Palestine Papers: Guardian’s own documents demonstrate veracity of Israeli version of 2008 offer (A contiguous Palestinian state with captial in Jerusalem)

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:

Click to Enlarge


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.

7 replies »

  1. One has to read through the following page to see the squirmings of the Guardian staff.

    In the case of one-to-one talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders – especially between Mahmoud Abbas and the then Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert – NSU officials were not present, but reports on the outcome of the encounters were often given later to the unit and records made.

    What a letout. If a document is held up to be a falsification, the above paragraph gives an explanation.

    However, the main thing here is not the accuracy or innaccuracy of the documents but the spin by the Guardian which seems to be quite worried that some kind of peace may be achieved.

    Critics are likely to argue that concessions – such as accepting the annexation of Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem – are simply pocketed by the Israeli side, and risk being treated as a starting point in any future talks.

    Now I have seen that statement written down in a different way about the PA’s attitude to negotiations with Israel. Who says that The Guardian staff don’t read the comments section on CiF.

  2. How telling that al Jazeera gave these documents to the most rabidly anti-Israel paper in the UK.

    The plan being of course for the Guardian to put an anti-Israel spin on the revelations, and to absolve the Palestinians of any responsibility.

    They seem to be crowing that ‘Israel had a partner for peace after all’ – in which case one must ask why the Palestinians didn’t make their position public.

    The fact that Saab Erekat and Abbas have denounced the reports as a pack of lies is getting very little coverage in the Guardian.

  3. How do we go about rebutting the effect of those screaming headlines in the Guardian? No one will listen to us there, even if their own words confirm our position. It’s all very well rebutting their arguments here on CW and on like-minded blogs, but how do we get the word out further? How do we protect Israel’s reputation? There’s no point relying on Israel’s useless PR.

  4. Annekl

    How do we protect Israel’s reputation? There’s no point relying on Israel’s useless PR.

    I have pondered this point often.

    My suggested answer is two fold.

    Comment on the Guardian pointing out the weaknesses of their conclusions and pointing outright lies when printed. I know that the ‘unbiased and unbigoted’ moderators are a problem BUT, keep a copy of you comment in case it is deleted. I have seen many comments on this site that were deleted on CiF and I am sure that the Guardian is very very unhappy about this but, presumable has not see a way to take this and other sites down.

    There are readers who get to comment is free who are not pro Guardian and, I have seen them commenting often about how biased the site is. Not only on the subject of Israel and Palestine but also how it relates negatively to the US and UK while almost complete silence about China’s Human Rights record apart from such countries as Cuba, Venezuela, Libya and other anti US countries.

    Continually pointing out it’s bigotry circumspectly is the way to go. The moderators work hard to remove comments which refute the GWV but they keep on coming.

    The second part is to take part in discussions on this and other blogs. Places where hard criticism of The Guardian is not deleted.

    Considering these ‘Palestinian Papers’, it seems to me that the problem is the spin put on the documents and not the content itself.

    That is the weak point.

    For historical record, not really much new there.

  5. I object to the claim that Israel’s PR is useless.

    If I compare Israel to an ordinary life Mobbing Victim then I can’t remember one of those poor colleagues of mine who managed to come up with a useful PR, neither did his or her remaining friends and/or non-persecutors. Only the boss could stop it, but there is no boss in this scenario. The UN should be the boss, but will it slap whitey-bashers on the wrist?

  6. JerusalemMite. I agree with you about “not the content”. I am listening to the big BBC mouth currently interviewing people in Ramallah. All about Jerusalem and “settlers”.

    Looking at the map above it looks to me as if Israel planned not to keep very much of Jerusalem.