Libya ‘sought discreet relationship with Israel’

  • Bibi-2015 june
The recently-released exposé of Hillary Clinton (pictured) when she was US Secretary of State, reported by Eliezer Sherman in the New York Times last month, indicated, among other things, preliminary back-channel discussions were held to try and facilitate ties between post-Gaddafi Libya & Israel. This will no doubt have left French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy feeling vindicated after 2011 denials of his exposing the Libyan plan to forge better ties with the Jewish state left a scandal in its wake.
by ANT KATZ | Jun 01, 2015

The e-mails between Hilary Clinton and Sidney Blumenthal about the inner-workings of Libya, following the death of the North African country’s dogged dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, included one correspondence that suggested new Libyan leader, Mohamed Magariaf, would “seek a discrete relationship with Israel”.

Clinton, encouraged by the news, forwarded the message to her deputy, Jake Sullivan  - a current adviser to the Obama administration for negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme  - saying he “should consider passing (it) to Israelis”, according to the New York Times report.

Libya and Israel had no diplomatic ties under Gaddafi and neither do any exist today. From 2011 to 2012, when these Clinton-Blumenthal intelligence-style correspondences were written, there were no open relations between Libya’s de facto National Transitional Council government, either.

Lévy outed the plan in 2011

But in 2011, politically active French philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy generated a brief scandal when he apparently outed the NTC’s plan to forge better ties with the Jewish state.

Bibi-2015 june

RIGHT: Bernard-Henri Lévy

Meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu, Lévy - one of the most outspoken supporters of the NTC in France before it was recognised as Libya’s legitimate representative - purportedly told the Israeli leader that “the future [Libyan] regime will maintain normal relations with other democratic countries, including Israel”.

Israel never commented on such claims, and a vexed NTC flatly rejected Lévy’s statements. Perhaps Lévy will feel vindicated after the release of the Clinton correspondence.

Since the Arab uprisings across the Middle East erupted in late 2010, reports have floated of secret relations between Israel and historically hostile countries.

And, since Israel and Gulf states have stepped up efforts to confront a hostile and expansionist Iran, more reports of intelligence ties have surfaced.

For years, Israel has been concerned that the lawlessness in Libya was being exploited by Islamists to develop a robust arms smuggling route from Libya, through Egypt and the Sinai peninsula, and into the Gaza Strip for use by Hamas or other terrorist groups.


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