Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jews concerned at post-Gaddafi future

Green Square in Tripoli has been renamed (Martyrs Square,with its associations to Jihad) - not a good omen for the post-Gaddafi future, say Libyan Jews in Israel. A Taiwan TV channel has the story:

Asked about the nearing end of Gaddafi's rule and his sons' fate, Arviv says he has no feeling towards them.

[David Arviv, Tripolitan Restaurant Owner]:
"I know they were mean people who did a lot of bad things and they deserve it.”

The Jewish community in the former Italian colony, which traces its origins to Roman times, numbered about 38,000 at the end of World War Two.

By the time Israel won the Middle East War against Arab nations in 1967, the community had dwindled to about 7,000.
The Jewish community in Libya is now virtually non-existent.

Arviv says he hopes the future rulers of Libya will allow Jews of Libyan origin to visit their childhood neighborhoods.

[David Arviv, Tripolitan Restaurant Owner]:
"I hope it will be better now and that we will have relations with them, and that we will be able to visit; that we Tripolitans will be able to visit Libya and see the neighborhood in which we grew up in. I hope it will create a new road."

But in the Libyan Jews Heritage Center in the Israeli town of Or Yehuda, curator Avi Pedatzur is pessimistic.

[Avi Pedatzur, Curator, Libyan Jews Heritage Centre]:
"The revolution leaders took the main square in - the 'Green Square' - and turned it, within an hour, into 'Jihad Square'*. Jihad and its meaning are well known to Jews. I don't think that democracy will immediately emerge in Libya."

Read article in full

*Actually Martyrs square


Unknown said...

The word Jihad in fact refers to spiritual resistance against evil!
Not all Muslims are alike when it comes to attitude towards other religions particularly Judaism. The first thing Jews and Muslims should realize that both Islam and Judaism are the only closest religions in the world sharing the same Abrahamic roots. Libya was ruled by a tyrant, a dictator who was not himself a staunch Muslim. Had he been one then the current political chaos would not have happened. A true Muslim would always care for the religious concerns of the Jewish community living under his rule.Remember that according to Islam, there is no compulsion in religion. FYI: http://www.themodernreligion.com/terror/terrorism_verses1.htm

aparatchik said...

Pity there aren't more true muslims then, instead of the millions and millions of false ones - whose false "jihad" people are rightly concerned about.

Stuart said...

I'm worried for the Christians also. Have you seen this?

Draft Transitional Libyan Constitution Makes Islam the State Religion. But Protects Non-Muslims

bataween said...

Thanks, Stuart
Have inserted your link here:

Sylvia said...

Why should Jews be concerned? There isn't one single Jew left in Libya and it can be worse than it was under Qaddafi.
Of course there are the Jewish assets left in Libya, but given that it is precisely a North-African born Jew - BHL - who has single-handedly gotten Europe's attention on the rebels, the least they could do is permit Jews to visit their cemeteries.
Of course this is counting without Islamists who might hijack the revolution, as it has been suggested that AQIM participated in the fight, and as this change from Green Square to Jihad square seems to suggest.
I believe though that at least in a first phase, they'll want to show the world that they are the antithesis of Qaddafi and the first thing they'll probably do is open up to Israeli tourism.

Joshua said...

I thought it was renamed Martyrs' Square. At least that's what it says on Wikipedia.

bataween said...

Thank you Joshua, you are right - I'll change that.

Sylvia said...

There is a big difference if this is the case. Jihad and Martyrs are not interchangeable.

bataween said...

Shaheed Square (Martyrs' Square) was the orginal name before Gaddafi took over.

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

of course jihad and shahid [Or shuhada = "martyrdom"] are not the same, but they are related concepts.