For most of last week, the Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland was cast as the erstwhile Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in a role-play exercise, while Palestinians played Israelis .
Apparently, every time such exercises take place, it is the ‘Palestinians’ who seethe with righteous indignation as the underdog. The ‘Israelis’ suffered too, the negotiators recognise, but that was ‘in the past’.
How has the peace agenda come to be so seriously skewed? The victims of a genocidal project to destroy the Jews in the Middle East have been turned into aggressors, and Jewish suffering downplayed. Who around the negotiating table remembers that it was the Arabs were rejected the UN Partition Plan for Palestine, and launched a war of annihilation against Israel in 1948? Who remembers the Arab League secretary-general Azzam Pasha’s spine-chilling promise in 1947: ‘This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades’?
It was a good week, writes Freedland. He negotiated Israel back to the 1967 borders.That was the easy bit, Jonathan. Did the ‘Israeli ‘negotiators’ get the ‘Palestinians’ renounce their ‘right of return’ to Israel proper?