The International Herald Tribune gets the Palestine papers story. Thus this great cartoon by Patrick Chappatte. But the New York Times doesn't want its readers to know what's going on. It runs a huge op-ed piece today, denouncing the Palestine Papers by two ostriches, Jeffrey Goldberg and Hussein Ibish. They say the time is ripe for a deal. I'd note that the piece implicitly calls for boycott of West Bank products. Oh Goldberg where have you been all this time? I don't think he knows what to think right now, he is panicked.
There was similar panic in Ethan Bronner's report on the Palestine papers in the NYT yesterday trying to suggest that they are evidence of a fair deal being crafted.
Bernard Avishai, an Israeli writer who has interviewed Mr. Olmert and Mr. Abbas on the deal that they nearly reached, said the only thing that surprised him in the leaks was what was left out: “They focus on Palestinian concessions without presenting the other side of the negotiations. The Palestinians were going to get a great deal for their concessions.”
At his own site, Avishai has attacked the Guardian coverage of the papers as outrageous and irresponsible, indulging the "rejectionists" of a peace deal. He makes an interesting promise:
Palestinian territorial and other concessions, I will show, were the other side of significant, creative Israeli proposals and concessions.
Sounds like the magician who just sawed the lady in half. Even J Street has not gone this far, but has glimpsed in the papers the possible demise of the two-state solution. Jeremy Ben-Ami uses some imagination:
We of course don’t know yet if history will judge this week’s release of critical Palestinian papers to be the straw that broke the camel’s back of the chances for a two-state solution. Perhaps history will judge that moment to have been when Israel decided to continue settlement expansion last fall, or maybe it will be if and when the Palestinians simply give up on two states and focus on gaining equal rights in one bi-national state.
This is helpful. Bronner, Goldberg and Avishai's panic is understandable: an intellectual regime is ending, the claim that partition can produce a viable state for Palestinians that would end decades of grievances. The papers shows that this idea is preposterous. I know what Avishai and Bronner are afraid of, violence, another few decades of bloodshed as Israel becomes Algeria. The Guardian likes this conflict! Avishai cries. As if the Ramallah bubble he celebrates is any answer for the Warsaw ghetto that the Israelis have made of Gaza, or the fact that Palestinians have no rights in the West Bank... Bronner and Avishai's fear is more understandable than their journalism.