Peter Beaumont vs Peter Beaumont: Guardian journo contradicts himself on prisoner release

In ‘Middle East peace talks edge towards collapse despite Kerry’s frantic efforts, Guardian, April 2, the newspaper’s incoming Jerusalem correspondent writes the following about the collapsing ‘peace process’.

Eight months ago, Netanyahu signed a US-sponsored agreement to release 104 long-term Palestinian prisoners in a quid pro quo that would block the Palestinian application to membership of a raft of UN bodies in exchange for talks. But despite the agreement, Netanyahu has refused to release the fourth group of prisoners unless the Palestinian Authority recognises Israel as a Jewish state.

This is flat-out untrue.

The Jewish state recognition demand is a separate issue, was voiced prior to the current crisis about the release of the final batch of pre-Oslo prisoners and has never been cited as a factor why Israel is reluctant to release the remaining 26 Palestinians.

As reported by media sites across the political spectrum, Israeli negotiators have only demanded that – for the prisoner release to go ahead – Palestinians must at least agree to extend talks past the April 29 deadline, and have asked why they should release these prisoners when (immediately following their release) Palestinians will likely decide to end the talks.

Interestingly, three days prior to his April 2 story, Peter Beaumont himself acknowledged that the fear of Palestinians walking away from talks was the reason for Israel’s hesitation over the final prisoner release.

In his report on March 31, he wrote the following:

The Israeli government has said it is unwilling to go ahead with the latest prisoner release until it has a commitment from Abbas to extend this phase of the negotiations. On Sunday the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, said the talks were “verging on a crisis”.

Just to make it easier, here are snapshots of the competing Peter Beaumont passages.

Beaumont, March 31:


Beaumont, April 2:


Which one is it, Peter?


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13 replies »

  1. That’s correct. As far as it goes… Netanyahu however, didn’t keep his side of the agreement, which was 104 prisoners for talks up to April 29. Abbas kept (and is still keeping) his side of the deal. He reiterated his willingness to keep the dialogue going as previously agreed. Even the NYT editorial today blames Bibi.

    MORE footbullets!

    • Abbas is willing to negotiate:
      Palestinian negotiators would be willing to continue peace talks with Israel, but only to discuss defining the borders of a future state, a senior Palestinian official said in comments published Thursday
      Very clever. They are ready to continue negotiate what Israel will give them but not about their part of giving anything. Negotiations in Alex’s world.
      Even the NYT editorial today blames Bibi.
      Is this a joke?! There was no NYT editorial in the last five years without blaming Netanyahu. Bibi/Israel bashing is the favorite hobby of Thomas Friedman.

      • Give them? Give them what precisely? I know you’re paid to answer critics with pre-prepared hasbara. If I was paying you, I’d want my money back on the strength of that answer! ROTFLAMO!

        • Your answer simply proves my opinion about the future of BDS. There is finally an Israeli product what BDS-ers can boycott without any negative consequences, they never ever need brain surgery.
          I know you’re paid to answer critics…
          Of course you know alex. Your Mama told you that Jews do nothing without being paid so it must be true.
          If I was paying you, I’d want my money back on the strength of that answer!
          But you couldn’t pay me Alex, one minute of my time costs more than your dole for the entire year.

            • Your brain? It never worked alex. But don’t be sorry about that – you don’t need one anyway. Your leader always will tell you what to do and what to say.

  2. The PLA/PLO always cheats and hopes to get away with it. Not one agreement kept by this bunch of past and future terrorists..

      • “Yadayadayada! Yawn!”
        Just as substantial as every other comment you’ve written. Tell us, Alex, do you find it draining when you have to use both index fingers to type? Not having a hand free to hold the banana must be frustrating for you.

  3. If there is to be an end to the conflict, the Arabs will need to recognize that Israel is the Jewish State. Absent that, the same people pushing the conflict in the first place, the Arabs, who are mendacious, malicious, aggressive and the power behind this conflict, will just continue to do the same.