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A Quick Word About PaliLeaks

Now everybody’s doing it.

Al-Jazeera has pulled off its own version of Wikileaks by announcing that it has, and will gradually produce, over 1,600 documents that show senior members of the Palestinian Authority to have caved in to and even pre-empted Israeli demands during peace negotiations. Abbas et al are thus doubly to be humiliated: for having gone on bended knee to the Zionists and for still coming home with nothing.

The provenance of the documents is unknown, and there are plenty of details that should be setting off alarm bells among the documents’ readers (say, why is this piece of paper dated 2011? Because al-Jazeera made fresh PDFs? And they did that because…?) Israel comes out looking bad, but no one seems to care about that much. The real story — the story most of the world’s journalists seem hell-bent on swallowing whole — is the public disgrace of Mahmoud Abbas and his negotiators. The “PaliLeaks” story thus appears to be a deliberate attempt by al-Jazeera, which is owned by the Emir of Qatar, to influence Palestinian politics by compromising Abbas beyond the point of no return.

Hamas doesn’t seem to have engineered this — they’re not that slick — but this business obviously works to their advantage, and they’re trying to use it to leverage Palestinian popular opinion against the Palestinian Authority. Haaretz, curious to see if Palestinians are indeed turning on Abbas and his crew, went to Ramallah to investigate, where they found the opposite of a popular uprising. Not only officials but the citizenry at large appear to be closing ranks around Abbas. Al-Jazeera’s offices, not Abbas’s, were set upon by angry Palestinians who have accused them (inevitably) of being not Arab, but Zionist.

The Reuters photo above is of Palestinians burning an Israeli flag with “al-Jazeera” painted on it. You can’t make this stuff up. (Actually, it appears you can.)