Thursday, January 27, 2011

WaPo portrays pro-Palestinian hired gun as objective analyst

Leo Rennert
American Thinker
26 January '11

In a Jan. 25 article in the Washington Post, Jerusalem correspondent Janine Zacharia quotes Ed Abington, a former U.S. diplomat, as saying that Al-Jazeera's trove of leaked Palestinian documents show Palestinian negotiators conceding more and more "while gaining absolutely nothing from Israeli negotiators." ("Al-Jazeera angers Palestinians -- Release of peace-talk memos a 'huge blow' to leadership in negotiations with Israel" page A11.)

Zacharia identifies Abington as a former U.S. consul general in Jerusalem and longtime American diplomat. She also relies on him for her own summation that Palestinians now are going to perceive their leaders as abandoning core Palestinian positions "in exchange for little from Israel."

Abington, however, isn't just a dispassionate observer, as Zacharia depicts him. After his stint as U.S. consul in Jerusalem, he signed on as political counsel for the Palestinian Authority and presumably got handsomely compensated for his services.

When he asserts that Palestinian negotiators got "absolutely nothing" from Israel, he's speaking as a pro-Palestinian propagandist -- an essential part of Abington's bio that Zacharia hides from Post readers.

Her failure to disclose Zacharia's PA job is doubly disturbing. Not only does she represent Abington under false colors, but she relies on him for a demonstrable lie -- that Israel, in negotiations with the Palestinians, offered no compromises and concessions.

The record totally refutes such Palestinian propaganda. Whether at Camp David in 2000 or in negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, the Palestinians got plenty from Israel. In the latter talks, Israel offered Mahmoud Abbas all of Gaza, 95 percent of the West Bank, with land swaps to make it 100 percent, a corridor link between the West Bank and Gaza, all Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, a big chunk of Jerusalem's Old City, and an international consortium, including Saudi Arabia, to take over administration of Jerusalem's holy sites. Just imagine: Israel willing to have Saudi Arabia help administer Temple Mount and the Western Wall, Judaism's most sacred sites.

This generous Israeli offer, which still didn't satisfy Abbas, ain't exactly chopped liver, or "absolutely nothing," as Zacharia avers by quoting Abington without mentioning his paid Palestinian connection.

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