Al-Jazeera has been leaked internal memos, meeting minutes, and other documents from negotiations between the PA and Israel over the last 10 years. The Guardian has also been given early access to the files.

Here are the links:
http://english.aljazeera.net/palestinepapers/
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/palestine-papers

Now, I don’t trust Al-Jazeera’s analysis and biases to match my own. I do trust the Guardian to hold my values, more or less. They’re releasing the documents as a big data dump, though, so you can look through the primary documents and make your own conclusions.

People’s immediate takeaway is that these documents show a PLO that makes more and more concessions, and an Israel that never responds to these “generous” offers.

I don’t know if that’s true – I’m looking through the primary documents right now. Assuming that’s true, however, what does this mean for us? I bet the conventional wisdom is despair – “OMG the government won’t take any deal peace is dooomed!”.

I dunno, though. I actually feel like this is a positive thing. Turns out that the PA isn’t as stubborn at negotiation as might be expected, that they’re a responsible partner for peace. Maybe it’s because I just read an article called “Think Israel’s a lost cause? Ten reasons to think again”, but I could see this as a shock to the Israeli public causing them to put pressure on the gov’t to pursue a peace deal on the revealed terms.

I’m hopeful. Iran’s bomb was neutralized by Stuxnet. The Labor party can resume being a progressive party, and Tzipi Livni made a great impression on me when she came to Brandeis. Things could turn out ok.

4 comments on “A “Diplomatic Earthquake” is happening RIGHT NOW”

  1. Alex N. Says:

    I think you are giving too much credence to the Israeli narrative on this one. The question has not been whether the PA is a responsible partner for peace, it has been how many concessions can the PA make without losing the Palestinian public. I think what we might look for here is immediate condemnation from Hamas and perhaps some backlash among Palestinians at large. Giving up most of Jerusalem, even if the offer was denied, is not to be taken lightly.

    Also, Iran’s bomb was delayed by Stuxnet. No need to get ahead of ourselves.

  2. Sahar Says:

    Alex I agree that your position is the conventional wisdom. I’m going out on a limb and disagreeing with it.

  3. Jon Says:

    This leak largely confirms what I’ve worried about for a long time – namely, that the power imbalance between the parties has become so great that there is simply no impetus for Israel to make concessions. (Not that they haven’t benefited from near-total US support, but still.) This quite comprehensively confirms that, despite being the conventional wisdom for a while, the two-state solution has no real teeth.

    My hope is, in the wake of these revelations, the Palestinian street will be able to collapse the PA and initiate a mass movement for truly representative government. Hopefully, that will mean a dramatic push for a one-state solution and a fight for comprehensive civil rights, and not the revival of a corrupt and collaborationist PA.

  4. Jon Says:

    Two other things:

    1. Is leaking a new trend? I really hope it surpasses tweeting.

    2. I really, really hate Avigdor Lieberman. His response to the revelations: Palestinians can live on maybe half of the West Bank, but in reality “everyone will eventually realize that the only solution is a long-term interim agreement.” He sucks.