After nearly a two-year hiatus, Israel and Palestine are headed back to the bargaining table, prompting speculation as to whether these talks will finally yield a compromise.
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BY EMOKE BEBIAK
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The publication of the Palestine Papers has led to widespread debate about how the documents reflect on Palestine and Israel. The papers containing classified information about peace talks were leaked to Al Jazeera and The Guardian.
Guardian blogger Harriet Sherwood suggests Palestine might in fact benefit from the documents.
“...[they] show the Palestinians were serious about negotiating, and were willing to make big and painful concessions for peace and to secure their dream of a state. From the papers I've read, there is little evidence of the Israelis matching this approach by making serious and painful concessions of their own.”
A commenter for Democracy Now! says regardless of which country looked better, the documents outlined a clear power dynamic.
“The revelations are quite striking. The most important I think is the degree to which not only Palestinian negotiators were forthcoming, but the degree to which the Israelis were unwilling to accept concessions. It seriously casts into doubt the idea that Israel would accept anything but complete capitulation by the Palestinians to absolutely everything they’re demanding on every front.”
A blogger for MuslimMatters agrees and feels the publication of these papers reveal a relationship that hasn’t always been accurately portrayed.
“In the past, Western media has projected the scenario that Israel lacks a viable partner for peace in the Palestinians, who are portrayed as fractured and incapable of accepting the ‘generous concessions’ made by Israel. But these papers reveal an alternative reality, one in which Palestinian negotiators acquiesced settlements [...] in return for nothing.”
But Al Jazeera says, despite how accommodating Palestinian leaders appeared may appear in the documents, they may have disregarded the consequences to Palestinian people by offering some of these concessions.
“Ezzat Hussain Kiwani moved here in 1947 expelled from West Jerusalem at the creation of the new state of Israel. He’s angry the negotiators would even consider giving away his home.”
But Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz says the proposed concessions are promising as the two countries try to move toward peace.
“The documents are testimony that the Palestinians are willing to go the distance for peace: They will relinquish their claims on the Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas.”
Finally, German political magazine, Der Spiegel, reports that while the Palestinian leaders’ willingness to compromise is a promising sign, the government still has many obstacles to overcome if they want to achieve peace for the entire population.
“German media commentators say the leaked documents show the Palestinian leadership knows what compromises will be needed for peace in the Middle East, but its angry denials of the leaked documents demonstrate its failure to prepare the Palestinian people for concessions.”
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Freedom for Palestine (Israel) New Version 2011
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The founding meeting of All 4 Palestine Society entitled Palestinians Contribution to Human Civilization September 17, 2011.
BY MILA MIMICA
ANCHOR ANTHONY MARTINEZ
In an effort to spur stalled peace negotiations with Israel, Representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization will seek membership in the UN next week -- MSNBC has more:
“The stage is set for a showdown in the UN Security Council over Palestinian statehood. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will ask the Council next week to grant his people full UN membership, bypassing negotiations with Israel and the US.”
The US disapproves of the move and is vowing to veto the resolution as a member of the Security Council. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the administration wants to focus on peace talks:
“The Palestinians will not and cannot achieve statehood through a declaration at the United Nations. It is a distraction and frankly, it’s counterproductive. That remains our position. We continue to be focused with great intensity on the need to get Israelis and Palestinians together again in direct negotiations.’
The US veto would prevent Palestine from joining the UN. But according to CNN, there’s another option:
“If they want to avoid a US veto, the Palestinians are very likely to come here, next door, at the UN general assembly already full of 193 countries.”
Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, says his country is determined to seek membership.
“If one road is blocked we will follow another one, but the objective is still the same, and as they say, there are many roads to lead to Rome.”
If Palestine chooses to go through the general assembly -- it won’t be able to vote, but it could join UN bodies and conventions -- including the International Criminal Court. Some are worried -- if that happens -- Palestine would challenge Israel with international legal action.
But Palestinian ambassador to the US Maen Rashid Areikat says that’s not the plan -- for now.
“We don’t have any immediate plans to go to the ICC. We don’t have any immediate plans to pursue Israel legally, but we reserve the right to do whatever is needed accorded to us under UN charter International law to defend the rights of the Palestinian people.”
A columnist for Al Jazeera claims the resolution could finally bring peace to a tumultuous region.
“Practically, not much would change...Nonetheless, the symbolism of the admission would be tremendous. The Middle East peace process could be set on a new path of fairness and equality, leading to a side-by-side of two "peace-loving" states.”
But The Economist says -- every party is misguided in this dispute. On the Palestinians, the paper writes:
“If they win the vote in the General Assembly, America's Congress seems almost guaranteed to vote to cut off aid, which would be a severe blow for the Palestinian Authority's donor-dependent economy.”
And of the Americans:
“The American rejection of that result will also be a mistake. It will severely damage America's aspirations to improve its standing in the perhaps-democratising Arab world.”
The US sent two Mideast experts to Palestine last week in a last ditch effort to sway Palestinians to stick to negotiations rather than seek recognition with the UN.
*******www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/telejournal/2010-2011/ La Palestine : un survol d'une histoire faite de rendez-vous manqués avec la paix.