Israel/Palestine

Boomerang effect?

Avi Issacharoff of Haaretz writes:

Despite initial fears, it’s likely that the release of the Palestine papers by Al-Jazeera and The Guardian will not bring about a political earthquake in the Palestinian Authority – or even a power struggle within Fatah.

Top PA authorities chose to spend the 12 hours immediately following the leak focusing solely on Al-Jazeera’s role, and have successfully created the impression that the entire debacle was part of a plot orchestrated by the Arab news network together with its brethren in the Muslim world – Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah – against the Palestinian Authority.

Al-Jazeera may have even incriminated itself – the media agency’s releases seem simultaneously contrived and premeditated yet unprofessional, making it appear as though the network published only basic, inaccurate and even fabricated information.

In fact, it is entirely possible that the dramatic leak may have a boomerang effect that will see increased support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is being portrayed as wrongfully persecuted.

More than a few Palestinian pundits not associated with Fatah have pointed out inconsistencies in the Al-Jazeera campaign. According to these commentators, the Palestinians are close to achieving a diplomatic coup at the UN Security Council regarding settlement construction, and Al-Jazeera and its foreign allies are torpedoing this process.

Another conclusion rising from the leaked documents is that they really do not say anything new. Almost every detail has been publicized in the past. In fact, the Palestinian Authority did not even make any effort to hide some of the details that have been made public.

If anyone expected (or hoped for) an explosion of outrage against Abbas and the PA in the “Palestinian street,” it so far hasn’t manifested itself. In fact the only visible outrage in Ramallah was directed at the offices of Al Jazeera.

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