Settling Debts with Gaddafi

Published: December 20th 2010
in News » World

Jewish community in Libya
Pic: Or Shalom Foundation


The situation of Libya's Jews underwent a turn for the worse in June 1940 when the Fascist 'Black Shirts' group blamed them for hording food and spying for the British. After the British occupied Bengasi, the incitation against the Jews got worse. Many Jews were arrested and punished.


The end of WWII didn't bring about the end to their troubles. In 1945, right around the date of the one year anniversary of the Balfour declaration, riots against Libya's Jewish community left hundreds dead; many injured, and plundered synagogues in shambles.


Additional bloody clashes occurred in June 1948 as the Arab nations prepared to attack Israel. Between 1948 and 1952 nearly the entire Libyan Jewish community made Aliyah to Israel, other than a few that made their way to Italy.


Kahlon believes that an agreement to compensate the Jews will serve to improve Libya's standing in the world. And yet, they won't settle for anything less than what they are demanding. "We won't be bought cheaply" he added.


"It was hinted that they were willing to build us a luxurious nursing home, but that isn't a solution. We were seven percent of the population, and the compensation we receive should be allocated accordingly.


"We are interested in completing projects that would be for the State's benefit, and then we will settle our accounts with the Israeli government over funds for the benefit of the entire Jewish-Libyan community."


This article was orginally featured on Ynet and was republished with permission.

Related articles: (Italy, Libya, Gaddafi, WWII, )

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