Talks on return of Jewish assets in Libya set for 2013 (JERUSALEM POST) By GIL SHEFLER 06/15/12)
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Talks over the restoration of Jewish property confiscated by slain
dictator Muammar Gaddafi will commence next year, a Jewish leader
said on Wednesday, quoting a high-ranking Libyan government official.
Raphael Luzon, a Libyan-born Jew whose family was forced into exile
in 1967, said the general director of the Libyan Prime Minister’s
Office promised talks would start after a constitution is drafted in
“They will start giving back lands taken by Gaddafi from Muslims and
then there will be a second wave for Jews,” said Luzon, who just
returned from the country where he met with political
figures. “Whoever will present official documents will get back the
money, but we need another year and only after the second election
they will appoint such a man.”
Luzon would not disclose the name of the official he met, but said it
was public knowledge in Libya.
Most Libyan Jews left for Israel during the late 1940s and early
1950s. Those who remained were forced out by Gaddafi in the late
1960s leaving their personal assets behind. The flamboyant dictator’s
regime also confiscated Jewish communal property, in one case paving
a highway over the ancient Jewish cemetery in Tripoli.
Luzon, who lives in the UK and is part of a group of Jews born in
Libya with property claims in the country, said the assets involved
“I saw files like my father’s who left $10 million, but there are
others that left even $100m.,” he said.
Meanwhile, Libya continues to suffer from chronic political
instability. General elections now set to take place next month have
been postponed several times as violence between tribes has flared.
In light of the circumstances the question of Jewish rights remains
on the backburner.
David Gerbi, another Jew born in Libya, hastily cut short a visit to
Tripoli last year, fearing for his life after he tried to
reconsecrate an abandoned synagogue.
He had been in the country several months supporting the opposition
The expat Jewish Libyan community has enlisted the help of the US
Congress to apply pressure on Tripoli to address its concerns. (©
1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/15/12)
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