Last man in the world to say this, but...

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - ROBIN SHEP­HERD

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.

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