Is Libya flirting with Israel?

Libya’s intense efforts to improve its relations with the UN have led it to explore Jewish channels.
Two senior Libyans, Saif el-Islam Qaddafi, the elder son of the ruler, Muammar Qaddafi, and Moussa Kussa, the head of Libya’s intelligence services, are seeking to establish communication with various Jewish institutions, including the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and pro-Israel lobby.
For the same reason, Libya is putting out tentative feelers about some sort of accommodation with Israel. debkafile intelligence sources report that Saif el-Islam, who studies and lives in London, traveled to a Middle Eastern capital last June to meet five Israelis, at least three of whom have political or military influence in Jerusalem. His purpose, he said, was to explain his father’s ideas about establishing a single Israeli-Palestinian state to be called Isratin. He explained that there was no hope for a Palestinian state, that an ethnic Israeli state would not survive, and that there should instead be a joint state. He also emphasized that Libya had turned into attention from the Arab world to the African one.
As debkafile published last month, Aron Proshar, political adviser to Israel’s foreign minister, had a meeting in Paris in the third week of December with Musafa Nahed Tlas, daughter of Syria’s defense minister and businesswoman and celebrity in her own right. Though the subject of the meeting was Israeli-Syrian relations, Libya was also talked about. Mrs Nahed Tlas has close contacts in Tripoli, including Saif el-Islam. This indirect approach may have been a way of bypassing Ariel Sharon’s instructions to Israel’s foreign minister that he was not to make approaches to Libya, though some reports say that a Libyan was in the house with Mrs Nahed Tlas.
On January 5, Muammar Qaddafi himself said that all people, including Jews, whose property had been confiscated during Libya’s revolution should be compensated. Next day, Al Siyassa, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported that representatives of Mossad, Israel’s military intelligence, had met with a high-ranking official in Vienna. The paper did not give the names but debkafile can report that the Libyan was Najat al-Hajjaji, Libya`s ambassador to the UN and the current chairperson of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
There two conflicting reports about this meeting. The first is that Mrs Hajjaji, who in her early life had experience in public relations, was in Vienna to prepare the ground for Qaddafi’s announcement about dismantling Libya’s WMD, and that she just stumbled on the Israelis who were in Vienna as members of the UN’s international nuclear commission. If this is so, the meeting was of no importance. But the second report says that Mrs Hajjaji flew especially to Vienna to meet the Israelis.
Senior sources in Jerusalem tell debkafile that Libya’s only reason for any approach to Israel is its wish to improve relations with the US. Nothing of consequence is, in fact, going on. If Libya wants to make a move towards Israel, say these sources, it should do so through the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

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