Op-ed: Israel, PA must do better job of preparing public opinion for necessary concessions*
The recently released Palestine Papers make for juicy reading, but they aren’t really news. They tell us what any close observer of the conflict already knows:
that an agreement will require both sides to ease their grip on long-held taboos and come to a compromise that meets the long term national interests of both peoples.
To read al-Jazeera’s reporting, you would think that the Palestinian leadership’s willingness to accept creative, compromise arrangements regarding the right of return or borders in the Jerusalem envelope was a betrayal in secret. In truth, it was not.
Last Sunday, dozens of Israelis crowded into the Muqata in Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The delegation, organized by the Geneva Initiative, included many of the “usual suspects” among the Israeli left, but also an ample number of participants from less likely sources—including representatives of Shas and Likud.
Senior figures in Fatah and the PLO were also present, including nearly all the members of the Fatah Central Committee and of the PLO Executive Committee. It seemed everyone was in the room; that is, everyone except the Americans.