The Palestinian version of the Camp David summit, other high-level Israeli-Palestinian talks, and the outbreak of the second intifada has been far lessinºuential in Israel and the United States. According to Palestinian negotiators,Israel’s offer at Camp David did not remove many of the vestiges of the Israelioccupation in terms of land, security, settlements, and Jerusalem. Despite Is-rael’s intransigence, these negotiators continued, the Palestinian Authority(PA), the governing entity of the semiautonomous Palestinian areas in Gazaand the West Bank, preferred negotiations to violence. They argued that the PAdid not launch the intifada. Rather it was caused by factors under Israel’s con-trol, including: frustration from continued Israeli occupation of Palestinianlands despite the 1993 and 1995 Oslo peace agreements; the visit of ArielSharon, leader of Israel’s Likud opposition, to the Temple Mount/Noble Sanc-tuary on September 28, 2000; and the heavy-handed response of Israeli forcesto the resulting Palestinian protest.In this article I argue that neither the Israeli nor the Palestinian version of theevents at Camp David and subsequent talks is wholly accurate. The Pales-tinian version, however, is much closer to the evidentiary record of articles,interviews, and documents produced by participants in the negotiations, jour-nalists, and other analysts. Israel did make an unprecedented offer at CampDavid, but it neglected several elements essential to any comprehensive settle-ment, including: the contiguity of the Palestinian state in the West Bank, fullsovereignty in Arab parts of East Jerusalem, and a compromise resolution onthe right of return of Palestinian refugees. Moreover, despite Israeli conten-tions, Palestinian negotiators and much of the Palestinian nationalist move-ment favored a genuine two-state solution and did not seek to destroy Israeleither by insisting on the right of return or through the second intifada.The Palestinian version has two shortcomings. First, the PA did not givecredit to Israel for the evolution in its negotiating position from the Camp Da-vid summit to the talks in Taba, Egypt, in January 2001 on issues such as theterritorial contiguity of the West Bank and Palestinian sovereignty in East Jeru-
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State for Near East Affairs Martin Indyk, and major U.S. newspapers such as the
New York Times.
The Palestinian version describes events in the eyes of negotiators such as Mohammed Dahlan,Akram Haniyah, and Ahmed Qorei; it is also reºected in ofªcial statements of the Palestine Libera-tion Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the governing entity of the semiautonomous Pal-estinian areas in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as Robert Malley (a member of PresidentClinton’s National Security Council staff) and Deborah Sontag (writing for the
New York Times
).These labels are not absolute: Israelis may support the Palestinian version and vice versa. This il-lustrative list also does not capture the internal disagreements among ofªcials who worked to-gether on the same team.