- By Robert M. DaninRobert M. Danin is the Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. From April 2008 until June 2010, he headed the Jerusalem mission of Quartet representative Tony Blair. Prior to that, he served for 20 years at the U.S. State Department and National Security Council in a variety of senior Middle East positions.
The Palestine Papers — more than 1,600 internal Palestinian documents summarizing negotiations with Israel over the past decade — are no "Palestinian WikiLeaks" aimed at bringing transparency and good government to the Palestinian Authority. Rather, they are a direct attack on the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), its negotiators, and the very idea of negotiating peace with Israel.
The documents were apparently provided to Al Jazeera by disgruntled Palestinians who set out to harm the PLO leadership and their peaceful path toward realizing Palestinian national goals. The Qatar-based satellite network has played along, insinuating that the documents show that the Palestinian leadership has proved weak and willing to capitulate to Israeli desires. On the documents pertaining to Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, it laments that Palestinian negotiators "gave away almost everything to the Israelis, without pressuring them for concessions or compromise."