Stealth ‘corrections’ at the Indy in Mira Bar-Hillel’s confessional about Olmert

A couple of hours ago we posted about an op-ed by Mira Bar-Hillel, titled ‘I dated Ehud Olmert once. His ambition stood out, but the corruption was yet to come‘, which included two errors:

First, she got the date of Ariel Sharon’s coma wrong.

More significantly, Bar-Hillel greatly inflated the casualty figures from the 2008-09 war in Gaza.  Here’s the original passage:

he [Olmert] ordered the molten lead attack on Gaza in December 2008, which again left over 1,000 Palestinian civilians dead, 

As we noted, even B’tselem (the NGO which has one of the highest casualty tallies) didn’t claim that the three-week conflict between Israel and Hamas “left over 1,000 Palestinian civilians dead”.  While other sources (including, quite tellingly, Hamas) place the civilian casualty figures dramatically lower, B’tselem has claimed that 773 of the 1387 Palestinians killed “did not take part in hostilities”.

Shortly after contacting Indy editors and alerting them to the errors, we noticed two changes:

First, the date of Sharon’s coma was corrected.

However, though there was a second change, it was not at all sufficient.  They merely changed this…

Two years later, he ordered the molten lead attack on Gaza in December 2008, which again left over 1,000 Palestinian civilians dead… 

to this:

Two years later he ordered the molten lead attack on Gaza in December 2008, which again left nearly 1,000 Palestinian civilians dead..

So, do they accept B’tselem’s figures, or don’t they? If they do, then are we to believe that 773 is “nearly 1000″?

Finally, it’s important to note that though newspaper editors (at the Guardian and elsewhere) who respond positively to our correction requests typically explain the revision or acknowledge it somewhere on their site, the changes to Bar-Hillel’s op-ed were not acknowledged or explained via an email, nor noted by Indy editors anywhere on the page.

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UK journalist who dated Ehud Olmert corrupts Gaza War casualty figures

Mira Bar-Hillel, the British journalist who has admitted to being prejudiced against Jews, penned an op-ed on April 1 at the Independent which contained an even more startling revelation:
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In what reads at first glance as an April Fool’s joke, Bar-Hillel writes the following about the former Israeli Prime Minister.

Reader, I didn’t marry him. Not even close. But I did once go out with the former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has just been convicted of bribery and corruption.

Back in late 1969 a blind date was arranged for us. We moved in the same circles for a few years: he as an aspiring politician, me as a journalist. Then as now, Olmert was highly intelligent, with a sharp legal mind. On the downside was his raw ambition.

Olmert was the accidental PM. ‘Arik’ Sharon made him his deputy mainly to force him to toe the line. But when Sharon fell into a coma in 2004, Olmert inherited the job without having to bother with an election which he would probably not have won.

His legacy as PM includes the ill-fated adventure in Lebanon in August 2006, which killed over 1,000 people, mostly civilians, devastated civil infrastructure and displaced approximately one million Lebanese. Two years later, he ordered the molten lead attack on Gaza in December 2008, which again left over 1,000 Palestinian civilians dead, many of them, as in Lebanon, children.

First, she of course got the date of Ariel Sharon’s coma wrong, which occurred in 2006, not 2004.

Additionally, Bar-Hillel significantly inflates the casualty figures in the 2008-09 war in Gaza.

Even such politicized pro-Palestinian NGOs such as B’tselem haven’t claimed that the three-week conflict between Israel and Hamas “left over 1,000 Palestinian civilians dead”.  While other sources (including, quite tellingly, Hamas) place the civilian casualty figures dramatically lower, B’tselem has claimed that 773 of the 1387 Palestinians they claim were killed in the war “did not take part in hostilities” – more than 20 percent less than the figure cited by Bar-Hillel.

While Bar-Hillel acknowledges that the failed shidduch with the disgraced former PM didn’t provide an opportunity to really get to know the man, readers of the Independent would likely benefit from an equally frank admission that the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is an issue about which she knows even less about.

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The Telegraph publishes fair & balanced report on Israeli settlement ‘growth’

telegraphOur increasing commentary on Israel related coverage by sites such as The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, The Economist and the Irish Times is often helpful in properly contextualizing coverage at the Guardian.

Regarding The Telegraph, though we have criticized them on occasion, the coverage of Israel by their regional correspondent Robert Tait is often much more fair and professional than the pro-Palestinian activism consistently peddled by the Guardian’s outgoing Jerusalem correspondent Harriet Sherwood.

Indeed, a March 4 Telegraph story, titled ‘Israel issues figures on huge settlement expansion‘, by two other correspondents (Inna Lazareva and Peter Foster) deserves some credit for citing various views on the announcement, from both the Left and the Right.

The report begins by citing “a new report by the Israeli Bureau of Statistics” which revealed “that Israel increased settlement construction in the West Bank by as much as 123% in 2013, compared with the previous year.”  Then, after quoting Israeli left-wing critics of the increased settlement construction, and right-wing critics complaining that there wasn’t enough construction, the report cited the Israeli Housing Ministry’s explanation that the “higher rate of settlement construction [represents] the cumulative effect of the building backlog dating back to the 2009 ten-month long settlement freeze, and subsequent delayed constructions in the following years”.

Then, there was this interesting passage:

Other critics were quick to point out that, while 2013 was indeed an exceptional year for West Bank settlement construction, overall the rate of building in the settlements over the nearly five years that Mr Netanyahu has been in power has actually decreased by nearly a quarter, compared to the five years prior to him assuming the role of Prime Minister.

We’re not sure who exactly they are referring to by “critics”, but, as you may recall, just yesterday (about 9 hours before the Telegraph story appeared) we published a post titledWhat the Guardian won’t report: West Bank settlement building has DECLINED under BiBiwhich included this passage:

Though housing starts did increase dramatically in 2013, based on numbers from the previous year, construction for the nearly five years Netanyahu has been prime minister shows a decrease from the previous four years when Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon were in power.  From 2009 through 2013, there were 7477 housing starts in the West Bank, while from 2004 through 2008 there were 9293 starts.  So, under Netanyahu, there has been a nearly 20% decline in West Bank construction in comparison to the five years before he became prime minister

In short, The Telegraph provided the kind of context and nuance that professional reporters owe their readers when reporting from a region awash in clichés, hyperbole, agitprop and Guardian-style activist journalism.

We commend The Telegraph for their largely fair and balanced report.

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What the Guardian won’t report: West Bank settlement building has DECLINED under Bibi

headerThough Binyamin Netanyahu agreed last summer to release over 100 so-called pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners (who all were serving sentences for murder, attempted murder or being an accessory to murderas a good faith measure to restart peace talks, he made no such promise to the U.S. that his government would curtail settlement construction in the West Bank as a pre-condition.

Despite this fact, those in the UK media who argue that homes built across the green line represents the biggest obstacle to peace can be expected – in the event negotiations between the two parties break down – to inform readers that Bibi’s ‘aggressive settlement construction’ (as Saeb Erekat and others have phrased it) is, in large measure, what scuttled the talks.

So, when it was reported throughout the media yesterday that data from Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics revealed that settlement construction in the West Bank in 2013 represented a 123% increase from the previous year, we decided that look a bit further into the history of such housing starts and came across some rather counter-intuitive information.  

Ha’aretz was one of the sites reporting the ‘dramatic’ increase in housing construction, and they used the following graph which illustrates housing starts in the West Bank each year, beginning in 2001.

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Settlement construction in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) between 2001 and 2013, per Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics

As you can see, though housing starts did increase dramatically in 2013, based on numbers from the previous year, construction for the nearly five years Netanyahu has been prime minister shows a decrease from the previous four years when Ehud Olmert and Ariel Sharon were in power.  From 2009 through 2013, there were 7477 housing starts in the West Bank, while from 2004 through 2008 there were 9293 starts.  So, under Netanyahu, there has been a nearly 20% decline in West Bank construction in comparison to the five years before he became prime minister. (Netanyahu was sworn in on March 31, 2009)

Construction decreased dramatically after Bibi agreed to a 10-month construction freeze (beginning in late 2009), but the rate of building still remained low in the 2 1/2 years after the freeze ended – and only increased significantly in 2013.

Whilst such dry data will of course never pose an obstacle to Guardian journalists intent on advancing the tried and true narrative about Israeli settlements, those who take the time to carefully scrutinize news coming out of the region will at least understand that claims made that such construction has increased under Netanyahu are not supported by the empirical evidence.

 

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Financial Times has a meltdown over SodaStream model of co-existence

Yaacov Lozowick recently quipped that “the Israeli-Arab conflict famously makes many otherwise reasonably normal people lose their marbles”, and a recent Financial Times (FT) editorial (behind pay wall) is more evidence that even the putatively sophisticated often unravel when encountering any Israeli presence on the ‘wrong side’ of the 1949 armistice lines.

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The FT writes:

The decision by actress Scarlett Johansson to stop being an ambassador for Oxfam, the social justice charity, and continue as brand ambassador to SodaStream, an Israeli company that makes home-carbonated drink dispensers at a plant in the occupied West Bank, might be dismissed as a storm in a fizzy cup. It should not be.

The Lost in Translation star has accidentally turned a searchlight on an important issue – whether it is right or lawful to do business with companies that operate in illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian land – as well as inadvertentlsprinkling stardust on the campaign to boycott Israel until it withdraws from the occupied West Bank and Arab East Jerusalem – a separate issue, at least so far.

First, the SodaStream factory is located in an industrial park within greater Ma’ale Adumim and, even according to Peace Now, only 0.5% of the settlement territory was built on Palestinian land. Additionally, while the fate of the disputed territory will be decided by negotiations between the two parties, it’s important to note that Ehud Olmert’s generous offer to Mahmoud Abbas in 2008, which included a contiguous Palestinian State in 93% of the West Bank, included Ma’ale Adumim as part of Israel.

Further, the phrase “Arab East Jerusalem” is of course a misnomer, as the only time “East Jerusalem” was ‘Arab’ (that is, 100% Jew-free) and separated arbitrarily between “East” and “West” in its entire history was between 1949 and 1967, the short period when Jordan controlled that part of the city (after expelling all the Jews).

The FT editorial continues with this flourish:

It is disingenuous to romanticise settlement enterprises. The occupation imprisons thousands of the Palestinians’ young men, gives their land and water to settlers, demolishes their houses and partitions the remaining territory with scores of checkpoints and segregated roads

In addition to the fact that such risible prose is nearly indistinguishable from what’s typically found at hate sites like Mondoweiss and Electronic Intifada, the distortions and obfuscations are remarkable.  First, what “imprisons thousands of Palestinians young men” is not “the occupation” but (assuming this is a reference to security prisoners) rather, their own premeditated acts of terror against Israeli citizens – violence for which Palestinians bear sole responsibility.

Additionally, those advancing the myth of settlers stealing Palestinian water – definitively refuted by several reputable sources - always neglects to mention that the water quota for the West Bank was mutually agreed upon in the Oslo accords, and that Israel has in fact consistently supplied more water to the PA than required. Further, contrary claims made to the contrary, the difference in per capita consumption of water between Israeli settlers and Palestinians is actually negligible.

Also, note the claim regarding “segregated roads”, an allusion perhaps to the canard - retracted by multiple media outlets over the years due to the work of CAMERA – of so-called ‘Jews-only roads’. There are no such racially segregated roads in the West Bank, or anywhere in Israel.

The FT editorial concludes thus:

There are almost no basic foundations for an economy. The way to create Palestinian jobs is to end the occupation and let Palestinians build those foundations – not to build “bridges to peace” on other people’s land without their permission.

This is a truly strange passage, suggesting it seems that, much like Oxfam, editors at the FT would rather see 500 Palestinians lose their jobs than countenance the existence of any Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

Perhaps FT editors could have spoken to SodaStream employees like Ahmed Nasser, who was quoted in Ha’aretz recently boasting that she “can bring a million [other Palestinians] who want to work here,” or to Journalist Josh Mitnick who visited the SodaStream factory and noted that “SodaStream workers and local Palestinians were downright peeved when asked about the efforts of solidarity activists and their own government to boycott SodaStream”.

As Yaacov Lozowick concluded about the row:

In any other context, worldwide, a private company maintaining a factory in an underdeveloped country so as to take advantage of its lower labor costs would be regarded as a boon for the hosting country (if perhaps not for the rich country the factory had previously been in). SodaStream, however, isn’t paying hundreds of Palestinian workers what they’d get from a Palestinian employer. It’s paying the Palestinian laborers Israeli wages, with the social benefits mandated by Israeli law….If ever there is peace between Israel and Palestine, Israeli owned factories in Palestine employing Palestinians is precisely the sort of thing everyone should be wishing for. 

The Financial Times, it should be noted, is the British equivalent of the U.S.-based Wall Street Journal, focused primarily on business and financial news, and in any other context the paper would presumably be lauding a case like SodaStream (the largest private company employing Palestinians in the West Bank) as a textbook example of the kind of foreign direct investment championed by economists and international development advocates.

However, as Lozowick observed, when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, normal discourse and rational thought often devolve into agitprop, hyperbole and activist-inspired platitudes.

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Is a lie of omission still a lie? Guardian report failed to include key words in Lieberman quote

Harriet Sherwood published a report today, Nov. 6, on the acquittal of Avigdor Lieberman, titled ‘Avigdor Lieberman to return to Israeli cabinet after corruption acquittal‘. Whilst there is nothing especially problematic in Sherwood’s report about Lieberman, who was cleared on charges of fraud in a unanimous ruling by three judges after a lengthy trial, we noted a related ‘recommended’ article on the right side bar:

lieberman

The 2009 article, by the paper’s former Jerusalem correspondent, Rory McCarthy, is a profile of the Yisrael Beiteinu party leader (and former foreign minister), titled ‘The rise of Israel’s foreign minister‘, which includes the following claim:

In typically blunt terms Lieberman has called for the trial and execution of Arab fellow MPs.

However, upon researching the claim it became clear that McCarthy omitted a few words in Lieberman’s quote, which go back to comments attributed to him in May, 2006. Here’s a translation of a Hebrew media report on what he said on the floor of the Israeli Knesset:

Lieberman called the execution of Arab Israeli MKs who met with the Hamas…

Whilst Lieberman’s comments were still, quite obviously, extremely inflammatory (and were condemned at the time by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as an act of “incitement”), Guardian readers who come across McCarthy’s report could likely believe (falsely) that Lieberman was calling for death sentences to be carried out arbitrarily against Arab members of the Israeli Knesset.

It’s quite notable that other news sites (even ones not typically friendly to Israel) got the 2006 Lieberman quote right, including even Electronic Intifada (EI).  An EI post shortly after Lieberman’s comments were published included the following:

A few days previously, on 5 May, Lieberman expressed the hope that Arab legislators who met with the Hamas leadership be put on trial and executed

Interestingly, even McCarthy’s colleagues have accurately reported his comments.

Extreme left Guardian columnist Jonathan Steele got the quote correct in a 2006 essay, which included the following:

Lieberman has described Tibi and other Israeli Arabs who have met Hamas officials as traitors. They should be executed, he said…

Here’s Peter Beaumont – foreign editor of The Observer, sister publication of the Guardian - in 2012:

 At various times he has called for the expulsion of Israel’s Arab population, [and] the “execution” of Arab MPs who met with leaders of Hamas,

Bottom line?  

A ‘lie of omission’ is still a lie.

Official Guardian editorial legitimizes a ‘one-state solution’.

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot - George Orwell

We’ve long believed that chances were strong that the historic editorial preference at ‘Comment is Free‘ towards commentators (and even Islamist extremists) who seek a ‘one state solution’ to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict would eventually translate into an official editorial position in favor of such a final solution.  Whilst that position may not yet have been explicitly expressed, today’s official Guardian editorial, on Jerusalem’s municipal elections, seems to have at least taken a step in that direction.

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Ignoring polls indicating that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem would prefer – in the event a Palestinian state were created resulting in a divided Jerusalem – to remain citizens or residents of Israel, their Oct. 21 editorial (Jerusalem elections: the ballot and the boycott) starts off by legitimizing the most radical and unrepresentative Palestinian voices:

To cast a vote [in the Jerusalem municipal elections] is to acknowledge the legitimacy of the occupation, or so it is argued. “Participating in the process merely gives [the Israelis] political cover,” insists Hanan Ashrawi, from the PLO’s executive committee. “They want to create a reality where the Palestinians participate in the occupation of their own country.

The Guardian editorial continues:

But this year, for the first time ever, there is a Palestinian candidate [Arab Israeli] Fuad Saliman…[who] is running as a part of an Israeli coalition of left-wing parties. Given that Palestinians make up well over a third of the city’s population, their participation in the political process could transform a political landscape…

So, what is the Guardian’s interest in increasing Palestinian voter strength? It becomes apparent in the following paragraphs:

As a thought experiment, however, it is fascinating. Extrapolating from the local situation in Jerusalem, what if all Palestinians made a strategic decision to seek full voting rights within the reality that is Israel, rather than demanding a separate Palestinian state? In other words, what if they transformed their struggle from a nationalist one into a civil rights one?

Of course, Palestinians don’t all have the same access to the ballot box. But far from looking to exert their electoral presence on the national stage, those who do have the right to vote have been exercising it less and less. Seventy-five per cent voted in the 1999 elections. Ten years later, it was 54%. The fact that it didn’t dip below half earlier this year was put down to a last-minute intervention by the Arab League urging the million or so Palestinians living in Israel to get out and vote. Amid deepening despair as to the viability of a two-state solution, this [one-state] option…is only going to attract more attention.

While it is curious that their latest expression of “despair” over the two-state solution was published at a time when serious peace negotiations between the two parties are currently taking place, it’s more important to understand what exactly their little one-state “thought experiment” actually means: the legitimization of a radical reconstitution of Israel from the world’s only Jewish state into a binational state in which Jews would likely again be at the mercy of the ‘benevolence’ of a hostile Arab majority.  

The overwhelming majority of Jewish Israelis, possessing a sobriety informed by an understanding of the catastrophic history of such political powerlessness, would of course violently resist such a scenario, rendering any attempt to impose such a solution a recipe for endless war.

Finally, in 2011, following the Guardian’s release of its highly skewed “expose” of the ‘Palestine Papers’ (which among other stances, characterized Palestinian compromise on the refugee issue as a “craven”) Ron Prosor, who was then Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, blasted the paper in a Huffington Post essay titled “The Guardian’s Assault on Peace in the Middle East”.  Prosor decried the “self-appointed ‘guardian’ of Palestinian truth” who “maximized its opportunity to pledge allegiance to the hard-line, national fantasies which have crippled the Palestinian cause for decades.”

The one-state scenario, however it is couched, is not a “solution” but, rather, the racist anti-Zionist end game of Palestinian extremists (and their far-left supporters) who seek to deny Jews, and only Jews, their inalienable right to self-determination.  

Racism in football, Israel and Egypt: Contrast in Guardian coverage

Israel

The Guardian has devoted five separate stories (including three videos) in their coverage of recent acts of anti-Muslim racism by fans of the Israeli football team, Beitar Jerusalem, who are unhappy with the club’s decision to sign two Chechen Muslim players.

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fiveA few additional facts:

  • “Beitar’s owner, Arcadia Gaydamak, refused to bow to the fans’ pressure. “As far as I’m concerned, there is no difference between a Jewish player and a Muslim player…”
  • “Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Friday’s apparent arson attack was “shameful”, adding: “The Jewish people, [who have] suffered boycotts and persecution, should be a light unto other nations.””
  • “President Shimon Peres said the entire country was shocked, and former prime minister Ehud Olmert, a Beitar fan for more than 40 years, said that he would no longer attend matches because of fans’ behaviour.”
  • “Israel’s attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, said police would take action against any “manifestation of [racism] that crosses the line into a criminal act”. The Israeli Football Association imposed a 50,000 shekels (£8,595) fine on the club for the racist slogans of its fans and ordered the closure of the eastern stand of its stadium, where hardcore fans congregate, for five matches.”

Egypt:

On April 6, 2011, scores of football fans in Egypt hurled gigantic banners with the words:

One Nation for a new Holocaust [against the Jews].

There are no Jews on any of Egypt’s football teams, and there are merely three dozen Jewish citizens left in the entire country.  (There were over 75,000 in 1948.)

More importantly, in contrast to the reaction in Israel:

  • Is it even conceivable that Egyptian authorities investigated those who hurled the antisemitic banners on April 6?
  • Will criminal hate crime charges be brought against the culprits?
  • Have any Egyptian public officials denounced such an ugly display of racism by Egyptian football fans?
  • Are ordinary Egyptian citizens outraged by such despicable behavior?

While the questions above are largely rhetorical, there is one important question which we no longer even need to ask, as the answer was found by a web and Lexis-Nexus search: 

The Guardian didn’t devote even one story to the pro-genocide messages at an Egypt football stadium on April 6, 2011.

Jews build homes in Israel: Harriet Sherwood and the political orthodoxy of the Guardian Left

Harriet Sherwood’s report, Israel go-ahead for West Bank settler homes dents peace hopes, represents an exquisite example of how clichés and anti-Zionist tropes have taken the place of objective analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

Sherwood opens her report:

The Israeli government has authorised the construction of 277 homes in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, a move that will diminish the prospects for a resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.

Israel is determined to annex such a large settlement, but the Palestinians and many in the international community argue that it would cut the West Bank nearly in two, making a contiguous Palestinian state almost impossible.

But, this is just unimaginably uniformed or intentionally misleading, as the following map – which represents the offer made to the Palestinians by Israeli PM Ehud Olmert in 2008 – indicates.

The boundaries of the proposed map, which we posted previously, doesn’t at all cut the proposed Palestinian state in two and is clearly contiguous. (Red arrow points to Ariel)

Here’s a close up of Ariel, arrow in red:

In fact, such a two-state solution would, by Sherwood’s logic, had cut Israel in two, insofar as Israel’s narrowest point (arrow in red) would be far narrower than the length between even the expanded region of Ariel and the eastern end of the Palestinian border.

In fact, the original UN partition plan of 1947 completely cut Israel in two – a plan which Israel still accepted but the Arabs rejected.

The fact is that an additional 227 homes in Ariel aren’t even remotely injurious to the prospects of a two-state solution.

A few clicks on Google and Harriet Sherwood could have reached the same conclusion.

But, when you’re ideologically conditioned to see Jewish homes across the quite arbitrary Green Line as an “impediment to peace”, rather than engaging in a sober analysis of the particular territorial issues at play, the conclusions that Sherwood reaches are simply inevitable – and represents the absurdity of Guardian Left political orthodoxy parading as unconventional wisdom.

How the Guardian Helped Kill the Peace Process

This is cross posted by Emanuele Ottolenghi at Contentions, the blog of Commentary Magazine.

As Alana noted yesterday, the extent of Palestinian concessions during peace talks, once made public, has seriously damaged PA leaders — and the State Department has weighed, noting that things are now going to be even harder than they were already.

The immediate fallout from the leaks should raise a number of important questions for the Guardian, but judging by the way it is spinning the story, it is hard to believe introspection is coming.

First, the Guardian appears shocked and angered by the extent of Palestinian concessions on settlements and yet blames Israel for the subsequent impasse on account of … settlements!

As Noah pointed out, if the main cause for lack of progress in the past 24 months was Palestinian insistence on an Israeli settlement freeze, one that included Jerusalem, as a precondition for talks — and this, thanks to U.S. backing — the papers reveal that it was merely a cynical pretext for the Palestinians’ not resuming talks once Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu took power. Otherwise, why make a sacred cow of something they had already conceded before? The answer may be that the Palestinians neither accepted nor rejected the Olmert offer but, rather, regarded it as still on the table, allowing them time to see if Olmert was going to survive politically. With Olmert (and Livni) out and Obama in, then, the Palestinians may have concluded that a better deal could be had with a more sympathetic U.S. administration in place. This is consistent with Palestinian behavior historically and a tried-and-tested recipe for disaster for their aspirations.

In his Guardian op-ed on the leaks, Jonathan Freedland wrote that:

Surely international opinion will see concrete proof of how far the Palestinians have been willing to go, ready to move up to and beyond their “red lines,” conceding ground that would once have been unthinkable — none more so than on Jerusalem. In the blame game that has long attended Middle East diplomacy, this could see a shift in the Palestinians’ favour. The effect of these papers on Israel will be the reverse.

What Freedland is telling us is not what might happen but rather what he ardently wishes would happen. He may be right, of course — but it is not like Israel was basking in the light of international favor before the leaks!

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