Guardian editorial on Palestine Papers: Ideological Incitement

Robin Shepherd made a great observation about the Guardian Editorial on the Palestine Papers, one that we touched on in yesterday’s post:  The Guardian’s outrage over concessions relating to Jerusalem, and occupied territories, positions them closer to the views of Hamas than more moderate elements of Palestinian society.

Even if we are to accept that the selected Palestinian notes from their negotiations with Israel represent reality, and even if we are to suspend disbelief at Saeb Erekat’s claim that the concessions he was reportedly prepared to make made him “a joke to his wife”, we are still left with some questions:

Why would the Guardian characterize the flexibility necessary to achieve peace as evidence of “weakness” and “craven[ness]”?

Why would they dismiss, and even mock, the potential Palestinian state which was apparently being discussed – one which would address Israel’s security concerns – by characterizing the future nation as something approaching a vassal state, a “puppet”, and simply another form of Israeli “bondage”?

Finally, why would the Guardian view the failure of such talks – the offer which was ultimately rejected by Mahmoud Abbas – as evidence that any new talks should require a priori Israeli acceptance of absolutely nothing less than the exact 1967 borders – with no border compromises possible?

In other words, why does even the appearance of Palestinian flexibility on the final borders of a future Palestinian state outrage the Guardian editors so much?

Not content to merely cheer lead for the Palestinian side, and demonize Israel, they now seem to view their role as inciting the Palestinians to reject moderation and accommodation.

The Guardian editorial ends with a dire warning of what will result if their sage advice is not followed:

“The alternative is to allow the cancer of the existing one-state solution to grow and to prepare for the next war. No one will have to wait long for that.”

Photo accompanying Guardian “Palestine Papers” section

While the facts still show that it was the Palestinians who rejected a sovereign and contiguous state (with a capital in Jerusalem) 2008, in framing the compromises which may have been considered by the Palestinian leadership as a cowardly surrender to the cause, Guardian editors have now emboldened Hamas, and have abandoned even the pretense of advocating for peace.

Quite simply, they are playing with fire.

15 replies »

  1. I’m confused? There is something I do not understand in all this hullabaloo…..the Palestinian Papers as they have been so called labeled(Pumpkin Papers and Nixon, anyone?), reveal what the Palestinians were “secretly” offering in a peace deal, somehow it sounds very similar to the not so secret peace deal they rejected? What am I missing here? What is new or enlightenening? The mood from Al Jazeera seems to be that the Palestinians have no right to negotiate at all without the Arab core? The Guardian, well their only stake in this game is?(won’t say it) Explanations?

  2. The Guardian’s stake in the game seems to be inciting war. As in the Wikileaks matter, the Guardian is doing its best to instigate bloodshed.

    In both the Wikileaks and Palestinian papers matters, the Guardian
    – has switched from reporting the news to being the news
    – has violated the spirit of the law by stealing & publishng confidential material
    – has put lives in danger
    – has interfered with the legitimate functions of multiple democratc governments
    – has sought to throw a spanner into peace efforts
    – has instigated conflict.

    The sooner society puts an end to this evil institution, the better-off humanity will be.

  3. Sorry if you guys have already covered this but I thought it was interesting that the Guardian said that the PA accepted Israel as a Jewish state:

    But when you read the article they really didn’t. All Erekat said was that the Israelis could call their state whatever they wanted, which not only doesn’t change the situation at all but is very similar to when Abbas said Israel could be whatever state they wanted last year. Sounds like the Guardian is spinning like a top.

  4. I just read those minutes, fascinating. But Milne’s problem seems that the P.A. actually spoke as if Israel had legitimate concerns, needs and desires.

  5. Jane: the bottom line is that the MOST likely explanation is that Abbas et al are for once telling the truth — that is, these were ISRAELI offers changed in editing to make it appear as if they were PA offers. But the PA knows better than anyone what will and will not sell to their own people. Of course this is largely due to their horrendous campaign of brainwashing their children in school from the *earliest* age, not, like Israel, who as has been “preparing” their public to make peace with the Palestinians.

    Nevertheless and for whatever reason, it’s highly likely that again, Abbas is for once telling the truth and a “switcheroo” was effected in the editing of these transcripts to make it seem as if the PA made these supposed concessions whereas they have been OPENLY and TRANSPARENTLY made by Israel for years (under Olmert at least, and to a large extent, by Barak under Clinton). The Guardian and the UK in general are trying to give the PA “credit” for making these offers (which, again, they did not make) and then saying that those stiff-nicked Jews had the gall to say no to these generous offers. again, the reality is that “those stiff necked Jews” were the ones who made the offers (for better of for worse).


  6. Aluf Benn sums it up very well in his article in the Guardian today:

    “The Palestine papers reveal that Israel has – or had – a partner for a negotiated two-state solution. They reveal that our previous government, led by Ehud Olmert as prime minister and Tzipi Livni as foreign minister, discussed a detailed partition plan involving serious give and take with its Palestinian interlocutors. Alas, the Palestine papers also reveal the lack of political will to conclude the deal, shown by the wide gaps over substantive positions, and both sides’ leaning towards fruitless debating, rather than seeking a compromise.

    But despite the principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”, nothing is forgotten either. The papers, especially the leaked maps, will serve as the starting point for future negotiations. Moreover, they undermine the “no partner” doctrine of Israel’s current leadership trio: Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and Avigdor Lieberman. While falling short of accepting Israel’s positions, Abbas and Qurei have not simply pocketed Olmert’s proposals and walked away, as Israel argues. They negotiated in earnest.”

    i.e. Israel negotiated seriously and in good faith up until the last election. The papers have exposed what everybody knows – that the current Bibi-Avigdor govt has no intention of negotiating or making any concessions whatsoever. And everybody means all foreign governments, which explains the quiet but major shift in foreign policy by so many govts. How many countries will recognize a Palestinian state by the end of the year ? Thank you Bibi & Avigdor !

  7. MTC

    One more laughable BS on Ha’aretz nothing to do with the reality and everything with witless Bibi bashing.
    In the article Benn somehow forgot to mention some insignificant facts like:
    – Abbas and Erekat deny everything and say that they didn’t make any compromise at all
    – that if they have been ready for these compromises why they weren’t ready to negotiate with Netanyahu for almost a year
    – that the credibility of these papers is very doubtful etc. etc.

    Authoring this article Benn simply sank to the level of the Guardian (again). Any critics of the government has a lot of legitimate reason to criticise Bibi and Lieberman – this article simply choose to base his attack on a stack of completely unreliable stolen documents whose contents are strongly denied by the involved “peace-partners” and has very doubtful credibility – but Benn treat them as absolutely reliable stuff.
    The article has nothing to do with real journalism I have a feeling that it has been read and agreed about a hundred Israelis (you included).

    If you want to read some really good stuff on this then read the linked Robin Shepherd blog.

  8. Peter:
    If you bothered reading the papers today you would have heard that :
    – the Palestinians admit that the papers are authentic (but “distorted”)
    – almost everyone who has been involved or has followed the peace process over the last 10 years says there is really “nothing new” in the documents that were released. For example:
    and if everyone has been aware of this information for years then I would hardly classify them as “extremely unreliable”.

    Herb Keinon to Gaza לאלתר

  9. MTC

    Read again the article on Jpost. It says that if the papers are reliable then…
    Maybe there is nothing new in these papers for the I knew it all journalist, for me and for other some million Israelis the facts that the Palestinians agreed to Jewish neighborhoods in East-Jerusalem, abandoned the demand for the ROR etc. etc are absolutely new.

  10. Thank you FF for your response…..

    MTC —-the papers are authentic but distorted? Is that like lets see: my daughter looks just like me except her nose is different her eyes are bigger and bluer, her hair is blonder, she’s shorter, built differently and has dimples in her cheeks?

    “Israel negotiated seriously and faithfully up to the last election”?

    So where were the Palestinians up until that point? Clearly not transparent if these papers are authentic.

    “There’s really nothing new in the papers released” Even if this is true it matters not one iota!

    Why should the Palestinians get “bonus points” for possibly making offers that were made to them by Israel to various extent in the past which they publicly rejected. Since when does saying something in private which you reject and deny publicly and refuse to support count for anything? Sounds like making something from nothing……The Palestinians are still refuting these compromises as I type, indicating they will never agree to them: the Palestinians never put up, the Guardian needs to shut up. (american idiom: Put up or shut up)

  11. It seems the Pumpkin Papers my mistake Palestinian Papers are yesterdays news cycle as violence erupting in Lebanon has taken center stage (sorry Guardian)

  12. Jane Schlitz:

    “the papers are authentic but distorted” –
    that is what the Palestinians are saying, not me.

    “Israel negotiated seriously and faithfully up to the last election”
    How terrible !!!! You are now sounding like a Guadianista ….

    ” “There’s really nothing new in the papers released” Even if this is true it matters not one iota!”
    Maybe not for you or me, but it certainly matters to PeterTheHungarian and my comment was addressed to him. I also heard an analysis by the IBA’s senior correspondent and he also says there wasn’t much new in the papers.

    And both he and Aluf Benn say that the papers show Israel in a positive light. What exactly are you arguing about ?

    (All IBA correspondents to Gaza !!)

  13. You seem to miss my point MTC, it’s a good thing that the Israelis negotiated faithfully, where were the Palestinians? Negotiating in good faith?

    Until the Palestinians can say outloud to the world we are willing to negotiate these compromises, in the final analysis it matters not one iota. And the way the Palestinians are now backtracking at this very moment in time, simply reinforces this reality.

    In my world, saying you are willing to consider something,and then then denying you were considering it counts for nothing.