Normalization is coming.. Israel is silent so as not to provoke the Libyans against Gaddafi or Haftar in the elections

Israel’s official silence regarding its relations with Gaddafi and Haftar is attributed to Tel Aviv’s fear of the impact of its public statements on the Libyan presidential elections, which would affect the course of events and their results, “and also for not provoking President Recep Erdogan and clashing with Turkey’s interests in Libya.”

Occupied Jerusalem- Israel is awaiting the conclusion of the Libyan presidential elections scheduled for December 24, amid Israeli media reports of its willingness to establish public diplomatic relations with the upcoming Libyan leadership within the framework of normalization or the so-called “Abraham agreements.”

And the assessments of Israeli analysts and researchers that a fifth country is expected to join normalization with Israel are reinforced, according to statements attributed to those close to the candidates for the Libyan presidency: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and retired Major General Khalifa Haftar, and their willingness to public and official normalization with Tel Aviv after the elections.

This comes as Haaretz newspaper revealed secret relations between Tel Aviv and the regime of former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, managed by his son, Saif al-Islam, with the mediation of Jewish businessmen of Libyan origin, before the outbreak of the revolution that toppled his father in 2011.

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi in a speech in 2008 (French)

Gaddafi father and son

At a time when the late leader Gaddafi was one of the most public supporters of the Palestinian cause and consistently funded and trained Palestinian factions and supplied them with weapons, his son Saif al-Islam was weaving secret relations with the Israelis, in addition to public relations with Jewish figures of Libyan origin, according to intelligence analyst Yossi Melman.

Melman says that Libya has always been the focus of Israel’s attention because of its geostrategic location on the Mediterranean and its proximity to the border with Egypt, and also because of the Jewish community in Libya and its influence on Tripoli despite its migration to Italy.

According to the intelligence analyst, Gaddafi’s support for the Palestinians prompted Israel to focus on Libya, along with the late colonel’s pursuit of chemical and biological weapons and the development of a nuclear weapon.

Melman said that these and other files prompted the Israeli intelligence to intensify its activity in Libya and to bring Mossad agents into it, and to land commandos in it, with the use of technological intelligence means.

Israeli journalist specializing in Arab and Palestinian affairs Yoav Shtern: Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi will be the most rushing towards Tel Aviv (especially from the reporter's photo)Israeli journalist Yoav Shtern: Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi will be the most motivated towards Tel Aviv (Al-Jazeera)

Compete for normalization

In the opinion of the Israeli journalist specializing in Arab and Palestinian affairs, Yoav Shtern, the hidden Libyan-Israeli relations existed, and they were kept secret to avoid the anger of the Libyan people who support the Palestinian cause.

According to Stern, after the dismantling of the Gaddafi regime and the escalation of the armed conflict that drained the Libyan people, the barrier of fear of some Libyan leaders was broken and their relations and positions went out from secret to public, with some of them – most notably Haftar and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi – ready to gradually normalize with Israel.

The Israeli journalist explained to Al Jazeera Net that what was published about the visit of Saddam, Haftar’s son to Tel Aviv, the meeting with Israeli officials, and Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s use of the services of an Israeli public relations office to manage his electoral campaign reflects the hidden competition between them for normalization with Israel, and that “the normalization paper is no longer employed internally to betray and renounce all Who has relations with Tel Aviv?

to evade pursuit

Shtern believes that Saif al-Islam will be the most motivated towards Tel Aviv because of his mediation and relations with Jewish and Israeli figures during his father’s rule, as well as his need to get close to Israel and show his intentions for peace in order to evade the prosecution of the International Criminal Court, which accuses him of committing crimes against humanity in 2011.

He attributed the departure of Saif al-Islam from secret to public to join the train of normalization to the changes taking place in the Middle East, and the beliefs of Gaddafi’s son and many leaders that Israel has become part of the region.

And the Israeli journalist says that “Libya – sooner or later – will ride the normalization train, even if it is gradual, provided that it achieves political and economic gains.”

Director of the Israeli Institute "Mitvim" Nimrod Gorn, a specialist in Israel's foreign policy and the Middle East: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi will push for the normalization of relations with IsraelNimrod Goren, director of “Mitvim”: The normalization of Arab officials with Israel is a gateway to the White House (Al-Jazeera)

Gateway to the White House

In turn, Nimrod Goren, director of the Israeli Institute “Mitvim” that specializes in foreign policies for Israel and the Middle East, says that the meetings that have become known between Israelis and Arab leaders are renewing the prevailing belief among Arab leaders that getting closer to Israel will serve their interests and will give them strength and prove their rule. With Israel it serves as a gateway to the White House.”

Gorn attributed the official Israeli silence regarding relations with the new leaders to Tel Aviv’s fear of the impact of its public statements on the Libyan presidential elections, which would affect the course of events and their results, “and also in order not to provoke President Recep Erdogan and clash with Turkey’s interests in Libya.”

Gorn says that “Israel has the same desire to normalize relations with Tripoli, but it is waiting for the elections to be resolved and if the results will lead to the stability of the government.”

It is believed that Israel is not in a hurry to announce immediate normalization with Libya, but rather “learned lessons from the Sudanese case.” Accordingly, it is likely that normalization between them will come gradually and behind the scenes, whether with the victory of Haftar or Saif al-Islam.

linked to stability

The researcher attributed this gradation to the Israeli estimates, which indicate that Libya is far from fully normalizing relations with it, similar to what happened with Morocco, because the internal situation in it is unstable and close to civil war.

It is likely that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi will push for normalization with Israel, but this depends on the internal situation and the stability of the government, which seems unlikely. But he added that “even if normalization is not done publicly, the secret relations between the two countries will remain and will be strengthened as well.”

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