In an interview with Time Magazine, Gaddafy shares his sweet childhood memories of how well Jews lived in Libya:
As recent as '48 or '49 — I was a little boy at the time but I can still remember — the Jews were there in Libya. There was no animosity, no hatred between us. They were merchants, moving from one place to the other, traders ... and they were very much respected and very much sympathized with. I mean, they did their own prayers and we saw them. They spoke Arabic, wearing Libyan uniforms, Libyan clothes.I suppose we will have to forgive Gaddafi his faulty memory:
The Jewish community of Libya traces its origin back some 2,500 years to around the third century BCE. At the time of the Italian occuptation in 1911, there were approximatly 21,000 Jews in the country, the majority in Tripoli. In the late 1930s, fascist anti-Jewish laws were gradually enforced, and Jews were subject to terrible repression. Yet, by 1941, the Jews accounted for a quarter of the population of Tripoli and maintained 44 synagogues. In 1942, the Germans occupied the Jewish quarter of Benghazi, plundered shops, and deported more than 2,000 Jews across the desert, where more than one-fifth of them perished. Many Jews from Tripoli were also sent to forced labor camps. Conditions did not greatly improve following liberation. During the British occupation, there were a series of pogroms. A savage pogrom occurred in Tripoli on November 5, 1945, where more than 140 Jews were massacred and almost every synagogue in the city was looted. In June 1948, rioters murdered another 12 Jews and destroyed 280 Jewish homes. When the British legalized emigration in 1949, more than 30,000 Jews fled Libya.Considering how many Jews were slaughtered or left, it was most likely remarkably easy for the Arabs to get along with (what was left of) the Jews.
According to the Colonel, the problem is all the fault of the rest of the world. At least he does not blame the Jews outright--and he seems to actually admit that the Holocaust happened:
So that's why I said, the way things are going, in the end they would — it will be the eradication of them, or the extinction of such a community. And I believe that the whole world is plotting against them, against the Jews. They want to get rid of them, the world wants to. And things that happened in the past indicate or give witness to this idea or this notion. It was the Holocaust in Europe. We all know that, this is a fact.
So bottom line, what is to be done to guarantee the safety of the Jews? Luck for us, Gaddafy has the answer:
The answer is as follows: That we have to serve God, or guarantee the safety of the Jews. And this can be done by them accepting the Palestinians, recognizing the Palestinians, accepting that fact that they should live with the Palestinians in one state, together. Unfortunately, the Jews are fighting or struggling against their own friend — the Arabs. The Arabs did not do the Holocaust, and the Arabs are not the Romans who persecuted them or massacred them. The only way open for them is to accept the Arabs and to accept to live with them, to co-exist with them. Because the establishment of a pure Hebrew state is not in their own interest. That would be a target. Their protection comes from being part of the Arab scene. Mixing with the Arabs. I believe that the youth supports me, supports my idea ... Investors would prefer this mixing with the Arabs, being with the Arabs, living with the Arabs, co-existing with the Arabs. But they have to accept refugees that were kicked out in 1948. This is a fundamental thing, a basic thing. Otherwise, war will continue, the struggle will continue.
Investors would prefer this mixing with the Arabs, being with the Arabs, living with the Arabs, co-existing with the Arabs: now that's a nice touch. If we are talking about oil, then I suppose he has a point, but when it comes to new technology, just where is the investment--and the results.
But his comment about how the Arabs did not "do" the Holocaust: that is priceless!
There goes Gaddafi being all modest again. Actually, they had quite a lot to do with the Holocaust. Gaddafi must have forgotten about the Grand Mufti:
At an early stage the mufti was aware of the extermination of the Jews and he tried to persuade the Axis to extend the extermination to North Africa and Palestine. He also repeatedly proprosed the Luftwaffe bomb Tel Aviv. When he found out that efforts were underway to save Jews by means of various barter arrangements, he did all he could to foil them.
Maybe when Gaddafy said the Arabs were not involved in the Holocaust, he was referring just to Arabs and not to Muslims:
Husseini's contribution to the Nazis war effort was more successful in his capacity as a Moslem leader. He recruited and organized Bosnian Muslim battalions in 1943, known as the Handjar (Sword), who were put into the Waffen-SS. They fought partisans in Bosnia, participated in the massacre of civilians there, and carried out police and security duties in Hungary. Husseini also helped boost the fighting morale of the Ostbattaillone. Husseini's Support of the Final Solution. Husseini's men attended SS training courses and visited Sachsenhausen.
Journalist Maurice Pearlman, who reviewed the records of Eichmann's meetings with the Mufti at the trials for Nazi leader in Nuremberg, wrote a book entitled The Mufti of Jerusalem, published in 1947. Pearlman noted that the Mufti instructed Eichmann as to the way in which the Nazis could best persecute the Jews - slowly and in stages, so as to catch them unaware of the next stage of persecution.
Hot Air points out this video, which is also instructive:
So according to Gaddafy, all the Jews have to do is live side by side with the Palestinian Arabs who have dedicated themselves to the destruction of Israel.
Gaddafy would be comical, if not for his past--including Lockerbie.
But that does not prevent Time Magazine and the UN from being comical for giving him a platform.