  105. JohnH says:

    If Israel offered the Palestinians most everything they could ever want at Taba, why not publish the transcripts and embarrass the Palestinian side? Instead, all we have is self-serving Israeli propaganda that the Israel Firsters here never tire of quoting.
    Having watched Israeli propaganda and distortion for 40 years now, I expect that the Taba transcripts would reveal that Israel was prepared to give a lot less than advertised. And that Israeli conditions relating to control of air, water, land, and borders basically amounted to the status quo under a new name.
    It would be refreshing to see some evidence of Israel bargaining in good faith instead of merely giving the appearance of being reasonable to mask intransigence and determination to conduct ever more ethnic cleansing.

    Reply

  106. DonS says:

    Seems to me wig wag your point is simply that because the Israeli leadership is intransigent, and the Israeli public backs that intransigence there is no seeming need for Israel to work for peace. Granted. How does that negate the fact that Palestinian leaders were willing to try to work for peace even though their own populations showed great intransigence as well. It merely confirms that the Israeli leadership have been as big or really bigger a roadblock to negotiations, at least during this window. Israel’s own protestations that it favored a peace deal were so much window dressing; more than the Palestinians. This particular post indicates that the Palestinian leadership, which after all is the actual negotiating entity, was far more serious than the Israelis. The posture of both publics is usually belligerent. But the Palestinians were more willing to negotiate, not participate in a charade.
    I try not to conflate the “public” with the “leaders” although you do it all the time; most notably stating “Americans” place Israel very high in their electoral calculus, whereas it is the American leaders who joust about such things — I can’t remember I/P being big in any recent campaign; and that of course is because all of the leaders candidates grovel at the altar of AIPAC, not because the issue is at the top of American’s list of concerns.

    Reply

  107. WigWag says:

    The post, DonS, is about what the Palestinians want not what the Israelis want; all you need to do is read the headline, “Palestine Wanted Deal Badly” to see that.
    The Freedland article states very clearly that the Israelis have adopted the same positions privately and publically while the results of a public airing of the Palestinian position is a feeling of ridicule on the part of the Palestinian people and public opprobrium likely to be directed towards Erekat and Abbas.
    It also makes plain that the lengths that Erekat and Abbas were supposedly willing to go to achieve a peace deal are so unpopular with the Palestinian people that the Palestinian Authority might be significantly weakened and Hamas significantly strengthened as a result.
    I don’t know if the documents Freedland alludes to exist, whether they’ve been selectively leaked to embarrass Erekat or whether they are even accurate.
    But if they are accurate, and if the Palestinian people do indeed react in the manner predicted by Freedland, than this proves that the Palestinians don’t want a deal badly but that they hardly want one at all.
    If the Palestinians badly wanted a two-state deal they would be applaud Erekat not end his political career. If the Palestinians liked the conciliatory attitude supposedly put forward by Erekat and Abbas, they would increase their support of the Palestinian Authority not eschew the Palestinian Authority in favor of Hamas. Yet Freedland claims that the documents will severely injure Erekat, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.
    Any fair reading of the article proves that if it is correct, Steve has it exactly backwards; it suggests the Palestinians far from being anxious for a deal oppose any of the compromises that will be needed to get one.

    Reply

  108. DonS says:

    Yeah, that’s right Wig wag, Netanyahu and Liberman would have no re-election problems if the the Israeli public actually found out they were willing to deal fairly with the Palestinians. Steve has it right; Israel has boxed itself into a position where they refuse to deal honestly and they rely on the US to back up their lies that it’s all the Palestinians fault. And that’s just fine with you because your just fine with ‘progress’ being measured in generations, while Israel continues to steal land.

    Reply

  109. WigWag says:

    When the Palestinian leadership states in public what they supposedly say in private, then we can conclude that the Palestinians want a deal badly.
    Actually a plain reading of the Guardian article that Steve links to proves the precise opposite of what Steve and Jonathan Freedland claim; the article and the supposed documents in question prove that the Palestinians are opposed to any deal.
    Whatever Saeb Erekat or Mohammed Abbas want or don’ want, it is clear, if the article is to be believed, that the Palestinians oppose a viable two state solution.
    After all, Mr. Freedland says that the revelation of what Erekat supposedly agreed to will be damage Palestinian self-esteem and that it will damage Erekat’s career perhaps permanently. Freedland also makes the assertion that by agreeing to things that will almost certainly have to be part of a final agreement, the Palestinian Authority has damaged itself and strengthened Hamas.
    If the Palestinian people can’t be told in public what their leaders have agreed to, and if once word leaks, they are infuriated, it suggests that the Palestinians don’t want an agreement but instead oppose an agreement.
    Unlike the Palestinians, Freedland admits that successive Israeli Governments have been saying the same thing in public that they have been saying in private.
    Unfortunately, Steve has it backwards all of this suggests that the Palestinians are hostile to an agreement. If he reads the Freedland piece more carefully, he would undoubtedly see that the headline to his post should be altered.
    Instead, it should say “Palestinians Oppose a Two State Solution.”

    Reply

  110. Karin says:

    Sorry…”Palestinians”…excuse my typo

    Reply

  111. Karin says:

    This has the potential for catastrophe, not just among
    Pelstinians.
    Two things Pres. Obama could do to pivot:
    1) vote yes or do not veto anti-settlements res at UNSC
    2) reconstitute US negotiating team: I nominate Tom
    Pickering to lead. Deep cred, nobody’s fool, no liberal.

    Reply

  112. non-hater says:

    Steve, people have been pointing out for years that the government of Israel has never seriously bargained for peace. The proof has been in plain view, laid in concrete – the concrete poured for each new settlement in the Occupied Territories. These documents only confirm the obvious.
    The two state solution is dead.

    Reply

  113. anthony says:

    It’s high time our leaders understand that Israelis lie and deceive even to their greatest allies because their ideology compels them to. They regard themselves as “under threat”. This siege mentality is corrosive to the Israeli society.

    Reply

  114. jonst says:

    We are indeed, Steve. We are indeed. And by the most juvenile, simplistic, mawkish nonsense. Delivered, often, by evil men and women. Delivered, other times, buy dopes and dupes.

    Reply

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