Moral Outrage
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The Palestine Papers and the Dream of Statehood

The Palestine Papers are the largest leak of confidential files in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a cache of more than 1,600 documents encompassing the most recent decade of negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.

Among other things, The Palestine Papers make it clear that part of the Palestinian Authority — loyal to Mahmoud Abbas and backed by the US — was actively plotting with Israel and its allies against a legitimately-constituted unity government.

They are an unprecedented window into Israeli, PA, US, European, and Arab relations and reveal a wealth of information about how the parties negotiate behind closed doors.

The minutes note that “The forum is backed by the highest political echelons of each government represented.” In terms of substance, the record notes that “The implications of the national unity government were discussed by all parties in general terms.”

The Papers include the shocking to the inane, including the secret annexation of East Jerusalem to Israel and Condaleezza Rice’s suggestion that Palestinian refugees be re-settled in Chile or Argentina.

There’s another side of this coin too – the documents also show the Palestinians were serious about negotiating, and were willing to make big and painful concessions for peace and to secure their dream of a state.

There is little evidence of the Israelis matching this approach by making serious and painful concessions of their own … focusing on what the Palestinians would not agree to, rather than acknowledging the magnitude of what they were prepared to concede.

[Excerpts from Aljazeera and The Electronic Intifada]

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