Ziyad Clot, a French lawyer who advised the Palestinian side in negotiatios with Israel during the Annapolis effort, has announced himself as the whistle-blower and source of the highly controversial “Palestine Papers.”
He reports today at Al Jazeera why he did it. This shows that former lead negoatiater Saeb Erekat was wrong about the source of the papers when he accused Al Jazeera Transparency Project chief Clayton Swisher of being a CIA agent who orchestrated this. Erekat recently retracted the charges against Swisher, who is author and editor of a book release this week titled The Palestine Papers: The End of the Road?.
A clip of Ziyad Clot’s statement which should be read in full:
The “peace negotiations” were a deceptive farce, whereby biased terms were unilaterally imposed by Israel and systematically endorsed by the US and EU capitals. Far from enabling a negotiated fair end of the conflict, the pursuit of the Oslo process has deepened Israeli segregationist policies and justified the tightening of the security control imposed on the Palestinian population as well as its geographical fragmentation.
Far for preserving the land on which to build a State, it has tolerated the intensification of the colonisation of the Palestinian territory. Far from maintaining a national cohesion, the process I participated in, albeit briefly, proved to be instrumental in creating and aggravating divisions amongst Palestinians. In its most recent developments, it became a cruel enterprise from which the Palestinians of Gaza have suffered the most. Last but not least, these negotiations excluded for the most part the great majority of the Palestinian people: the 7 million-Palestinian refugees. My experience over those 11 months spent in Ramallah confirms in fact that the PLO, given its structure, was not in a position to represent all Palestinian rights and interests.
After I resigned, I believed I had a duty to inform the public of the most alarming developments of the Israeli-Palestinian talks. These talks were unfair, misleading and became unsustainable.
Tragically, the Palestinians were left uninformed of the fate of their individual and collective rights in the negotiations and their divided political leaderships were not held accountable for their decisions or inaction.
This account reinforces for me why I believe that ultimately neither the Palestinian nor the Israeli political system can bear the stress of making constructive compromises leading to a two-state solution. Sitting both parties in the room and pushing them to work toward compromise is folly.
A structure of stakeholders that shoves the parties forward, with them reluctant but ultimately agreeing, is the only way I feel that a stable two-state producing equilibrium can be reached.
— Steve Clemons
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