Monday, November 15, 2021

  • Monday, November 15, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israel Hayom reports:

The political camps in the North African country, which has suffered two brutal civil wars over the past decade, are preparing for a highly charged election campaign that will determine Libya's future.

According to senior Libyan officials with close ties to the leading presidential candidate, Gen. Khalifa Haftar, it appears the large Arab country is moving toward normalization with Israel. Haftar has recently voiced his desire on several occasions to normalize ties with Israel, and declared he would work to that end if he is elected president on December 24.

Israel Hayom reported in late October that an Israeli consulting firm was advising both Haftar and his main rival, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the former tyrant Muammar Gaddafi, who was deposed and killed in a violent uprising 10 years ago.
Haaretz reports that Haftar actually secretly visited Israel at the beginning of the month.

Libya was one of Israel's most implacable foes under the elder Gaddafi. 

Its media has not been reporting these rumors, although they did report about both major candidates using the same Israeli PR firm for their campaigns, using different UAE addresses.

The current Libyan Government of National Unity has not warmed up to Israel, though. They announced that if Israel would attend the Paris Conference on Libya, they would refuse to attend themselves. It is unclear if anyone invited Israel in the first place.

If it happens, it would be the strongest signal yet that Arab leaders are realizing that shunning Israel does not accomplish anything and can even put them at a competitive disadvantage.

It doesn't look like this would be a peace of warmth and normalization, if it occurs. Libya is still teetering on the edge of chaos and most citizens would oppose peace. It would be more a peace treaty for convenience, where each party will get something they want out of it. 

A bad peace is still  a lot better than a quiet state of war. But a treaty that would cause the government to fall would signal to other Arab leaders that the price of peace with Israel could be more costly than the benefits, and it could hurt longer term integration of Israel into the region.

(h/t Yoel)









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