The Palestine Papers are indeed quite a leak – but just like its sister-leak in Wikileaks (the diplomatic cables), which were labeled as one of the biggest stories of the decade, they are destined to be forgotten in the next few days. I can barely remember what the diplomatic cables were about, and haven’t seen any of the much-hyped damage turn into reality. As is the case around the world, and in Israel and Palestine even more so, events on the ground don’t give that much of a shelf life to any story these days – even if they’re the biggest scoop around.
But if one were, even for a moment, to take it seriously, the biggest winner of the Al Jazeera leak, of course, is Hamas. Simply because they weren’t part of the whole process. So, the terrorist organization is ironically the only one to remain unscathed by the papers. Everybody else has been tainted. Israel – for refusing everything, for pushing “transfer” of Israeli Arabs to Palestine and more, the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) – for continuing to be the eternal pushovers that they are, but mostly the Americans – which we’ll get to later.
There are only two things we should take away from the Palestine Papers. The first: There’s no need to talk anymore. Despite considerable concessions from the Palestinians, even the narrowest gap between the sides in 2008 proved to be an uncrossable bridge. The main stumbling point being the settlement blocs.
For most Israelis who support a two-state solution it’s always been a given that in any agreement these blocs would be annexed. As the papers show – even though we already knew it – the Palestinians have a different idea. Israelis who read the papers will have to understand that there will be no agreement without the dismantling of the huge settlement cities Ariel and Maaleh Adumim. Just because they have cinemas, theaters and malls this will not save them from the bulldozers.
The second thing to take away is the notion of America being a neutral broker in this process. Well sure, it’s not like we never had our doubts. But I think it’s fair to say we can now officially throw that notion out the window after reading then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s crass remarks about the Nakba: “Bad things happen to people around the world all the time.”
Then again, what would one expect from a woman who spent thousands of dollars on shoes and laughed hard at a Spamelot show on Broadway as bodies in New Orleans began to float through the French Quarter.
Joseph Dana of +972 enlightens us with further proof of American bias:
“During negotiations regarding Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority was ready to give up part of the contentious East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Israel simply rejected the offer and began moving settlers into Palestinians homes in the neighborhood. Apparently the Israeli rationale was that the Palestinians were ready to give it up, might as well move settlers in, create facts on the ground and force them to ‘give up’ different territory. A simple land grab. What is striking is that the United States monitored this entire process. American officials were aware of the Palestinian offer and then watched in relative silence while Israel created a new settlement.”
With these two points combined – talking is useless, and so is America’s role – it is clear that a new approach must be taken. First of all, Europeans should be enraged about this charade called a peace process and take the wheel. It’s time for America to hand it over, nothing has come of their efforts. Furthermore, American citizens should be disappointed with their politicians, who have proven over and over again that they are nothing more than AIPAC puppets with solely the next campaign donation on their mind.
If the Palestinian Authority survives until this summer, after this lethal blow it has just received, it should be clear that an internationally imposed solution to the conflict is now the only way to go. This path should be comprised of Palestinian unilateralism combined with worldwide recognition of the Palestinian state. The best way now for America to help this solution is to simply sit back when the resolution appears at the UN and withhold its veto (this is the basis of the Wild Card campaign). After that, dealings between the two states will resume under forceful, objective European supervision in order to bring an end to Israeli control over Palestinian land.
After more countries continue to recognize Palestine between each Wild Card post, more top tier pundits (including Zvi Barel and the Christian Science Monitor) join the campaign (a call on the U.S. to recognize Palestine in 2011):
M.J Rosenberg keeps it nice and simple:
“The United States should either lay a plan on the table and demand its implementation, or the Palestinians should declare full independence, with negotiations with Israel to follow. And the United States should support them.
Forty-four years of occupation is enough, for both Palestinians and Israelis. And it’s time for America to keep its promises.”
“In the coming months, we will make a supreme effort to rescue the peace process. If there is no substantial change in Israel’s position, the United States will recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital, this coming September. You all know that this is in America’s interest.”
The Wild Card Campaign
Part I The Wild Card campaign starts with a bang through an op-ed in the Jerusalem Post
Part II Where French FM and President Abbas hint towards a future Palestinian state
Part III Egyptian FM joins the party
Part IV The NYTimes puts the Wild Card on the agenda
Part V The right wingers start to get nervous about unilateralism
Part VI The peace talks die, a call for Obama to think again about the Wild Card
Part VII EU sets the ground for recognition of Palestine
Part VIII AIPAC flexes its muscle – but who cares?
Part IX Obama’s Litmus test just around the corner