By Ted Belman
The following articles were published in the Guardian on Jan 23/11. They suggest according to the authors that Israel had a partner for peace. The major problem I have with the authors is that they keep repeating that the settlements, including in Jerusalem, are illegal. This is flat out wrong though widely believed. The second problem I have with them is that they keep writing about what the Palestinians were willing to give us. It is not theirs to give, it is ours to keep.
What I liked about the articles is that they stressed what Rice and livni had to say about the negotiations:
- But the offer was rejected out of hand by Israel because it did not include a big settlement near the city Ma’ale Adumim as well as Har Homa and several others deeper in the West Bank, including Ariel.
- the papers also reveal the unyielding confidence of Israeli negotiators and the often dismissive attitude of US politicians towards Palestinian representatives.
- But the documents show US officials unmoved by such claims. Why were the Palestinians “always in a chapter of a Greek tragedy”, secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, asked at a meeting with Erekat in Washington in the autumn of 2009.
Her predecessor, Rice, had been even more dismissive. In July 2008 during talks with Palestinian leaders over compensation for refugees who fled or were forced from their homes when Israel was established in 1948, she said: “Bad things happen to people all around the world all the time.”
If the Palestinians kept insisting that Israel could not keep the large settlements of Ma’ale Adumim (near Jerusalem) and Ariel (in the heart of the West Bank), Rice told them: “You won’t have a state”. No Israeli leader could accept a deal “without including them in an Israeli state”.
Papers reveal how Palestinian leaders gave up fight over refugees
• Negotiators agreed just 10,000 to return
• PLO agreed Israel could be a ‘Jewish state’
• US suggested Palestinians live in Latin America