The Left

Poor Jonathan Freedland

Jonathan Freedland has an article on Comment is Free.

He thinks that the essential lesson of the Palestine Papers is that peace is possible, that the Palestinian negotiators should be applauded for demonstrating that they are prepared to take the big step for peace, and that the forthcoming task is to prepare both sides for a compromise, along the lines of that which was being discussed in 2008.

Yes, that’s a good message to draw from the Palestine Papers. Certainly, the fact that Abbas and Erekat are now insisting that they made no such concessions indicates that the task of turning private offers into public positions is an enormous one.

What’s more, says that senior Palestinian figure, the leak of these papers could do something the PA had failed to do: prepare Palestinian public opinion for the painful concessions that peace will, one distant day, require. This leak has blown apart any pretence that an agreement could come without a heavy price. Now there can be an argument about what precisely a future deal would look like and what it would be worth – an argument in the open.

Then, there’s this gentle last paragraph:

For the record, I disagreed with the Guardian editorial that described Palestinian concessions as “craven”: I prefer to admire the readiness of the Palestinians to move, urging Israelis to do the same.

The only problem, Jonathan, is that this is not how Al Jazeera or Seumas Milne or really any of your other Guardian colleagues presented the story was it? Rather, the argument appears to be that nothing less than the precise 1967 armistice lines will do, that the West Bank should be cleansed of Jews, and that every single one of the descendants of those Palestinians who left Israel in 1948 should return to Israel.

To bolster the point, Comment is Free is posting article after article by Hamas officials and supporters, calling for the replacement of Abbas and Erekat for the crime of treason.

You and Aluf Benn are the sole challengers to that consensus. Two Jews, standing alone.

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