It was not until a year after the collapse of the Camp David talks in July 2000 that authoritative voices in the U.S. press began to challenge what had become virtual dogma: that Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat had rejected the unprecedentedly "generous offer" of Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, which reportedly involved the return of the quasi totality of Palestinian territory. Among the consequences of this dogma is the widespread notion of Palestinian responsibility for the al-Aqsa intifada that erupted a month later.
Foremost among the new challenges to these perceptions in the U.S. mainstream press are the two articles reproduced below. The first, published in the 9 August 2001 issue of the New York Review of Books, is by Robert Malley, who participated in the Camp David summit as President Bill Clinton's special assistant for Arab-Israeli affairs at the National Security Council, and Hussein Agha, an editor of JPS's sister publication, Majallat al-Dirasat al-Filastiniyya, with close ties to the Palestinian negotiators. The second, published in the New York Times on 26 July 2001, is by Deborah Sontag, the newspaper's correspondent in Jerusalem.