Mon January 24, 2011
The Two-Way

Leaked 'Palestine Papers' Underscore 'Painful' Difficulty Of Peace Process

News outlets around the world this morning are headlining the news from Al Jazeera and The Guardian about confidential documents that, as the Guardian puts it, seem to reveal "that Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to accept Israel's annexation of all but one of the settlements built illegally in occupied East Jerusalem."

And the 1,700 files show, Al Jazeera reports, that "Palestinian negotiators agreed in 2008 to allow Israel to annex this settlement, along with almost every other bit of illegal construction in the Jerusalem area — an historic concession for which they received nothing in return."

On Morning Edition today, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro told host Renee Montagne that the papers — which Israeli officials have told the news media are authentic, but which Palestinian spokesmen have disputed — underscore "in painful detail" how difficult achieving peace in the region continues to be.

In the short-term, Lourdes said, the disclosures are bad news for Palestinian negotiators because word of the offers they made will not play well in the Arab world. But long-term, Lourdes said, "this may damage Israel's standing in the international community" if it is perceived to have been intransigent. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.