H/T Elder of Ziyon:
More and more, the story of the Palestine Papers is not what may have been revealed in the negotiations but, rather, the Guardian’s capacity to distort almost any nugget of information in a way which confirms their worldview.
In “Papers reveal how Palestinian leaders gave up fight over refugees” written by Ian Black and Seumas Milne – another perfect example of what Melanie Phillips aptly termed the Guardian’s tendency to try to seem “more Palestinian than the Palestinians” – was this:
[Tzipi] Livni told Palestinian negotiators in 2007 that she was against international law and insisted that it could not be included in terms of reference for the talks: “I was the minister of justice”, she said. “But I am against law – international law in particular.”
Except that, as the following transcript shows, the document clearly contradicts this characterization of Livni’s’ remarks.
Livni opens the meeting: I would like to suggest that we will continue according to what I tried to at the beginning of the session yesterday, but unfortunately while doing so we ended up in some sort of a discussion. At the end of today’s meeting the minimum that is required is some sense of the six or seven points that you stated that need to be in the document. Just [a] list [of] what is agreed or not agreed. Put aside the core issues for now, just have a list of agreed and not agreed, in points. If we have this agreement… let’s not include the areas of disagreement now.
Ahmed Qurei: We can finish tonight the subjects – the preamble. What are the components. Not the language or the nice words etc. We should focus on three things in the preamble. One is the terms of reference [“TOR”]. The three core elements in addition to the [nice] language. One is the TOR. Second is the 2 state solution. Third is the Roadmap [“RM”]. Is there anything to be added to the preamble?
Livni: No – it’s ok. And what we called before some good words. The basic idea of where we are going. End of conflict, [the goal is] to find a way to do so… something like this.
So if you want to summarize the positions, this is something we did in our former conversation. When it comes to the TOR we want reference to 242, 338, the RM and other agreements agreed between the two sides. You added, and this is the problem, the API [Arab Peace Initiative], international law, 1515, 1397, and 194. And we wanted the three principles of the Quartet.
[more discussion of what should be included in the Terms of Reference and Preamble for the document]
Qurei: International law?
Livni: NO. I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer…But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general.
If we want to make the agreement smaller, can we just drop some of these issues? Like international law, this will make the agreements easier.
Livni’s “I am against law” remark is merely signaling that she does not want any reference to legal issues, or international law, in the joint (ceremonial) statement, so that a final peace agreement will be easier to achieve.
In other words, the Guardian buried the lead of this particular story which should have read something like: “Document shows Tzipi Livni flexible, and committed to achieving a peace deal.”
Beyond burying the lead, the Palestine Papers reveal the Guardian doing what they do best: burying facts which contradict their preconceived conclusions.