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Erekat finally hits the mark

After days of furiously shooting the messenger, (in truth, simply making public a privately held belief), the Palestinian Authority may finally be seeing the real value of the Palestinian Papers.
Last modified: 27 Jan 2011 08:48
[Photo by EPA]

After days of furiously shooting the messenger, (in truth, simply making public a privately held belief), the Palestinian Authority may, finally, be seeing the real value of the Palestinian Papers.

Talking to the Guardian, Saeb Erekat nails the key issue:

"What should be taken from these documents is that Palestinian negotiators have consistently come to the table in complete seriousness and in good faith, and that we have only been met by rejection on the other end,"

No denying there are still serious questions to be asked about the whole process and the way the PA has dealt with the negotiations, (and indeed with their own constituents,) but the bottom line is surely this:

"Conventional wisdom, supported by the press, has allowed Israel to promote the idea that it has always lacked a partner. If it has not been before, it should now be painfully obvious that the very opposite is true. It is Palestinians who have lacked, and who continue to lack, a serious partner for peace."

Until now, the media has uniformly interpreted these papers as evidence of failure on the Palestinian side; perhaps that focus might now switch to what the paper's reveal about Israel's role in all of this.

Particularly revealing in the whole process has been this one quote from Tzipi Livni, that seems to sum up the past few decades:

“Israel takes more land [so] that the Palestinian state will be impossible . . . the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that is impossible, we already have the land and we cannot create the state”. She conceded that it had been “the policy of the government for a really long time”.

Livni, and the Israeli government, have been notably silent through all of this.