“Difficult if not inconceivable” is putting it quite delicately. From the BBC, with thanks to John:
Israel says it would be “difficult if not inconceivable” to accept nations which do not recognise its right to exist as part of a UN force in Lebanon.
Israeli UN envoy Dan Gillerman was speaking after Indonesia and Malaysia, which do not recognise Israel, pledged troops for the UN deployment.
Malaysia said Israel should have no say in the make-up of the force.
The UN has expressed cautious optimism that it can deploy an initial 3,500-strong force within two weeks.
UN deputy chief Mark Malloch Brown warned earlier that delay could threaten the ceasefire….
France, which agreed to lead the force once its mandate had been set, said it would send only 200 extra troops immediately, far fewer than expected.
The UN had hoped for a larger European contingent and was disappointed by France’s offer.
But French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie defended the decision. “You can’t send in men telling them: Look what’s going on but you don’t have the right to defend yourself or to shoot,” she told RTL radio.
Italy’s government has approved the deployment of troops, saying it would decide how many in the coming days. Officials said as many as 3,000 troops could be sent.
Bangladesh and Nepal have also pledged troops, while Germany has offered a maritime task force. The UK and the US say they will provide logistical support.
As the UN’s efforts to build the force continued, Mr Gillerman made clear Israel’s unhappiness with some of the contributors.
“It would be very difficult if not inconceivable for Israel to accept troops from countries who do not recognise Israel, who have no diplomatic relations with Israel,” he told the BBC.
He said they would be “very happy” to accept troops from Muslim countries they have friendly relations with.
“But to expect countries who don’t even recognise Israel to guard Israel’s safety I think would be a bit naive,” he said.
Naive, or something.