The Palestine Papers

I know, it’s not exactly a slow news day.  Jack LeLanne died after all.  You’d think, though, that they could fit in word of the leak of 1,600 documents relating to Israel-Palestinian Authority negotiations somewhere in between the State of the Union address (Haven’t read the transcript yet but I imagine that he used to words ‘America’ ‘prosper’ and ‘create jobs’ a few times somewhere in there. Just guessing.) and Egypt starting to rip at the seams (Though many news minutes might be needed to explain to viewers that despite having pyramids and mummies, Egypt is realer than both Narnia and Middle Earth).

Take a look.  Al Jazeera’s West Bank office has already been smashed up a bit by protesters angry at the black eye this is giving the P.A.  Of course, some of those protesters just might have been policemen working overtime.

While I’ve only taken the quickest of looks through thus far, the story these leaked documents seem to tell is the Palestinian Authority offering unprecedented concessions of territory and being met with even greater demands by Israel. There’s also further evidence of coordination between P.A.  and Israeli militaries in conducting operations against other Palestinian factions, something previously suggested in leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

So what are these “Palestinian Papers”?  From al Jazeera’s FAQ:

What are the Palestine Papers?

The Palestine Papers are the largest leak of confidential files in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a cache of more than 1,600 documents encompassing the most recent decade of negotiations between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority.  They are an unprecedented window into Israeli, PA, US, European, and Arab relations and reveal a wealth of information about how the parties negotiate behind closed doors.

Taken in total, the Palestine Papers instigate a broader conversation on such issues as whether a two state endgame is achievable and desirable and whether international and US-led processes to reach that goal have only deepened Israeli occupation.

There are 1,684 total documents, including

  • 275 sets of meeting minutes;
  • 690 internal e-mails;
  • 153 reports and studies;
  • 134 sets of talking points and prep notes for meetings;
  • 64 draft agreements;
  • 54 maps, charts and graphs;
  • and 51 “non-papers.”

Taking a look around at the rest of the world’s media, it becomes readily apparent how much bigger of an issue this is for everywhere but the U.S.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled techno-idealism and H.P. Lovecraft gossip

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