Kadhafi Invites Israel to Join Arab League, Says Jerusalem ‘Only a Mosque’
Libyan leader Moammer Kadhafi on Tuesday proposed to an Arab summit that Israel join the 22-member Arab League ... but under certain conditions and dismissed the holy city of Jerusalem as "only a mosque," an Arab official who heard his speech said.
"If you want us to recognize Israel I have no objections. But I have three conditions," Kadhafi said behind closed doors at an Arab summit after demanding that his speech not be broadcast live by Jordan's state television.
"All the Palestinians must return to the (Israeli) occupied territories, Israel must agree to eliminate weapons of mass destruction and solve the question of Jerusalem," Kadhafi said.
"Then, and only then, we can recognize Israel and even invite it to join us in the Arab League," he said as he broke out in laughter, said the official who declined to be identified.
But if Israel refuses to accept Kadhafi's offer, the Libyan leader urged the Arabs to "wage an armed resistance" against the Jewish state.
Kadhafi earlier told reporters he refused to speak live on television because he had made "grave" revelations concerning the fate of the Middle East.
Kadhafi also had words of wisdom on the holy city of Jerusalem, the main bone of contention between Arab and Israeli.
"Jerusalem is only a mosque. It is not important where we stay," he said in reference to Al-Aqsa Mosque -- the third holiest site for Muslims after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
"It (Jerusalem) is even a holy place for the Jews," he added.
The flamboyant Libyan leader, who is known for his long-winded and fiery speeches, chided the bewildered Arab leaders about "negotiating under the table with Israel".
"You must do it openly," he said.
He suggested that Jordan's King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubaral who are the only Arab heads of states bound by peace treaties to Israel "follow up on these proposals because they have ties with Israel."
Kadhafi who has recently hosted in Libya a summit of African leaders that proclaimed in early March the creation of the African Union set to replace the Organization of African Unity, invited the Arab leaders to join the movement.
"The future for all of you is in Africa and no place else. You will be happier and your economies will prosper," he said.
He also extended a personal invitation to Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, the only Christian Arab head of state in the Arab world, to join the African Union.
"In Africa you will not feel alone. There are (many) Christians who live alongside Muslims," said Kadhafi.
Kadhafi concluded his speech by predicting that "the Arab masses will rise against their leaders because all they hear from you are empty words when all along they want action."
Kadhafi arrived Sunday in Jordan and refused lodgings in a heavily-fortified five-star hotel in Western Amman where the other Arab leaders are staying for the two-day summit that ends on Wednesday.
So Jordan's royal family invited him to stay in the former home of the late King Hussein but rather than take rooms inside the palace, Kadhafi pitched his traditional tent in the royal grounds – AMMAN (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
- Kadhafi to Present His Proposal To Settle Palestinian Problem
- Following Kadhafi, Mussa Talks: Libya Confirms Participation At Arab Summit; Libya May Postpone Arab League Quit Threat
- Egyptian FM, Amr Moussa to Visit Libya for Mideast Talks
- Kadhafi Arrives in Saudi Arabia
- Kadhafi Absence of Arab Summit Confirmed