Friday, March 11, 2011

Compensate Libyan Jews from frozen assets

It is only fair that the British government should compensate Libyan Jews with some of the £1 billion assets it has frozen, believes Aldo Habib, whose family lost property worth millions, Simon Rocker reports in The Jewish Chronicle:

Aldo Habib has not seen the country of his birth since 1967, when his family left Libya in the aftermath of the Six-Day War.

But now he thinks that the British government should consider using some of the £1 billion of frozen assets belonging to the Gaddafi family in this country to compensate Libyan Jews for what they lost.

Mr Habib's own family left behind properties worth millions when they were forced to flee as mobs roamed the streets, killing Jews and looting businesses.

His mother and three sisters escaped to Milan, while he and his British wife, Eveleen, came to London, where he had bought a home three years earlier. "That was my lucky deal," he said.

His father had been the president of the Jewish community and was "quite influential in the country".

As well as owning a successful import and export business, his father was also a judge in Tripoli. The family owned a 100-hectare farm and helped local farmers to export their produce.

When Colonel Gaddafi, attempting rapprochement with the West, indicated a few years ago that Libya would be open to compensation claims, Mr Habib, now 82, wrote in 2009 to the relevant office in Tripoli. But there has been no response.

"The assets of my family are probably in the region of £7 million," he said.

Despite the riots of 1967, he entertains positive memories. "The people are nice, they are not anti-Jewish," he said. "I have Arab friends there.


Read article in full

4 comments:

Sammish said...

I do not understand why after all the sufferings, loss of livelihood and properties and loss of life, Mr. Habib still ends his narrative with the usual apologetic claim that the “..people are not anti-jewish and people are nice..” What? Why this 180 degree guilt spree? Why do Jews have to always be apologetic about their sufferings? I do not get it.

Why is it easy to blame a megalomaniac dictator (or any head of state) for the usurpation of wealth and mass killing and wash our hands from those who actively participated in the killing and usurpation of wealth and destruction of property?
Whether Libyan Jews should be compensated of their economic losses with the frozen assets is a question that only the international courts can decide on. But to suggest that the average Libyans in 1967 or 1948 (large Jewish pogroms) are blameless is ridiculous. In fact, the Libyan dictator was been usurping the oil wealth of Libya since he came to power. The Libyan people now have more defensible arguments to use the frozen assets as their share of their oil revenues that the clown dictator has been taking from them.

Sylvia said...

Samish

"I do not understand why after all the sufferings, loss of livelihood and properties and loss of life, Mr. Habib still ends his narrative with the usual apologetic claim that the “..people are not anti-jewish and people are nice..” What? Why this 180 degree guilt spree? Why do Jews have to always be apologetic about their sufferings? I do not get it."

It is a Pavlovian reflex present concurrently with any criticism (repressed or explicit) of Muslim society which is found in practically all non-Muslims adults who grew up in a Muslim country.
It is the expression of a 1400 year old tabou prohibiting the utterance of anything negative about Muslim society or balancing the hint of negative with praise.

Why is he still doing it when he has left decades ago, is the question. It is quite difficult to explain. I pride myself of being cold-headed and a very critical (sometimes overly critical) person yet I often catch myself doing exatly the same thing as Mr. Habib.

This phenomenon is not limited to Jews. Notice that after Copts were massacred on Christmas Day and had their churches burnt and their priests incinerated, there are still those among them praising their Egyptian oppressors to the western medias.

One of the causes - perhaps the primary cause is that in order to survive, dhimmis have had to adapt themselves to the moods of Muslims, to their outlook on others and the Other which is ambivalent and conflictual. "Hear no evil, see no evil" says Maimonides, who explained that it is a strategy commanded by our sages for conducting ourselves in Muslim society.

bataween said...

The dhimmi syndrome of Jewish denial is an interesting phenomenon. Robert Satloff also remarked on it :
http://jewishrefugees.blogspot.com/2007/02/to-jews-denial-is-dhimmi-survival.html

Sylvia said...

Thanks Bataween. This seems interesting.