31 January '11
Thousands of Palestinian documents, allegedly offering a behind the scenes look at the Palestinian Authority’s stance on peace negotiations with Israel, have been leaked to Al-Jazeera and The Guardian. As the world’s attention turns towards Egypt, the “Palileaks” story has taken something of a haitus offering us a chance to draw breath and examine some of the media issues that have emerged so far.
The Guardian’s Worldview Challenged
The Palestinian documents, if they are to be believed, paint a picture that the Palestinian leadership was prepared to accept the permanence and legitimacy of a large number of Israeli settlements as well as Jewish neighborhoods in eastern parts of Jerusalem. This would seemingly undermine the notion adopted by large swathes of the media (and many international politicians and non-governmental organizations) that settlements represent the biggest “obstacle to peace”.
For The Guardian, the paper has been shown up to be “more Palestinian than the Palestinians”, consistently adopting a more uncompromising approach than the Palestinian leadership, putting its editorial line more in step with that of Hamas. As Robin Shepherd notes:
In one of its most resentful leader columns for years, the Guardian was nothing short of apoplectic: not so much with Israel, but with a Palestinian leadership which has effectively blown the credibility of the Guardian’s very own mantras on the MidEast straight out of the water. The Palestinian leadership, the paper declaimed, had been shown to be “weak” and “craven”. Their concessions amounted to “surrender of land Palestinians have lived on for centuries”. And, in words that look alarmingly close to the position adopted by Hamas, “The Palestinian Authority may continue as an employer but, as of today, its legitimacy as negotiators will have all but ended on the Palestinian street.” This is sheer spite.
The Palestinian leadership accepts what any reasonable person has been able to accept for decades. The Guardian then slams them as surrender monkeys. The Guardian newspaper is more hardline against Israel than the Palestinian leadership itself.
(Read full "Palileaks and The Guardian’s Agenda Journalism")
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