Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wikileaks adds some support to "Palestine Papers"

From a Wikileaks cable, July 2008, at the height of the negotiations between Kadima and Fatah that have been discussed in the "Palestine Papers:"
Saeb Erekat said the GOI and PA are working on all permanent status issues, noting that the two sides “are farther along than we were at Camp David or at Taba.” He said the negotiators will need President Abbas and PM Olmert to “make the hard political decisions.”

Erekat said the PA is committed to finishing a permanent status framework, defining solutions to all permanent status issues, by the end of 2008. He said he is committed to meeting Israeli security requirements, but wants to do so through a mutually-agreed third-party security force rather than an Israeli military presence in the future Palestinian state.
This is entirely consistent with what we have read in the parts of the "Palestine Papers" we've seen. It indicates that both sides were more flexible than they were in 2001.

The highlighted part hints at an intriguing idea: Mahmoud Abbas may have been purposefully kept out of the loop of the negotiations, allowing the PA negotiators a lot of latitude to find common ground but keeping plausible deniability and veto power if necessary. In this way he could maintain his public rejectionist rhetoric.

In that same cable we also see that
Fayyad said the PA feels unsupported by Arab states, despite their favorable rhetoric.
I've pointed this out for years - the Arab leaders' support for "Palestine" has never been sincere but largely rhetorical. This has only escalated since the Fatah/Hamas split, which Fayyad also touched on:
He argued that unless the PA regains control of Gaza’s crossings, “Gaza will be gone forever.”