To many non-Palestinians it may be quite hard to fully understand what all the fuss over the recent Palestine papers is all about. Trying to explain this outrage is an equally difficult task. Is it the fact that we have been humiliated by these revelations, with our chief negotiator at one point pandering so shamefully to Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni on the eve of the Israeli elections by telling her ‘I would vote for you’?
This shame is quite hard to convey. Essentially speaking our negotiators who have been given the task, not by the Palestinian people that is, of hammering a good deal out of these talks, have been bending over for the Israelis, and still they have been told this is not enough. So useless in fact is our chief negotiator, that when Ehud Olmert refused to show him the map of Palestine they were proposing, he was still more than happy to show all his cards and essentially give away his entire strategy. Of course its the nature of the proposal that Saeb Erekat gives which makes us then ask, is this outrage caused by what can only be described as yet another, and perhaps the biggest and most disgraceful betrayal of the Palestinian people that he and his cronies have participated in?
These recent leaks have revealed that major concessions that would be absolutely unacceptable to Palestinians have been offered on almost every single core issue of this conflict, the main two being refugees and of course Jerusalem. The controversy with regards to refugees is easy to understand for most, its the outrage over Jerusalem that needs to be explained. This city, in particular the old city which Erekat offered to give up large parts of, is the most important site in the whole of the region and is in many respects the foundation of this land. Its really quite a hard idea to convey to non-Palestinians since there is no real equivalent of a place like this for any other nation on earth, for this city is the heart and soul of all Palestinians and to paraphrase Sultan Abdul-Hamid II, to compromise on it would be like plunging a dagger into our hearts and twisting it several times over.
This is essentially how revelations about our, illegitimate it should be said, leadership have felt to Palestinians. We knew they were corrupt and that many had sold out the majority of their principles a long time ago, whether it was crackdowns on Hamas in the West Bank or pictures of high ranking Fatah officials being caught drunk with Israelis. However on this key issue we were under the impression that all Palestinians, no matter how treacherous, felt the same way the rest of us did, yet as the last few decades have taught us, this group always stoop to a new low, and this one could very well be that which breaks the camel’s back.
The worst part? There is still more to come.
Views expressed in articles are the author’s and do not represent Comment Middle East
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