Your report M'sia mulls sending ME peacekeepers refers. I hope it is just plain mulling. First of all, Malaysia does not have any diplomatic ties with Israel, Most of the time, Jews and Israel are demonised in Malaysia. Just a reminder, so as to enforce my argument, someone once said 'Jews rule the world by proxy. Even the current PM's son-in-law has led demos against Israel.
Malaysia has had experience peacekeeping in various parts of the World, the most challenging being in the Congo and Somalia. The rest of the missions were a stroll in the park. Peacekeeping is a different ball game all together when it involves Israel.
The current United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) comprising China, France, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Poland and Ukraine and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (Unsto) comprising Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the Us are toothless and expensive. Note the commonality, no Muslim countries. What many seem to forget are the lads mentioned above are the 'UN presence' that everyone is clamouring for.
This is what would likely happen if troops from Muslim countries were deployed. An incident like the case of Jordanian peacekeepers firing at American soldiers after a dispute over Iraq whilst on a peace keeping mission in Kosovo. This is bad for the peacekeepers' morale and anyone who is in a mood for a debate.
Throughout my military career, I have noticed that most Malay officers tend to side with the Arabs and most non-Malay officers tend to sympathise with the Israelis. Many an argument broke out with the Malay officers saying 'Why on earth do we support Israel?'. In my case, my argument is always that Israel has never hurt Malaysia. Why on earth would I want to support the Arabs as all the major wars fought by the Arabs against Israel were supported by then Communist Russia.
We were fighting the communists, so it is natural to root for Israel. Further, the wars fought by the Jewish state were against the Arab nations that did not want it to exist. Geographically too, why bother? They're too far away.
Malaysian peacekeepers are not averse to taking sides. A case in point was the Bosnian conflict when elements of the Royal Malay Regiment, which comprised the Malaysian UN contingent, were implicated in the burning of a Catholic cross near Bosnian Croat-controlled Kiseljak, about 15 miles (25 km) northwest of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.
Mindef and the defence minister had to do pull out all the stops to spin this to pull Malaysia out of a 'political toilet'. The first two soldiers mentioned in the report were the perpetrators. We used to raise a stink in the Mess on this incident, whilst drinking beers, as they were not Rangers. The two Malaysian Christian soldiers who were on attachment, mentioned later in the report, salvaged the situation.
The only way the current Middle East war is going to come to some stable conclusion anytime soon is if a 'New World Order' comprising countries like Russia, China and India put together an international force that can escort the Lebanese army to the Israeli border and remain on hand to protect it against Hezbollah and vice-versa, to prevent Israeli incursions into Lebanon.
I am not talking about a UN peacekeeping force. I am talking about an international force - like the one that liberated Kosovo - with robust rules of engagement, heavy weapons, air power and troops from countries like Russia, India and China. A force that neither Iran, Syria or Israel would wish to try their luck. This New World Order will help to extend peace in the Middle East.
I think Israel would be keen on it. We Malaysians should stay at home or go to East Timor where it is very much less complicated.