Last man in the world to say this, but...
REPORTS THAT the SecretaryGeneral of the Arab League, Nabil El Araby, has called on the Palestinian leadership to reconsider its bid for a resolution on statehood at the United Nations next month make for some extraordinary conclusions.
Mr El Araby is said to have warned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that in light of the recent violence emanating from Gaza and the Egyptian border area, it could be “a very dangerous move for the Palestinians during this period.”
Opponents of the plan have long argued that it was reckless under any circumstances but especially during the turmoil now sweep- ing the Arab world. Lebanon is an ever present tinderbox; Syria is consumed in bloody chaos; and the Egyptians can barely control the Sinai peninsula.
The last thing the world needs is the prospect of a third Palestinian intifada encouraged by the UN, with the consequent risk of a region-wide conflagration.
Retractions, denials, and diplomatic somersaults from the Arab League are all still possible.
But the notion that this has been mooted at all will make for some very red faces down at the British Foreign Office, which is widely understood to be pushing the government to back the Palestinian plan with some vigour.
David Cameron has yet to make up his mind. But, amazing as it may sound, and as things stand today, the head of the Arab League, of all people, has a less hostile posture to the Israeli position on the matter than Britain.
Lawrence of Arabia rides again.