Robin Shepherd made a great observation about the Guardian Editorial on the Palestine Papers, one that we touched on in yesterday’s post: The Guardian’s outrage over concessions relating to Jerusalem, and occupied territories, positions them closer to the views of Hamas than more moderate elements of Palestinian society.
Even if we are to accept that the selected Palestinian notes from their negotiations with Israel represent reality, and even if we are to suspend disbelief at Saeb Erekat’s claim that the concessions he was reportedly prepared to make made him “a joke to his wife”, we are still left with some questions:
Why would the Guardian characterize the flexibility necessary to achieve peace as evidence of “weakness” and “craven[ness]“?
Why would they dismiss, and even mock, the potential Palestinian state which was apparently being discussed – one which would address Israel’s security concerns – by characterizing the future nation as something approaching a vassal state, a “puppet”, and simply another form of Israeli “bondage”?
Finally, why would the Guardian view the failure of such talks – the offer which was ultimately rejected by Mahmoud Abbas – as evidence that any new talks should require a priori Israeli acceptance of absolutely nothing less than the exact 1967 borders – with no border compromises possible?
In other words, why does even the appearance of Palestinian flexibility on the final borders of a future Palestinian state outrage the Guardian editors so much?
Not content to merely cheer lead for the Palestinian side, and demonize Israel, they now seem to view their role as inciting the Palestinians to reject moderation and accommodation.
The Guardian editorial ends with a dire warning of what will result if their sage advice is not followed:
“The alternative is to allow the cancer of the existing one-state solution to grow and to prepare for the next war. No one will have to wait long for that.”
While the facts still show that it was the Palestinians who rejected a sovereign and contiguous state (with a capital in Jerusalem) 2008, in framing the compromises which may have been considered by the Palestinian leadership as a cowardly surrender to the cause, Guardian editors have now emboldened Hamas, and have abandoned even the pretense of advocating for peace.
Quite simply, they are playing with fire.