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Libya and the scandalous steps towards normalisation

September 6, 2023 at 9:00 pm

Libyans gather for a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinians and protest against Israeli aggression on Gaza, on May 21, 2021 in Tripoli, Libya [Hazem Turkia – Anadolu Agency]

It is unfortunate, even shameful, that the Arab rulers live in the illusion of the Zionists, that they are the protectors of their thrones and their lifeline to reach the heart of America in order to please it, so they strive to gain the honour of the Zionists’ approval in secret. However, those sitting in the thrones they protect insist on exposing them publicly and announcing these meetings that take place with them in secret, and despite this, they haven’t learned from their mistakes and learned that Israel does not care about them as much as it cares about being involved and integrated within the system of the entire region and normalising relations with the Arab countries. By announcing these forbidden meetings, it aims to encourage the others hesitant to follow in the footsteps of their brothers to gradually tame the Arab popular sentiment, to accept the fait accompli and to open embassies later, in order to then lead the entire region with the consent of its Arab rulers. It wants to no longer be seen as a cancerous entity planted in a land foreign to it.

Almost two years ago, the occupation state’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified the conflict and difference between the Arab rulers and their people, saying that there is no problem with the Arab rulers regarding normalisation, but that the problem still lies within the Arab peoples.

I say once again, the Arab rulers have not learned that Israel will time and again expose their secret meetings with it. The latest was the meeting between the Libyan Foreign Minister, Najla El-Mangoush, and her Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, in Italy with Italian mediation. Israeli officials announced that the meeting was agreed upon at the highest level, thus embarrassing the Government of National Unity (GNU) and putting it in a major dilemma because it had previously denied knowledge of the meeting. 

READ: A secret meeting and fleeing Foreign Minister leave Dbeibeh in deeper trouble

Libyan Prime Minister, Abdel Hamid Dbeibeh, allowed El-Mangoush to leave Libya for London. If this meeting had indeed taken place without his knowledge and arrangement, she would have been detained and tried on charges of espionage in accordance with Libyan law, which criminalises relations with Israel. However, the deal between them allows her to travel in exchange for her silence on Dbeibeh’s role in arranging the meeting.

It is worth noting that Naglaa El-Mangoush is close to the American circles, and she was chosen without anyone objecting to her, despite the fact that she is distanced from the diplomatic circles and there are those more qualified and experienced in international relations.

There is no doubt that the normalisation pandemic that has swept the Arab countries over the past three years has whet the appetite of the submissive Arab rulers and those in collusion with Israel, so they rushed to embrace it, waiting for their turn to normalise. Of course, Libya was not far from the normalisation auction. Signs of normalisation began at the beginning of this year after the visit of William Burns, the head of American intelligence, to the Libyan capital. Associated Press reported that he discussed with Libyan officials the issue of normalising relations between the Tripoli government and Israel and that Dbeibeh expressed initial approval to join the Abraham Accords, but expressed his concern and fear about the reaction of the Libyan people who support the Palestinian cause.

Last March, the Libyan Minister of Labour, Ali Al-Abed, visited Ramallah and Jerusalem, and some interpreted it as a preliminary step to normalisation. He was not allowed to enter the occupied Palestinian territories without a visa from the occupying state!

READ: Israel’s Netanyahu says publication of Libya meeting ‘not helpful’

If we go back two decades, we find that Muammar Gaddafi himself was thinking of normalisation. Wasn’t he the one who proposed the idea of one state to solve the Palestinian issue and called it “Isratine”, and insulted Al-Aqsa Mosque with a foul word my hand refuses to write, saying we will build another mosque.

It was rumoured that during the Libyan revolution in 2011, as the reality of the possibility of his ouster hit home, he asked Italy, just as Dbeibeh did, to mediate for him with Israel to save his regime from these terrorists who want to erase Israel from existence. In an interview on Russia Today, an Israeli minister even warned the West against losing the Gaddafi regime!

There is no doubt that the curse of oppression has reached Libya, and that Najla El-Mangoush’s meeting with her Israeli counterpart was only a step preceded by other steps and will be followed by others on the path to the normalisation that Dbeibeh seeks in order to stabilise his rule and continue in power. His political opponents, Haftar and Aguila, are also all seeking normalisation to overthrow Dbeibeh’s government, strengthen their positions and win the upcoming elections. However, each of them faces clashing with the Libyan people who refuse normalisation with Israel in any form.

The Arab rulers rushing to embrace Israel, the usurper of the Arab land of Palestine, and cosying up to its leaders are traitors who sold Palestine at the lowest price. However, we are reassured by the fact that the Arab nations reject this normalisation and that it is doomed to fail, along with all of the shameful agreements and normalisation. Palestine will remain alive and present in the Arab conscience and in the conscience of every free person in the world.

This brings to mind Mahmoud Darwish’s masterpiece:

The Arabs obeyed their Romans,

The Arabs have sold their souls,

The Arabs are lost.

The mask has fallen off the mask;

Off the mask fell the mask.

You have no brothers, brother, and no friends.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.