Leaked Palistinian docs show weakened, desperate Abbas

Much is being made this morning of a hugely significant leak of documents from more than a decade of peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. They seem to indicate that the Palestinians offered what, on the surface appears to be, rather generous terms.

Left wing Haaretz:

Al-Jazeera TV reported that the Palestinian Authority offered Israel all settlements in Jerusalem except Har Homa on June 15, 2008.Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, also proposed in an October 2009 meeting that Jerusalem's Old City be divided, ceding Israel control over the Jewish Quarter and part of the Armenian Quarter.

Further details reveal a Palestinian agreement to the return of only 100,000 Palestinian refugees into Israel, and that Erekat agreed to the Israeli demand of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

The documents also reveal that the Palestinian negotiators, in an effort to move forward on the hyper-sensitive issue of the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, proposed a joint committee to administer the Temple Mount.

The offer was made in 2008 after the Annapolis conference. Why would the Palestinian leadership put their heads on the chopping block for making such generous concessions?

This was one in a series of concessions made to Israel by Palestinian negotiators in an effort to move closer to independent statehood. The documents give the impression of a weakened Palestinian Authority and growing desperation among its leaders because of impasses in talks and the growing strength of Hamas.

Israeli negotiators come across in the minutes as confident while U.S. politicians seem dismissive toward Palestinian representatives, according to the Guardian.

The question isn't what the Palestinians offered, but whether they could have followed through and delivered. That much is not in the leaked cables from Wikileaks nor in these documents leaked by a "British funded PLO support group."

It seems virtually certain that no Palestinian authority could have sold this plan to Hamas, or even Fatah cadres. It was more than a bridge too far; it would have been beyond the imagination of Palestinians even today to compromise on Jerusalem or the right of return, or most especially, recognition of the right to exist for the state of Israel.

The anti-Israelis are trumpeting these documents as "proof" that the Palestinians want peace and that it is Israeli intransigence that is standing in the way. Nonsense. As Israel Matzav points out, the Jerusalem Post had this story last year. The blog also notes that the peace process blew up not because of Israeli "intransigence" but because Hamas choose to fire rockets every day into Israel indiscriminately killing civilians. The Israeli reaction to go in and take out those rockets was just what Hamas needed to derail peace talks that they neither want nor are interested in participating in.

Sorry, but Israel doesn't do suicide. In order to have a "partner for peace" the Palestinians need to prove that they can follow through on any negotiated settlement. Does anyone not rabidly anti-Israel believe that Abbas has that kind of influence or power?

Not hardly.


Much is being made this morning of a hugely significant leak of documents from more than a decade of peace talks between the Palestinians and the Israelis. They seem to indicate that the Palestinians offered what, on the surface appears to be, rather generous terms.

Left wing Haaretz:

Al-Jazeera TV reported that the Palestinian Authority offered Israel all settlements in Jerusalem except Har Homa on June 15, 2008.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, also proposed in an October 2009 meeting that Jerusalem's Old City be divided, ceding Israel control over the Jewish Quarter and part of the Armenian Quarter.

Further details reveal a Palestinian agreement to the return of only 100,000 Palestinian refugees into Israel, and that Erekat agreed to the Israeli demand of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

The documents also reveal that the Palestinian negotiators, in an effort to move forward on the hyper-sensitive issue of the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, proposed a joint committee to administer the Temple Mount.

The offer was made in 2008 after the Annapolis conference. Why would the Palestinian leadership put their heads on the chopping block for making such generous concessions?

This was one in a series of concessions made to Israel by Palestinian negotiators in an effort to move closer to independent statehood. The documents give the impression of a weakened Palestinian Authority and growing desperation among its leaders because of impasses in talks and the growing strength of Hamas.

Israeli negotiators come across in the minutes as confident while U.S. politicians seem dismissive toward Palestinian representatives, according to the Guardian.

The question isn't what the Palestinians offered, but whether they could have followed through and delivered. That much is not in the leaked cables from Wikileaks nor in these documents leaked by a "British funded PLO support group."

It seems virtually certain that no Palestinian authority could have sold this plan to Hamas, or even Fatah cadres. It was more than a bridge too far; it would have been beyond the imagination of Palestinians even today to compromise on Jerusalem or the right of return, or most especially, recognition of the right to exist for the state of Israel.

The anti-Israelis are trumpeting these documents as "proof" that the Palestinians want peace and that it is Israeli intransigence that is standing in the way. Nonsense. As Israel Matzav points out, the Jerusalem Post had this story last year. The blog also notes that the peace process blew up not because of Israeli "intransigence" but because Hamas choose to fire rockets every day into Israel indiscriminately killing civilians. The Israeli reaction to go in and take out those rockets was just what Hamas needed to derail peace talks that they neither want nor are interested in participating in.

Sorry, but Israel doesn't do suicide. In order to have a "partner for peace" the Palestinians need to prove that they can follow through on any negotiated settlement. Does anyone not rabidly anti-Israel believe that Abbas has that kind of influence or power?

Not hardly.


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