Thirty-five people were killed today in a Moscow airport suicide bombing, but the story that everyone seems to be talking about is news that Israel has and has rejected a partner for peace in the Mideast. Or that Israel doesn’t have a partner in the Palestinian Authority, which is now in the embarrassing position of backpedaling before an angry Arab community from unprecedented concessions it offered Israel.
Here’s the story from The Washington Post:
Palestinian Authority officials in the West Bank reacted angrily on Monday to the release of memos by al-Jazeera TV that revealed apparent concessions negotiators were willing to make to Israel in 2008. The discussions were kept confidential out of concern that media leaks of details from the talks would undermine the peace process.
Among the revelations contained in the documents, which the station’s Web site said number more than 1,600, were Palestinian negotiators’ willingness to concede sections of East Jerusalem to Israeli control as part of a final peace deal.
Minutes detailing the concession came from a meeting in Jerusalem in June 2008 between Palestinian and Israeli negotiators mediated by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Al-Jazeera’s English-language Web site is calling the documents the Palestine Papers, and is posting them incrementally, WikiLeaks-style, over the next several days.
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who is featured prominently in the documents as one of those willing to surrender Palestinian control of parts of East Jerusalem, issued a statement late Monday saying many of the documents “misrepresented our positions’’ or took “statements and facts out of context.’‘
“Even though many ideas have been discussed by the two sides as part of the normal negotiations process, including some we could never agree to, we have consistently said any proposed agreement would have to gain popular support through a national referendum,’’ Erekat said.
Possibly the most entertaining aspect of this drama is that Al Jazeera, which published the documents, is being accused by the Palestinian Authority of “distorting reality” and trying to undermine Hamas’ rival in the Palestinian territory.
The sad thing is how FUBARed the whole Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” is at this point. If before today there was any blood still coursing through those veins, it’s all dried up and peace would appear to be a corpse. And both Israel and the Palestinians are to blame.