Predictably, the Melbourne Age has gone overboard in its coverage of the papers written by Palestinian sources about the peace process and leaked by Al Jazeera and the Guardian in an attempt to embarrass both Israel and the Palestine Authority and to strengthen Hamas. I can see three articles on today's on line edition - all of them emphasising the weakness of the Palestinian position and painting Israel in the light of an oppressor.
The truth is that the papers, which speak from the Palestinian perspective, demonstrate what we've known all along and that is that the Israelis have consistently stridently thrown themselves into the quest for peace.
In fact, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat is quoted in the papers as saying:
"Israelis want the two state solution but they don’t trust. They want it more than you think, sometimes more than Palestinians."Of course, Erekat is now denying all and the Guardian ignored his statement in its haste to show the Israelis in a bad light.
"Haste" is the operative word here because they have once again come out of the blocks quickly, without thinking and leaving some large questions unanswered.
In ignoring the Israeli position, they have forgotten to ask why was no deal ever consummated?
Will the Age even try to look for the answer? Perhaps it might want to achieve some balance in its coverage and start looking elsewhere, other than the Guardian's slanted coverage on Israel? How about this Jerusalem Post article - Obama Spokesman: Verbal PA Agreement was Reached. A spokesman for former-prime minister Ehud Olmert confirms that the parties were close to an agreement.
He said that a verbal agreement had been reached and specific maps were discussed, however "I still do not understand why the Palestinians did not sign at the end of the day."There are many other questions. Why the charade post Olmert about no negotiations when a settlement freeze was agreed upon by Netanyahu and why, when it expired did Mahmoud Abbas insist on "no settlement freeze – no deal" if, as is claimed that a deal was on the cards and the Palestinians had conceded on settlements?
I believe Saeb Erekat is a liar but at least he is right when he states that Al Jazeera has declared war on the Palestinian people. The release of these papers and their treatment by the Guardian and its proxies around the world will only serve the cause of the violent and rejectionist elements in the region.
In trying to paint the Israelis as intransigent, the Guardian and the Age have proven the opposite and, at the same time, they have shot themselves in the foot and the Palestinian people in the heart.