The Dar al Bishi synagogue
JTA — An abandoned and ancient synagogue in Libya is being turned into an Islamic religious center without permission, the World Organization of the Jews of Libya said. David Gerbi, a Libya-born Italian Jew, and member of the organization, which promotes the interests of people belonging to the Libyan Jewish Diaspora, wrote about the Sla Dar Bishi in Tripoli last week in a report published by Moked, a Jewish publication in Italy.
“Since there is now no Jew living in Tripoli and since the power is in the hands of the local authorities (read: militias) it was decided to violate our property and our history,” he wrote. “The plan clearly is to take advantage of the chaos and our absence.”
Gerbi said The World Organization of Jews in Libya “calls for this transformation to be stopped immediately and to leave the Tripoli synagogue intact with the hope that one day it will be restored.” Contacts on the ground provided Gerbi with pictures and videos over the past three months that have convinced him that the synagogue is being taken over illegally, he said.
David Gerbi managed to pray in the synagogue in 2011 before being thrown out of Libya