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Leak exposes Fatah treason

Consistent opponents of Israel’s occupation have long argued that the “moderate” Palestinian leaders of Fatah are in reality collaborators with Israel. Nothing could have confirmed this more conclusively than the release by news agency Al Jazeera of documents exposing 10 years of futile “peace” negotiations.

The picture that emerges is of weak and grovelling Palestinian Authority (PA) officials, desperate for any scrap of land that they can call a “state” – and draw fat salaries from – being rewarded only with Israel’s intransigence and contempt.

PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, a wealthy Palestinian who holds a US passport, reportedly offered the Israelis the “biggest Jerusalem in Jewish history”, allowing Israel to annex all its illegal settlements in occupied Arab East Jerusalem bar one.

Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni turned this down as being “inadequate”.

They also made massive concessions on the right of five million Palestinian refugees to return, accepting just 10,000 a year for 10 years.

The then US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice even proposed that Palestinian refugees be sent to Chile and Argentina. Rice clearly hoped for a loyal Palestinian Israel in a sea of Latin American social radicalism.

That the Palestinians are a nation, and not pieces on a chessboard that can be moved around at will, clearly makes no difference to Israel and its US sponsor. Far worse though is the extent to which the PA leaders were willing to collude in, and even encourage, Israel’s attacks on their own people.

They co-ordinated with the Israeli army in its killing of Hamas militants, and asked Israel to intensify the siege on Gaza.

Unelected PA “president” Mahmoud Abbas even gave the Israelis his approval to attack Gaza, while covering himself by saying he would not “enter Gaza on an Israeli tank”.

The great revolution now sweeping the Arab world – in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Jordan – has shattered the illusion of permanence with which the Arab rulers have intimidated their peoples and accommodated the US and Israel. It would be fitting if the Palestinians were to follow suit, and put Mahmoud Abbas on his own private jet out of the country, if not on a scaffold.

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