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Monday, November 23, 2009

Israel offered to mediate between Egypt and Algeria?

From Al-Arabiya:
The Arab League is currently mulling several proposals after it was forced to step in, rebuffing a provocative Israeli offer, to end a bitter tit-for-tat spat between Egypt and Algeria following their 2010 World Cup qualifier playoff match in Sudan.

An Arab League spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that since the tension has been rising Secretary General Amr Moussa h+as been receiving several phone calls from member states calling on the league to solve the crisis.

Arab initiatives to solve the problem intensified in the wake of a provocative statement made by Israel in which it offered to mediate between Egypt and Algeria.
Did Israel really offer to mediate between Egypt and Algeria? The idea is preposterous, as Israel and Algeria do not have any diplomatic relations themselves. Not to mention that Egypt and Algeria would probably prefer all-out war to the indignity of being counseled by Israel.

My guess is that some Israeli pundit or politician made that suggestion as a joke to tweak the Arabs on their internal international football crisis, and that the super-sensitive Arab League took it as a real offer, one which would of course cause add to the embarrassment they feel for the actual kerfuffle itself.

This brings up an entirely new avenue for world diplomacy: whenever Westerners have a problem with an Arab country, or when Arabs have their own internal disputes, the UN should threaten to send Israeli mediators to resolve the issues. They can justify it by saying that Jewish lawyers are well-known to be sly and smart. The thought is so scary to Arabs that they would redouble their efforts to solve their problems peacefully.

Let's try it with the Saudis and the Houthis!