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Palestine: Netizens React to First Batch of Palestine Papers

This post is part of our special coverage WikiLeaks and the World.

Picture from Mahmoud Omar's post.

On the 23rd of January, 2011, Al Jazeera revealed its first WikiLeaks-like project in the Middle East: The Palestine Papers. Along with it, the station has launched Al Jazeera Transparency Unit, a collaborative media outlet where people can submit all forms of content for online broadcast on its Arabic and English channels. Here's a roundup on netizens’ reactions from Palestinian and pro-Palestine blogs to the first batch of 1600 documents.

On 7iber, Chair of the Palestine Legal Aid Fund, Mary Nazzal-Batayneh said:

… one is further consoled by the knowledge that any steps that could have been taken by the ‘negotiators’ would never exhaust Palestinian rights in international law. Nothing can trump any rights embedded in international law, including the rights of Palestinian refugees and the Palestinian right to all occupied land including Occupied East Jerusalem.

On the other hand, Annie, a pro-Palestine blogger thinks Israel has succeeded in turning us against ourselves. Quoting Joharah Baker:

“If anything is to be learned from the now infamous Palestine Papers it is that Israel is succeeding brilliantly in its grand plan of turning us against ourselves. We see no rebuttal from Israeli leaders to the information from the leaked documents.”

Ziad Khalil Abu Zayyad seems to agree (Ar):

و اما التعصب السياسي فأخذ يظهر تأثيره على معظم من عبر عن اراءه سواء كان مدافعا ام مهاجما ام معارضا…و اقتصر التعبير عن الرأي من خلال الانترنت و الفيسبوك و محتوى التعبير كان اما شتم و تخوين او دعم بدون تفكير في معظم الاوقات

Most of those who expressed their opinions suffered from the political intolerance of everyone else, whether defending, attacking or opposing… and the only way to express opinions was on the Internet and facebook and the substance of these opinions was either swearing, accusations of betrayal or support without thinking most of the time.

Guest blogger on KABOBfest offers a good analysis but concludes that it's Business as Usual:

As of yet, we have yet to see anything extraordinary, within Palestine anyway, come about as a result of the Palestine Papers.

Mahmoud Omar sounds upset about the image of Palestinians. He says (in a rather cynical way) (Ar):

ستستمر الجزيرة، لأنها قناة اعلامية تؤمن بالرأي والرأي والآخر، أو لأنها جزء من سياسة قطر المرتبطة بشكل مشبوه باسرائيل، أو لأنها تريد البحث عن خبطة صحفية، أنا لا يهمني كثيرًا سبب استمرار الجزيرة في نشر 1600 وثيقة ومحضر اجتماعات سرية للمفاوضات بين السلطة واسرائيل، أنا يهمّني وثائق، أرقام، خرائط، مضمون، يهمّني أن أعرف عن أيّ سلام يتحدثون، عن أيّ قدس، وعن أيّ عودة، أنا يهمّني المضمون؛ فلسطيني ؟ نعم، ولكن، عن أيّ فلسطين !

Al Jazeera will continue, because it's a media channel that believes in the diversity of opinons, or because it's part of Qatar's politics which is suspiciously related to Israel, or because it wants to achieve a scoop. I don't care much about why Al Jazeera continues to publish the 1600 documents and secret negotiations between the PA and Israel, I care about documents, numbers, maps, content, I care to know what peace are they talking about! What Jerusalem, and what return, I care about content. Palestinian? Yes, but what Palestine?

This post is part of our special coverage WikiLeaks and the World.

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