Will the new Libya recognize Israel?

Thursday, August 25, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

A prominent Libyan official associated with the opposition forces now taking over the North African nation hinted this week that relations between post-Gaddafi Libya and Israel could be warm.

Ahmad Shabani, son of an advisor to Libya's former king, has in recent weeks acted as a spokesman for Libyan opposition forces in numerous mainstream media interviews.

While it is still unclear how much influence Shabani will wield when the regime of dictator Muammar Gaddafi is fully overthrown, it appears he does have a certain degree of clout.

In an interview with Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, Shabani suggested he and others like him will use their influence to foster warm relations with Israel, and already see the Jewish state as a potential ally in their quest for freedom.

"We are asking Israel to use its influence in the international community to end the tyrannical regime of Gadhafi and his family," Shabani told Ha'aretz.

The newspaper asked Shabani if, once the dust settles, his nation will officially recognize Israel.

"That is a very sensitive question," Shabani responded. "The question is whether Israel will recognize us."

Israel has already ingratiated itself to a certain degree with the Libyan rebels.

When the Libyan uprising first got underway in February, an Israeli musician used clips of a defiant Gaddafi speech to create a catchy music video that prompty went viral on video-sharing mega-site YouTube.

The Libyan rebels quickly took notice of Noy Alooshe's video titled "Zenga Zenga" and made it their anthem.

Alooshe later told Israel's Channel 2 News that at least one Libyan rebel had written to him and vowed to play Zenga Zenga from loudspeakers in Tripoli after Gaddafi was captured or killed.

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