Standing in stark contrast to the Guardian’s Palestine Papers narrative – of Israeli intransigence and Palestinian weakness and humiliation – their own documents corroborate the widely reported Israeli offer, during the 2008 negotiations, which Mahmoud Abbas rejected: a contiguous Palestinian state representing roughly 94% of the West Bank with land swaps (part of Israel which would become part of the new Palestinian state) making up for the remaining 6%. The offer also included a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.
Here’s the map on the Guardian’s site:
Further, additional Guardian documents show that former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni was prepared to give the Golan Heights back to Syria in the context of an overall peace agreement.
In other words, the screaming Guardian headlines, and accompanying stories, which suggest that the documents reveal a bullying, intransigent Jewish state – a nation which their lead editorial likened to a “Moldovan Nightclub Bouncer” – are fictitious.
Regardless of the particular rhetorical contours of the discourse, at the behind-the-scenes negotiations, revealed by the “Palestine Papers”, nothing thus far suggests a version of events in 2008 in any way different than what was already known.
If Palestinian citizens have just cause to view their leaders as illegitimate as the result of the “Palestine Papers” it’s not because – as the Guardian editorial suggested – they were shown to be “craven” and servile, but, rather, because they turned down, for the second time in 8 years, an offer of a sovereign Palestinian state.