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Libyan rebels may recognize Israel

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Hillary Clinton and Dr. Jibril from the Libyan National Transitional Council

WASHINGTON – The rebels of Libya’s National Transitional Council are prepared to recognize Israel diplomatically, and Israeli businessmen already are arriving in Libya to establish future business activities with the “new government,” informed sources have told Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

“This area may just become Israel’s new best friend in the Middle East,” the source said.

The development would represent a major shift in Libya’s foreign policy toward Israel and would provide the Jewish state with a sorely needed strategic friend among the Arab countries, since the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in January placed Israeli-Egyptian relations on hold.

The influx of Israeli businessmen into Libya also reinforces earlier comments made by the French philosopher and journalist Bernard-Henri Levy, who claims that weeks ago he had passed a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a 90-minute meeting that the NTC was prepared to recognize Israel diplomatically.

Netanyahu’s office confirms that the prime minister met with Levy but wouldn’t comment on their discussion.

The NTC, however, issued a statement following Levy’s comments saying that the French philosopher was received “as a special envoy from the president of France and relations with Israel was (sic) never discussed.”

However, the NTC did not deny Levy’s assertion that it would grant diplomatic recognition to Israel once in full control of Libya.

“The NTC has long believed Levy is an official French envoy,” said Barak Barfi of the Washington-based New America Foundation.

“Even in its press release denying the existence of a message (to Israel), it called him ‘a special envoy from the president of France,'” Barfi said. “The NTC knows Levy. They think he is an important figure fueling France’s stance on Libya.”

Barfi similarly expressed surprise that the NTC had given Levy the assurance that it would grant Israel diplomatic recognition.

He said that graffiti in parts of Benghazi display the Star of David next to Gadhafi’s name with Arabic text calling him a Jew and a Mossad agent.

“They are comparing their worst enemies to each other,” Barfi said.

“In relation to other Arab countries, I would rate Libya in the most anti-Israeli camp along with Syria and Yemen,” Barfi said. “Though Libyans are less prone to see Israel’s hand behind every conspiracy as Syrians and Yemenis do, they harbor deep anti-Israeli sentiments.”

The fact that Israeli businessmen have descended on Libya, however, may reflect accurately on Levy’s discussion with the NTC and his subsequent meeting with Netanyahu.

The NTC, Levy said, will be concerned with “justice for the Palestinians and security for Israel” but “the future regime will maintain normal relations with other democratic countries, including Israel.”

Known in France as “BHL,” Levy was a leader of the 1976 “Nouvelle Philosophie,” or New Philosophy, movement. An intellectual who has been quite public on his views on an array of international issues ranging from Afghanistan to Bosnia, Iran and Pakistan, Levy was instrumental in getting France in March to be the first Western country to recognize the NTC as the legitimate government of Libya.

It was Levy who reportedly had put representatives from the Libyan opposition in contact with French President Nicolas Sarkozy days after he traveled to Benghazi after it fell from Gadhafi control.

According to sources, the NTC considers Levy to have a special relationship with Sarkozy that allows him to bypass normal diplomatic protocols.

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