Because of the west’s obsession with, and countenance of, the rapacious festivities of the Arab Spring—overt antisemitism, the butchery of Coptic Christians, “lead from behind” stratagems, and the cheering and fawning naivete amongst the media elite — the Palestine papers that were leaked to Al-Jazeera, and gleefully expropriated by the left leaning British rag, The Guardian, were ignored; and if not ignored, the reactions were realized detrimental to a continuing narrative of Palestinian passiveness in the face of Israeli intractability, and then thoroughly ignored.
The Palestine papers are the documents and recordings of meetings in 2007-08 between Palestinian Authority officials and then Israeli Deputy prime minister Tzipi Livni, which were moderated by then U.S. secretary of state Condoleeza Rice. Absurdities were expressed by all sides, Rice advancing the idea that the refugee problem be solved by transferring them to somewhere in south America, rather than the more realistic, and just, pressure that needs to be placed on the satellite Arab regimes to incorporate them into the wider Arab world; Livni expressing her “understanding” of the Palestinian sentiments as it relates to settlements; and the Palestinian official, Ahmed Quiri, suggesting that Israel annex all the settlements along the border except the three largest ones. The contents of the meetings are breathtaking in their idiocy. However, interesting advances were made.
The general points and real advances made are the most pertinent aspect of this meeting of the minds. They happened in secret. The Palestinian Authority, for the first time, granted the legitimacy of the state of Israel as a Jewish State. The Israelis, after having been punished for being generous in 2001 with a litany of suicide and terrorist attacks against its civilians, and continued rocket attacks upon disengagement from Gaza, did not budge on their demands for annexation of 10% of the west bank. The PA, realizing that they had not a single historical, legal, or moral claim to be made, acquiesced to most of the provisions. This was the most promising thing to have ever happened since Oslo.
These advances were complicated by the continued rocket attacks from the Gaza strip on Israeli cities, and the simultaneous disclosure of Ehud Olmert’s record of corruption , prompting the Israelis to respond militarily to the Gaza situation, and Olmert to later resign his post in disgrace. The rise of Islamists in Gaza and the corruption of the Left-leaning Olmert government placed a temporary hold on the talks that could have been the beginnings to a peaceful compromise.
If the vicissitudes of democracy in Israel and the savagery of Islamists in Gaza injured the real positive development taking place between the two parties, the leaking of these events into the public realm constituted a brutal, bloody, and summary execution of their lasting potential.
For nearly forty years the Palestinian machine, with American and U.N funding, has educated an entire generation of Palestinians with the most vile and disturbing, slanderous and mendacious historical manipulations against the Jews in general, and Israelis in particular. This being the reality, in the minds of brainwashed Palestinians, any compromise with Israel is akin to America compromising with Al-Qaeda. Naturally, the revelation that the Palestinian authorities had conceded that their claims to anything are specious at best, and were willing to take what the Israelis were willing to give them– a state–was met with rapturous indignation by the masses of the Palestinian public, who called Abbas and his interlocutors traitors and worse. The most grievous crime appeared to be the acceptance of the existence of a Jewish state. Abbas and his officials publicly disavowed any of the statements made in these meetings, calling them “fabrications” and “distortions.” Hamas officials in Gaza pounced at the opportunity to malign their rivals and declared that they were the true voice of the Palestinian resistance movement, and that the Fatah led PA had fallen into the trance of the “treacherous Jew.”
Conversely, most of the Israeli public is committed to a two state solution. Most of the Israeli public wants peace. Most of the Israeli public understands that some of the settlements are untenable. And most of the Israeli public votes these sentiments into place. Current Prime Minister Netanyahu has publicly declared this as his desire, a two state solution with the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
The fact that the Palestinian Authority can, in hushed tones behind doors, concede that the Israelis have a right to exist, but that out in the world of their creating—the propagandistic machinations of what Daniel Greenfield has called a “people manufactured and weaponized”—their conciliatory tone has no place to inhabit, reveals a rather bleak projection for the prospect of a negotiated peace anytime soon.
We see in the cases of the “Arab Spring”, the election of Hamas in the Gaza strip, and the overtaking of the Lebanese government by Hezbollah, that any freedom granted to the Arab public will, almost mathematically, usher greater tyranny into power than what they sought to replace. This is a sad situation.
That the Arab and Muslim world will have to be forced into peace and harmony with the rest of the world is one of the more depressing aspects of the modern human condition. If not through autocracy, then through force of arms, the rights of the vast majority of Arabs will necessarily be violated until the exercising of their rights does not injure, maim, and kill others. This is the reality. And these are the Palestinian blues.