I'm not going to say much about the so-called "Palestine Papers" yet, if at all. Being a trained historian and archivist, I can easily recognize the potential significance of a sizable collection of documents created during peace negotiations. I can also imagine some of the more obvious pitfalls. In any case, the value lies in a careful reading of the documents along with a solid understanding of their context and relation to other documents. Cherry picking single sentences and cutting them out of context is propaganda, not history; in a better world, it wouldn't even be acceptable journalism. (Hah!)
Anyway, I assume most readers of this blog are fully aware of the fine work being done by others. Elder of Ziyon is looking closely at lots of the hogwash being trotted out by Israel's enemies and their ignorant chorus, and calmly poking holes in it. So I don't need to do that. CiFWatch is documenting how the Guardian has no interest in supplying news, only in bashing Israel and the facts be damned. I honestly don't know how the CiFWatch folks manage to wade through that muck day after day and not lose their sanity. Hats off to them. Robin Shepherd has a magnificent post about how the BBC, Guardian and others are now publicly aligning with Hamas, since the PA negotiators have proven willing to consider some of Israel's claims and thus must be beyond the pale. Anyone who regards Israelis as anything less than monsters, is himself a criminal.
Ethan Bronner in the NYT has an article which, while not always accurate, is reassuring for its lack of excitement. The whole story, he seems to be saying, is yet another anecdote on the long road to wherever it is we're going. This is probably true.
Assuming I should be trying to say something original that you won't get elsewhere, well, the photo at the top of Bronner's article was actually quite tickling:
Well, no. The schoolgirls are indeed Palestinian. And yes, they're near the Old City. You can see the wall right behind them. But they're actually in Mamila, on the Israeli side of town, and they're headed deeper into the Jewish side. In other words, this innocent picture of schoolgirls wandering through their town will not be possible if the city gets divided. The pundits all insist it will, of course, because the city will be divided but it won't really; but those are the pundits who look at this picture and haven't the faintest idea what it's about.