Thursday, July 15, 2010

  • Thursday, July 15, 2010
  • Elder of Ziyon
Zvi comments:


Ghaddafi and Son  
Ghaddafi has his own flamboyant and attention-seeking stance on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. He is a one-stater who, having been badly burned in the past, appears to want to be seen as pragmatic and peaceful in the western press. Never mind that his proposals are demented and would result in mass death, destruction and chaos in Israel and the region if anyone were mad enough to implement them... . Of course, despite wanting to appear to be pragmatic, Ghaddafi and his regime are staunch enemies of Israel.  
 
In recent years, Ghaddafi's regime has made efforts to paint his son, Saif al-Islam, as a moderate pragmatist who should be welcomed as a voice of wisdom and common sense (never mind that the Libyan state is among the world's most repressive dictatorships, and that Saif al-Islam sits at the center of this dictatorship). Saif al-Islam's press statements in the wake of the ship drama project a sane, pragmatic image, to an extent that actually surprised me.  
 
'Do you want the grapes or to kill the vineyard's guard?' To tell you the truth, we want the grapes and we got them – so there's no reason to cause any problems.  
The problem was not a naval conflict with Israel, but rebuilding Gaza and helping our Palestinians brothers.  
 
Of course, the man also spreads nonsense about Gazan conditions and about Israel. We're not talking about a man who really cares very much about the truth. But I'm slightly impressed that he's willing to dismiss the idea of mindlessly attacking Israel for its own sake. In a region where ludicrous flights of romanticized genocidal fantasy are the norm, this is an unusually rational stance.  
 
Unexpected Wins  
The Ghaddafi regime has won a huge tactical PR victory - a much bigger win than I expected them to secure, and clearly much bigger than Ghaddafi ever hoped to secure. At the same time, Egypt has come out significantly ahead and Israel achieved its objective. The UNRWA received a windfall. Hamas, which has been demanding that the Libyan ship dock in Gaza, looks mildly stupid.  
 
What Libya Won  
* The Libyan regime received a lot of press attention (especially for the Heir Apparent).  
* It spun itself as being more moderate and stable than Turkey. Under normal circumstances, this would have been a very difficult feat, but Erdogan has watered down Turkey's reputation significantly, and Libya was very quick to take advantage.  
* It showed itself to be more effectual than Iran, Hezbollah and its fellow Arab states, who for all their talk, have not yet launched any ships.  
* It gets to play the hero in Gaza, and should therefore look good in the Arab media and certainly in the west.  
* It looks good at the UN, because it's funding Gaza repairs via the UNRWA.  
* It allowed Egypt to act as intermediary between Israel and Libya (I'll come to this in a minute).  
* It made Israel look aggressive, particularly while the navy was shadowing the ship and nobody knew what would happen, without looking aggressive itself.  
* It got Israel to sign off on a Libyan initiative in Gaza.  
 
Ghaddafi accomplished all of this at the low price of a ship, a bit of cargo and the promise of about $50M to the UNRWA (assuming that the money actually flows, and assuming that this is not money that Libya had already promised in the past but witheld). I'm sure that Ghaddafi's staff are celebrating.  
 
What Egypt Won    
I think that this outcome pleased the Egyptians very, very much. Egypt was able to exercize its skills as mediator and, in a matter of a few days, achieved an agreement that satisfied both parties and settled a looming diplomatic/military crisis. At the same time, Egypt's influence with respect to Gaza was mildly strengthened.    
   
On the world stage, the Egyptian government positions itself as a regional diplomatic heavyweight, a regime whose opinion cannot be discounted. It positions itself as a mediator that can facilitate otherwise 
 "impossible" agreements between Arabs and Israelis, a mediator that is essential to the peace process. This repuation has taken some blows in recent years. Iran and Hamas have consciously taken aim at Egyptian diplomatic prestige and at Egyptian influence over Gaza, and Egyptian influence and prestige have been battered by the obstructionism and hostility of an obnoxious little statelet (Gaza).

The Libya-Egypt/Egypt-Israel agreement allowed the Egyptian government to demonstrate both its skill as a mediator and its ability to bring Israel to the table. Egypt can claim an unexpected diplomatic win, one that has no downside for the Arabs. Furthermore, in doing the two-part Gaza deal with Egypt, Libya tacitly acknowledged that Gaza lies within Egypt's sphere of influence.

The fact that the flow of aid is going to filter through UNRWA instead of being handed directly and openly to Hamas embarasses Hamas somewhat, and Cairo must be smiling about that; Hamas has been sticking its finger in Mubarak's eye, and there is no love lost between the Egyptians and Hamas.

So this looks like a huge win for Egypt. In only a few days, Egypt settled a crisis, negotiated an agreement between two states that don't talk to each other, beefed up its diplomaic resume, received acknowledgement of its influence over Gaza and embarassed Hamas. Mubarak and Suleiman have every reason to be happy with this outcome.

Egypt evidently had mediation assistance from Austrian businessman Martin Schlaff, but Ghaddafi Jr. only mentions the Egyptians. 


 
What Israel Won
Israel's interest was always to keep the ship from running the blockade. Israel wanted to set a precedent, according to which any 
real aid vessels will unload at Ashdod or, failing that, somewhere else, and the aid must flow into Gaza via controlled channels rather than confronting the Israeli navy.

Israel certainly isn't worried about a $50M influx of aid via the UNRWA. The amount of money sloshing around in Gaza already dwarfs $50M. 


 
Conclusion
Ghaddafi is a murderous tyrant and a very strange man. His regime is one of the worst in the world. But I'll tip my hat, this once, to whomever handled this situation on their side; I can appreciate Olympic-caliber gymnastics.


Hasbys!

EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

follow me

search eoz

Loading...

Recent posts from other blogs

comments

Speaking

Follow by Email

Contact

elder -at- elderofziyon dot com

translate

E-Book

For $18 donation








Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts Ever

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون
This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 11 years and over 23,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

Donate!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

Tweets

Compliments

The Jerusalem Report:"A seemingly indefatigable one-man operation, armed only with a computer, chutzpa and stamina."

Algemeiner: "Fiercely intelligent and erudite"

Omri: "Elder is one of the best established and most respected members of the jblogosphere..."
Atheist Jew:"Elder of Ziyon probably had the greatest impression on me..."
Soccer Dad: "He undertakes the important task of making sure that his readers learn from history."
AbbaGav: "A truly exceptional blog..."
Judeopundit: "[A] venerable blog-pioneer and beloved patriarchal figure...his blog is indispensable."
Oleh Musings: "The most comprehensive Zionist blog I have seen."
Carl in Jerusalem: "...probably the most under-recognized blog in the JBlogsphere as far as I am concerned."
Aussie Dave: "King of the auto-translation."
The Israel Situation:The Elder manages to write so many great, investigative posts that I am often looking to him for important news on the PalArab (his term for Palestinian Arab) side of things."
Tikun Olam: "Either you are carelessly ignorant or a willful liar and distorter of the truth. Either way, it makes you one mean SOB."
Mondoweiss commenter: "For virulent pro-Zionism (and plain straightforward lies of course) there is nothing much to beat it."
Didi Remez: "Leading wingnut"

Interesting Blogs

Categories

Abbas liar administrivia al-Qaeda algeria American Jews Amnesty analysis anti-semitism apartheid arab refugees Arafat archaeology art ASHREI B'tselem bahrain bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia book review breaking the silence Cardozo Chanukah Christians conspiracy theories Cyprus Daphne Anson Davis report double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada EoZNews eoztv Erekat EU Fake Civilians 2014 Fatah featured fisking flotilla free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian gunness hamas Hamas war crimes hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC Ilan Pappe impossible peace incitement international law intransigence iran Iraq Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Juan Cole Judea-Samaria Kairos Karl Vick ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Lebanon leftists Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Malaysia max blumenthal McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Miftah Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats music Muslim Brotherhood Natural gas Nazi NGO NIF norpac NYT Occupation offbeat oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peter Beinart poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist purimshpiel Qaradawi Qassam calendar Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals reference Richard Falk rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi SodaStream South Africa Speech stamps Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tunisia Turkey UK UN unesco unhrc United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks work accident X-washing Yemen zahran zionist attack zoo Zvi

Blog Archive

subscribe via email