It was business as usual at the United Nations in New York on November 13, 2007 when yet another discussion took place in the General Assembly about Israel's dealings with the Palestinians.
The UN Special Observer for Palestine cited from a report in which Israel was portrayed as an "extraordinary violator of human rights" and called upon the international community to hold Israel accountable.
On the same day, halfway around the world, Tzipi Livni, the then-Israeli foreign minister, told Saeb Erekat, the chief negotiator of the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Ahmed Qurei, the former PA prime minister, that she is "against international law".
In one of the most candid statements that Livni made during the meeting about the framework of the negotiations at the upcoming Annapolis summit, she told the Palestinian negotiators what she really thought of the subject:
Livni: I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer… But I am against law - international law in particular. Law in general.
Given the imbalance of power between the occupied and the occupier, international law and concepts of justice are the last refuges for Palestinians. However, in that November 2007 meeting Livni made clear she values neither.
Livni, who is often perceived as more "moderate" than the current Israeli government, was by that time the preferred interlocutor for the Palestinians. But during the negotiations in the following months, Livni’s propositions clearly reflected her stated disregard for concepts of justice.Did Livni really say that?
Let's look at the memo, which was entirely about what issues should be included in a joint statement at the Annapolis summit (and remember - this is the Palestinian Arab version of the minutes of the meeting):
Livni opens the meeting: I would like to suggest that we will continue according to what I tried to at the beginning of the session yesterday, but unfortunately while doing so we ended up in some sort of a discussion. At the end of todays meeting the minimum that is required is some sense of the six or seven points that you stated that need to be in the document. Just [a] list [of] what is agreed or not agreed. Put aside the core issues for now, just have a list of agreed and not agreed, in points. If we have this agreement… lets not include the areas of disagreement now.When Livni says "I am against law" she is saying she does not want any reference to legal issues, or international law, in the joint statement. Just like the Arab side did not want the three principles of the Quartet.
Ahmed Qurei: We can finish tonight the subjects the preamble. What are the components. Not the language or the nice words etc. We should focus on three things in the preamble. One is the terms of reference [“TOR”]. The three core elements in addition to the [nice] language. One is the TOR. Second is the 2 state solution. Third is the Roadmap [“RM”]. Is there anything to be added to the preamble?
Livni: No its ok. And what we called before some good words. The basic idea of where we are going. End of conflict, [the goal is] to find a way to do so… something like this.
So if you want to summarize the positions, this is something we did in our former conversation. When it comes to the TOR we want reference to 242, 338, the RM and other agreements agreed between the two sides. You added, and this is the problem, the API [Arab Peace Initiative], international law, 1515, 1397, and 194. And we wanted the three principles of the Quartet.
[more discussion of what should be included in the Terms of Reference and Preamble for the document]
Qurei: International law?
Livni: NO. I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer…But I am against law -- international law in particular. Law in general.
If we want to make the agreement smaller, can we just drop some of these issues? Like international law, this will make the agreements easier.
That's it. She is not saying she is against international law, the notes are just a shorthand for her saying she doesn't want it mentioned in this largely ceremonial statement.
Al Jazeera is, once again, lying. And they assume that their readers are too stupid to look at the actual paper.
Unfortunately, for 99% of their readers - they are right.