Could the 'Palestine Papers' spark a Tunisia-style uprising?
Al Jazeera's trove of leaked documents has provoked violence on the streets of Gaza and Ramallah. Can the Palestinian Authority survive?
Residents of Gaza and the West Bank this week reacted angrily to leaked records released by Al Jazeera on Sunday detailing Palestinian concessions spanning a decade of peace negotiations with Israel. The protesters' wrath wasn't all directed at the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, though — some of them attacked Al Jazeera offices in Ramallah. The television network is promising more "Palestine Papers" revelations, however, and analysts say the reaction will be hard to predict. Can Abbas survive Al Jazeera's experiment in radical transparency? (Watch a report about the fury over the Palestine Papers)
Abbas should have an exit plan ready: The revelations of Palestinian capitulation will do more than derail the "never-ending negotiations" for peace, says Amjad Atallah in Foreign Policy. There's a good chance they'll "have the same emotive impact among Palestinians that the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi had in Tunisia," similarly convincing the residents of Gaza and the West Bank that the time is right for a display of "people power.""Look, the Emperor has no clothes: Al Jazeera's Palestine Papers"
Palestinian leaders spun the leaks to their benefit: "It would seem that in the West Bank, the Tunisia Effect hasn't hit yet," says Avi Issacharoff in Haaretz. In fact, thanks to the deft reaction by the Palestinian Authority — "focusing solely on Al Jazeera's role," and turning the leaks into a nefarious plot — the likely outcome isn't a "revolution" but "a boomerang effect that will see increased support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.""Palestine papers hardly likely to spur a revolution"
Wait to see what other revelations come out: Al Jazeera's hopeful "predictions of a Tunisia-style toppling appear premature," says The Economist, but not impossible. Abbas has survived the "reports of outlandish concessions" so far, in part because the leaked details actually show "the Palestinians defending their corner rather well." We'll see "whether the calm continues" after "Al Jazeera's next installments" of the Palestine Papers."The Palestine Papers"