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August 19, 2015

Palestinian Document Retreats from Peace Process Vows; Where’s the Coverage?

Now that negotiations between the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany with Iran over its presumed nuclear weapons program have been completed, some commentators and politicians have anticipated renewed U.S. involvement in Palestinian-Israel diplomacy. But a position paper submitted by head Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat to Palestinian Authority leaders on June 18, 2015 suggests a retreat from previous commitments to end terrorism and support a two-state solution.

According to a July 1 analysis of Erekat’s paper by Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi (Israel Defense Forces, Ret.), now with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the main points include:

1. Annulling Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO’s) recognition of Israel;

2. Insisting on the “right to return? of Palestinian “refugees? along with their descendants to Israel;

3. Strategic cooperation with Hamas and Islamic Jihad by integrating them into the PLO’s institutions;

4. Waging an all-out “peaceful and popular struggle? against Israel (defined by Palestinian leadership as local terror attacks), coupled with a legal battle against Israel in the international arena aimed at constraining Israel’s ability to defend itself against Palestinian terror; and

5. A diplomatic campaign to recruit international support to coerce an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 armistice lines.

CAMERA has pointed out both Western news media’s reliance on Erekat as a source and the Palestinian negotiator’s tenuous acquaintance with facts. See, for example “Saeb Erekat—Highly Visible, Highly Unreliable,? March 3, 2015

Halevi’s analysis, “The Palestinian Leadership’s Regression in the Peace Process? based on what Erekat proposed to his peers, not statements to Western reporters, offers an important perspective on relations between Israel and the Palestinian leaders. Halevi’s interpretation is informed and provocative. It should have been the subject of significant reporting. It was not. Where was the coverage? —Rosie Lenoff, Research Intern

Posted by ER at August 19, 2015 12:30 PM


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