Guardian’s verdict upon release of “Palestine Papers” announced upon publication: Israel Guilty

There will be much to learn in coming days and weeks about what the Guardian is referring to as the Palestine Papers – what is purported to be thousands of pages of “confidential” Palestinian records covering years of negotiations with Israel – but the tendentious narrative they’re already bludgeoning their readers with is unmistakable to those even casually familiar with the paper’s palpable hostility towards the Jewish state.

Though Guardian columnist Jonathan Freedland acknowledges that the documents (which they claim were obtained by al-Jazeera TV and shared “exclusively” with the Guardian) are “not exhaustive and may have been leaked selectively,” and further that “other documents might provide a rather different impression”, its clear the Guardian isn’t waiting for Israeli leaders’ accounts – documents which would corroborate or contradict the selected Palestinian accounts.  The Guardian will not be bothered with such quaint notions as journalistic discretion.

Further, though nothing in the documents thus far contradicts former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s accounts of the offer Mahmoud Abbas rejected in 2008, the political spin Guardian editors are putting on the selected transcripts couldn’t be more clear, and just happens to coincide with the narrative of the conflict they’ve been advancing for years:  Palestinian powerlessness and humiliation, and Israeli intransigence.

Here are a few of the headlines:

The Guardian editorial introducing their release of selective negotiation documents begins:

It is hard to tell who appears worst: the Palestinian leaders, who are weak, craven and eager to shower their counterparts with compliments; the Israelis, who are polite in word but contemptuous in deed; or the Americans, whose neutrality consists of bullying the weak and holding the hand of the strong

Later, there was this gratuitous, and simply ugly, passage:

Before the extreme right politician Avigdor Lieberman rose to prominence, the papers reveal that Israel asked for some of its Arab citizens to be transferred to a new Palestinian state. Since then, state population swaps have entered the mainstream of Israeli debate, but no one is asking the Israeli Arabs themselves. Has the former nightclub bouncer from Moldova become more Israeli? Or is Israel behaving more like a Moldovan nightclub bouncer


The Palestinian Authority may continue as an employer but, as of today, its legitimacy as negotiators will have all but ended on the Palestinian street. If [the two state solution] is to be saved, three things have to happen: America must drop its veto on Palestinian unity talks and take up Hamas’s offer of a one-year ceasefire; a negotiating team that represents all major Palestinian factions must be formed; and Israel has to accept that a state created on 1967 borders, not around them, is the minimum price of an end to the conflict.

In this passage, in one fell swoop, the Guardian has egged on the Palestinians to reject even the slightest territorial compromise, encouraged them to accept nothing less than new maximalist demands, and, most dangerously, legitimized and empowered the most radical movement in their society:  Hamas – a group they now suggest holds the key to peace!

And, this is only day one.

Stay tuned.  The latest round of the Guardian’s assault on Israel’s legitimacy – via their Palestine Papers drama – has only just begun.

43 replies »

  1. The documents show genuine concessions on both sides. Here is Livni: “I want to say that we do not like this concession because it does not meet our demands, and probably it was not easy for you to think about it but I really appreciate it…. I think we have a reason to continue.”

    But all that Freedland and the other Guardianistas can manage is a nihilistic sneer, guaranteed to drive more Palestinians to Hamas.

  2. I see Debka is mentioning some disgruntled person in relation to these papers. On Twitter it’s reported that more than a few “rebels” are gathering in the PA areas.

    It isn’t really too hard to see a real disaster coming from this. Even Qureia (sp?) seems to be complaining. The Guardian certainly isn’t going to crush Israel but what can this blatant pro-terrorist howling do? Nothing good.

  3. Jonathan, I had a similar thought which was that something along these lines could achieve peace. But it won’t if howling and enraged mobs are on the streets with guns.

    Could that be what The Guardian is after? Or their backers?

  4. An interesting response to the Guardian. I feel that the content of the documents is suspicion. The documents apparently aren’t even dated and could be doctored or modified to discredit the PA, which would be very much in the interests of Hamas, Hizbullah, Iran and Syria. The content clashes with the stances and actions of both parties – Abbas walked away from talks rather than approaching with a begging bowl whilst Olmert was going to deal with the Jerusalem issue at a later time – this was already after conceding at least 93% of the territory demanded by Abbas/Fatah.

  5. Yes, well ….. Lieberman does behave like a Moldovan nightclub bouncer. At least they got that part right.

    As Arie Shavit says in Ha’aretz (hat-tip to PeterTheHungarian):

    “Lieberman really can feel like one of their own at the Kremlin. His worldview is Putin’s worldview. His value system is Putin’s value system. Lieberman is as democratic as Putin, as enlightened as Putin and as delicate as Putin. They differ only in one way: seriousness. Putin, in his own way, is a serious leader. He served his homeland, he strengthened it and made it an international power again. In contrast, Lieberman is not a serious figure. He sabotages his homeland, weakens it and turns it into an international laughingstock. Lieberman is not Putin, but rather a caricature of the man. Clearheadedly and cynically, he harms Israel’s most essential interests. Lieberman’s public image is that of an arch-patriot. But the truth is that Lieberman is no patriot. If he were, he would not undermine the government, cleave society and endanger the alliance with the United Sates. If he were a patriot, he would not stir up conflict at home and deepen isolation abroad. If he were a patriot, he would not turn the state and the government, to which he has pledged his loyalty, into a dishrag. Without loyalty there is no leadership, as we know. But Lieberman is trying to build leadership though express lack of loyalty toward the country he is supposed to be serving.”

  6. MTC

    I’m not a fan of Lieberman but who has called him a Moldovan night-club bouncer is simply a disgusting racist dirt.

    First of all Liebermen is Israeli exactly like you and me and we need to judge him based on his politics and not on his birthplace.
    The other very disturbing factor is the contempt felt toward people who had to work night-shift jobs (like a night-club bouncer – an ideal job for a student) by the supposedly progressive and liberal contributors of the Guardian. Probably these heroes of the working classes never had to dirty their beautiful pinkish hands with any physical/menial work during their university years and their open contempt for us lesser beings whose parents couldn’t afford to finance their academic education is stinking to the skies.
    Who calls Liberman a Moldovan night-club bouncer says nothing about Lieberman but everything about his/her own snobbish and racist character.

  7. Peter:
    “we need to judge him based on his politics”
    OK – his politics are what you would expect from a Moldovan night-club bouncer.

  8. peterthehungarian, you are COMPLETELY correct. The Guardian, of all newspapers, sneering at someone for the job they used to do? Should he just have ‘known his place’ instead? Hardly a liberal or progressive attitude.

  9. MTC

    OK – his politics are what you would expect from a Moldovan night-club bouncer.

    I hope you know that what you have written is pure unadultered bullshit?

    Are you a Moldovan night-club bouncer yourself being familiar with their politics?
    And what about the worldview of a Hungarian building-worker/taxi-driver/TV aerial installer/private-tutor/TV-technician/newspaper seller etc.
    like myself? Please tell me something about my politics too…

  10. Peter:
    And when Arie Shavit says that Lieberman acts like Putin isn’t he saying that Lieberman acts like “a Russian KGB agent” ? What’s the difference (other than the blatant crudeness of the Guardian version) ?

  11. MTC

    You are craping the barrel. Shavit compared Liberman to an other politician – a pretty unpleasant one. The Guardian did something else and you know this.

  12. “His worldview is Putin’s worldview. His value system is Putin’s value system. Lieberman is as democratic as Putin, as enlightened as Putin and as delicate as Putin” , i.e. the worldview, the values, the democracy, the enlightenment and the delicacy of a former KGB agent.

  13. MTC

    The world leader is a former KGB agent.
    So what. I’m a former truckdriver. People change you know.
    Anyway the point is something else – to say that X behaves like the evil Y is not the same like to say that X behavior is determined by his birthplace and previous jobs as a student.

  14. Silke

    It depends of where have you worked as a charwoman? If it was a night-club then you provoked the wrath of the Guardianistas…

  15. Excuse me, but has any proper research been conducted into the politics of Moldovan bouncers?

    A lot of them are very likely to be mostly ex-KGB, ex-communists, and antisemitic into the bargain.

    Sounds more like the politics of the Guardian to me.

  16. it depends what your political views are. If they are the wrong ones then the fact that you were a charwomen will provoke the wrath of Peter.

  17. Dickens worked in a blacking factory. Arthur Miller had some very menial jobs when a student. Louis Armstrong sang in the street for money. The current Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, waited on table. One does what one has to in order to survive.

  18. And look what waiting i\on tables did to Arthur Miller:

    The following speech was delivered on June 25, 2003 by author and playwright Arthur Miller, recipient of the 2003 Jerusalem Prize. The Jerusalem Prize honors literary achievement in the field of freedom of the individual in society.

    “The fundamentals of my views are simply that Israel has the right to exist and the Palestinians likewise, in a state of their, own. With the expansion of settlements I have witnessed, initially with surprise and then with incredulity, what seemed a self-defeating policy. I am not going to pursue conflicting arguments with secondhand knowledge, but merely to say the obvious–that the settlement policy appears to have changed the very nature of the Israeli state and that a new birth of a humanistic vision is necessary if the Jewish presence is to be seen as worth preserving. To put it perhaps too succinctly–without justice at its center, no state can endure as a representation of the Jewish nature. Israel was far more than a political entity, let alone a geographic place, probably at least in part because it was so far away and the distance turned it into something approaching an artistic expression, a sort of bright vision of productive peace. However it may have evolved, it appears at this distance that from the assassination of Rabin onward the settlement policy and the present leadership’s apparent abandonment of Enlightenment values before the relentless suicide bombings and the inevitable fear they have engendered have backed the country away from its visionary character and with it the Waldorf prospect of a peaceful, progressive, normal society like any other.”

  19. Peter
    much worse – I spent the money earned not on education but on clothes so I could join my friends visiting night clubs.

    btw if Lieberman should be as skillful an operator as Putin I’d wholeheartedly applaud that provided he employs those skills for the benefit of his chosen country. Since he is human he may of course err, it is his intentions I am talking about. i.e. does he love Israel? does he want her to do well? does he want her people to live in peace and security?

    or is his foremost aim to expose her at the pillory like Levy does?

  20. Silke

    After a summer of working on the central meat-market of Budapest as a porter I bought a secondhand motorbike. According to the Guardian World Viev and MTC I must have the politics of the Hell’s Angels.

  21. Trust MindTheCrap to go off on a complete tangent when he is backed into a corner.

    You know, Crap, if your performance here is anything to go by, and I’m sure it is, the Jewish people would have been far better off if you had never existed. You are an even more unpleasant person, if that is possible, than Gerald Kaufman.

    And, as for that play, you have always put me in mind of Willy Loman. No doubt, at this very minute, your poor downtrodden wife, in the absence of any suitable friends, is talking to her fried fish. “Attention must be paid,” she tells them. This must be the first time in history that fried fish have laughed.

  22. Silke:

    ” i.e. does he love Israel? does he want her to do well? does he want her people to live in peace and security?or is his foremost aim to expose her at the pillory like Levy does?”

    But thats what Arie Shavit says (and he was recommended by PeterTheHungarian):

    “Lieberman is trying to build leadership though express lack of loyalty toward the country he is supposed to be serving.”

  23. Hoi Polloi

    don’t take the bait !
    – MTC via hyper-sophisticated allusions is trying to prove that her knowledge of culture level is higher than Gideon Levy’s (that’s about the lowest grade I can think of)

    btw to me she reads like a woman – too many reminders of those who were always willing to join the crowd of harrassers, salivating at the chance of a bit of reputation murder (RufMord)

  24. MTC

    Lieberman is trying to build leadership though express lack of loyalty toward the country he is supposed to be serving.”

    This is not exactly correct. While he is disloyal toward the coalition governement where he is a member but I wouldn’t say that that he is disloyal toward his country in general.

  25. Peter
    from my far away watching point when I read assuming that governments know what they are doing I get more than once the idea that I am watching a good cop bad cop dance with Netanyahu and Lieberman being the dancers …

  26. “Hoi Polloi – don’t take the bait !”
    Remember – a true Zionist never discusses the issues !!

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