By ‘rocked’, I mean prodded the decaying corpse that was once named ‘hope’ and paraded the strident spectre of ‘betrayal’ with all the pomp and show of an international Morris Men convention.
For 63 years the Palestinian people have prayed, fought, lost, revolted, hoped and lost again.
The Palestinian cause is admired due to the tenacity of the Palestinians themselves: they are a testament to the strength and courage of humankind.
Of course, many will counter that it is these attributes that render the Israelis equally remarkable – to this, each to their own.
The Palestine Papers contain revelations, yet most shocking of all is the realization that the enemy is not so much the Israelis, but the Palestinian Authority.
Never has the adage ‘who needs enemies when you have friends (leaders) like these’ been truer.
As a blogger I have lamented and condemned the acts of occupation and violence meted out by the Israeli state, the settlers and the IDF.
They have, undoubtedly, committed mass abrogations of human rights.
However, their actions have been guided by the same desire as that which guides the Palestinians: they are fighting for their land.
Whether it is Israeli or Palestinian land is questionable – what is certain is that both sides believe with every fibre of their being that the other is wrong.
Which is why the news that members of the Palestinian Authority were willing to concede so much, so easily, is unpalatable.
The Israelis have their own cause; what happened to the Palestinians?
Most offensive is the Senior Palestinian Negotiator, Saeb Erekat, who barters the land akin to the cheapest, widely-lapelled real estate agent:
We proposed that Israel annexes all settlements in Jerusalem except Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa). […] It is no secret that on our map we proposed we are offering you the biggest Yerushalayim in history. […] the Haram can be left to be discussed – there are creative ways, having a body or a committee, having undertakings for example not to dig. The only thing I cannot do is convert to Zionism. Even the Old City can be worked out except the Haram and what they call Temple Mount. There you need the creativity of people like me. [Source]
If the bile is rising, be assured this is but the most elementary of Erekat’s grovelling.
Released primarily by Al Jazeera and latterly The Guardian, other points include:
How Israeli leaders privately asked for some Arab citizens to be transferred to a new Palestinian state;
The intimate level of covert co-operation between Israeli security forces and the P.A.;
The central role of British intelligence in drawing up a secret plan to crush Hamas in the Palestinian territories;
How Palestinian Authority leaders were privately tipped off about Israel’s 2008-2009 war in Gaza.
The latter is the most horrific of all.
Over the coming days more documents will be released and the peace process (R.I.P.) will quiver in tatters.
And this time, it will not be the Israelis to blame.
It will be the Palestinian leaders, who have shattered the confidence bestowed by the people through their wanton ambition.
Yes, the concessions would have sped along the process, but at what price?
If they cannot be loyal to themselves, they should be to the people.
Without loyalty, they affirm their position as marionettes and the process becomes the very ‘theater’ that Erekat calls the Palestine Papers.