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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

'Palestinians' hit back at al-Jazeera

The 'Palestinians' hit back at al-Jazeera on Monday night for articles like this one and for videos like the one I am going to show you below.
The Palestine Papers, then, underscore the seeming impossibility of resolving the status of settlements like Ma’ale Adumim and Ariel: Palestinian negotiators cannot accept them, and Israeli negotiators cannot dismantle them.

There is a third option, which Palestinian negotiators raised in several meetings: those Jewish settlements could be allowed to remain as part of the future Palestinian state. Ahmed Qurei made that suggestion to Tzipi Livni several times in 2008, including this exchange in June:
Qurei: Perhaps Ma’ale Adumim will remain under Palestinian sovereignty, and it could be a model for cooperation and coexistence.

Livni: The matter is not simply giving a passport to settlers.
The Israeli foreign minister refused to entertain the idea. “You know this is not realistic,” she told Qurei in May.

Asked about Qurei’s offer earlier this month, residents in Ma’ale Adumim reacted with a mix of laughter and disbelief. Some wrote it off as a political impossibility; others worried about their safety, claiming that they would be killed.

There is, in other words, seemingly no mutually acceptable policy for Ma’ale Adumim, Ariel, and other major West Bank settlements within a two-state solution – a fact the Bush administration was willing to acknowledge in July 2008.
Rice: I don’t think that any Israeli leader is going to cede Ma’ale Adumim.

Qurei: Or any Palestinian leader.

Rice: Then you won’t have a state!
Rice may prove to be correct: Two and a half years later, the parties are no closer to a solution on settlements, and the Israeli government may be gearing up to issue a “massive” new round of housing permits for illegal settlers in the West Bank.
Let's go to the videotape.

How long did it take you to notice the line that said "reconstruction" in the top left corner?

There are three possibilities here: The documents are true, or the documents are not true and al-Jazeera did this because Qatar has tired of the 'Palestinians,' or the documents are not true and al-Jazeera did this because Qatar wants to see Fatah replaced by Hamas. I'm inclined to the third possibility. I am becoming more and more convinced that Melanie Phillips is right and that these documents don't reflect the real 'Palestinian' position. I find it hard to believe that the sleazy Olmert would have passed on what al-Jazeera claims the 'Palestinians' offered.

But Amjad Atallah, who claims he was there, claims that the documents are real.
I was one of the legal advisors for the Palestinian negotiating team from November 2000 to November 2003 and took my fair share of minutes and notes, though the Taba talks in 2001 were the only formal permanent status negotiations during my stint.

This story is only beginning and it's impossible to predict where it will lead, but I think there are three points that stand out right away from the analysis and revelations in both AJE and the Guardian newspaper (which has also had access to the documents.)

The first is that the documents kill, with great gusto, the myth created by President Bill Clinton that the Palestinians were not a partner at Camp David and that Palestinians were to blame for the lack of a two-state deal. I knew this of course from being there, but apparently 10 years of documents showing Palestinian concessions that would be shocking to the Palestinian public mean that you would have to be ideologically committed to ignoring reality to still think the Palestinians were the problem.

I don't know what the ramifications of this will be in the United States or Europe, but if there is no impact on Western policy it will confirm that a United States deferential only to Israel and a Europe deferential only to the United States cannot be part of the solution.

The second point is that the Palestinian negotiating team, composed of literally a handful of men, will no longer be able to continue with business as usual. Palestinian negotiations were based on three assumptions: The first is that Israel actually wants a two-state deal; the second is that even if Israel did not, the United States would be able to pressure it into acting in its own self-interest (at least as the Americans and Palestinians saw it); and third that Palestinians had no alternative to never-ending negotiations.

It is doubtful that Palestinians will be able to continue maintaining those assumptions.

The third and final point is that the context of these leaks comes at a time when its impact may be amplified. WikiLeaks' data dump of U.S. diplomatic records; the demonstrations in Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen; and Hezbollah's success in Lebanon have created an atmosphere of empowerment among a normally dispirited Arab public. Change is no longer impossible -- and the United States no longer needs to be the agent of change.

This means there may be more exhibitions of "people power" with unpredictable consequences. The Arab authoritarian systems (most with the support of the U.S. government) are ill-equipped to deal positively with this type of demand for change.

Different forces in the region will now begin to see how they can take advantage for good or bad from this new reality. Unfortunately, if the United States stays true to form, we'll simply struggle to see whether we can maintain the status quo.
Of course, if Atallah is correct and this is the true position of the 'Palestinian' negotiators perhaps they should have started preparing their 'people' for compromise - something they have not done to this day.

The 'Palestinian street' reacted to all this by attacking al-Jazeera.
An angry crowd on Monday vandalized the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera's Ramallah office, onlookers said.

Security forces stepped in after a dozen youths broke a security gate at the building before entering it and sprayed graffiti.

Al-Jazeera International correspondent Alan Fisher wrote on his Twitter page that no one was injured before police arrived.

Footage of the incident posted on YouTube later Monday showed a handful of young Palestinians shouting and chanting slogans at Al-Jazeera's staff. One tells a photographer to stop filming.
Let's go to the videotape.

And the 'Palestinian Authority' accused al-Jazeera of making war on them.
“Al-Jazeera has declared war on the Palestinians,” the official told The Jerusalem Post. “This station serves the interests of the enemies of the Palestinians.”

Asked if the PA was now considering measures against Al-Jazeera, the official said he did not see how a TV station that “incites” against the Palestinians would be able to continue operating in the West Bank. However, he said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently in Cairo, would decide on the PA’s response to the exposure of the documents in the coming hours.

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At 3:38 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Abu Bluff is angered at being portrayed as a "moderate."

I am so enjoying their misery. Faster, faster, faster now!



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