Libyan Constitutional Union








. . . And the Jews of Libya ! ?

By: Mohamed Ben-Ghalbon*

The Full Article

(Translated from Arabic)


The following article was submitted for publishing in Al-Hayat Newspaper in February 1995.  A heavily edited version of it was published in the “Ideas” section on 9th March 1995, Issue No.11705 under the above title, which was chosen by the editor (over half of the sent piece was in fact omitted).  To view the published part, please click this link or the article’s image below. 

The published part of the article is written here in italic


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The Libyan case appears to observers to be quite a simple case, like any of the dozens of similar cases that filled the third world over the latter half of this century.  A group of Army officers carryout a military coup de Etat and seize power in the country.  One of the junta rules absolute and sends his comrades to the same fate as the previous officials.  He turns into a despot and rules with an iron fist.

People get fed up and the solution to the problem is as simple as the problem it self.  A new junta emerges from the same army to execute a new coup de Etat, it overthrows the dictator and begins to effect a “Reform Program”, and so on....

However our case is far from this simple, or else it would have followed the same predictable pattern.  Some of us realise this fact while others stand bewildered and in horror at the length of time this “nightmare” has taken, and by its ability to survive all this time despite its obvious deficiencies and vulnerabilities.  

Some of us fully realise that there is more than one player in our predicament, and more than one interested party.  That it is a result of more than one problem, while others grasp only parts of that, and with a varied degree of clarity.

As all conventional attempts to address the Libyan case have repeatedly failed, it is perhaps our duty to now review our attitude towards it.

In order to accomplish that, or for any conventional method to succeed, we ought to reduce the size of the problem and free it from any excess weight.  The following is one example of many.

Whilst the Palestinians and Israelis have found ways of reconciliation, and Jordan began to normalize its relationship with Israel, I feel that reconciliation between Libyans and their Jewish compatriots is neither impossible nor needs to be delayed any further.

Yes, there were thousands of Jews who had lived in Libya for many centuries, and until 1967 they formed a peaceful minority within Libyan society.  In June of that year the Libyan security forces appeared reluctant to protect the Jewish citizens from the angry mob who were inflamed by the Israeli attack on Egypt.  Consequently a number of Jews lost their lives and many more were injured and their properties pillaged and burnt.

That day was a dark episode that can never be justified.  It was further compounded by the Libyan government's decision to evacuate the Jews from Libya in an attempt to rid themselves of the responsibility of protecting them.  They were hastily evacuated to Italy in an undignified fashion which added to their fears and distress.

There is nothing, in my opinion, to prevent the Libyans in exile and the Libyan opposition groups from taking a positive step towards their fellow Jewish countrymen, with whom we now share similar circumstances, and re-build the old friendly ties between us.  We should do this for the sake of righteousness, justice and all that is good and virtuous in the Libyan nature.


*Chairman of the Libyan Constitutional Union

(AL-HAYAT Thursday, 9 March 1995. Issue No: 11705)












An Open Letter

To the Head of the Libyan Jewish Community

in the United Kingdom

Mr. Raphael Luzon

(Translated from Arabic)*

10 June 2005


Assalaam Alaikum,


The ordeal our Jewish compatriots were subjected to in 1967 was truly horrible.  We should not have let the crimes of the Israeli army against the Palestinians destroy the harmony of the Libyan nation.

I had already expressed this opinion openly more than ten years ago, well before the Jewish case gained prominence on the Libyan stage of events.  This was published in the London based daily newspaper Al-Hayat, 9th March 1995, Issue No11705 (available in the archival site of the Libyan Constitutional Union:

This refutes the accusation made in your open letter recently posted on two Libyan web sites on the internet (“Akhbar Libya” on 26th May & “Libya our Home” on 28th May 2005), that Libyan activists “were never concerned with the Jewish community”.

Furthermore, the claim that the riots of 1945 & 1948 “were without any reason” is in contradiction to official British documents.  I have previously published copies of these documents in a series of three instalments on three consecutive days in “Al-Hayat” between 21st and 23rd September 1997.  (Copies can also be found by following the above link).

This clearly reflects our empathy for our Jewish compatriots in their suffering as deeply as we feel, in similar circumstances, for the rest of the minorities and ethnic groups that comprise the Libyan nation.  And this endeavour on our part is a proof of our continuous efforts to comprehend and analyse that period of the modern history of our country to identify and understand the roots of this problem without bias or prejudice.

We condemn without reservation what happened to Libya’s Jews in 1945 and 1948.  We also wish to point to the fact that the British Government was responsible for their safety at that time, as Libya was not yet an independent state. The entire country was under the protection of the British Administration, which was mandated by the UN to keep law and order in the country that was just liberated from Italian colonialism.  At that point the right of its people for the establishment of an independent state had not yet been recognised.  So it might be the case that demands and condemnations should be directed toward the British Government, which may be the source of the encouragement for the Jews to immigrate to Palestine.

You also stated in your letter that during the time of the monarchy “the Jews have been deprived of several of their rights like the right to vote or to run for a seat in Parliament, the right to have equal opportunity to work in government or in the army”.  This is true.  However, this was implemented according to oral orders by officials without any legal basis in clear violation of the Constitution.  Our Jewish compatriots never legally challenged those orders.  Libya, then, had a judiciary system that secured the right of taking up of cases against the government when the constitution was violated.

The constitutional right to challenge the state in the courts of law had been exercised in complete freedom and at the highest level.  An occasion of this was when The Supreme Court ruled to nullify a Royal Decree (see page 125 of, “Ben-Halim’s Conspiracy Against Democracy: 1954” by Ali Al-deb).  Another example was when the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of a contractor company against a government decision and the ruling was actually enforced (see the case of “Fezzan Road” in “Modern Libya” by Majid Khedouri, page 315 of the English edition).

Therefore, Libya’s Jews have made the same error as the “Libyan Political Parties” when they were banned from participating in the Libyan political life.  Neither resorted to the courts to insist on their rights nor sought to indict the government for contravening the constitution.  Had the political parties or the Jewish community done so, they would have undoubtedly gained their legitimate rights as well as contributed to enriching the constitutional experience of the newly born state.  The Libyan State had just emerged from colonial rule and mistakes accompanied its unsteady first steps.  However, the mistakes were primarily a result of lack of knowledge but not malevolence.

Like the rest of their fellow countrymen, Libya’s Jews did not fully comprehend the value and power of their internationally affirmed constitution to obtain and maintain their rights.

In conclusion I unequivocally re-emphasise that there is nothing in the above that justifies, or eases the pain of the killing of any citizen by another, or the injustice committed by one group against another, for any reason, or under any pretext.


Mohamed Ben Ghalbon

Chairman of the Libyan Constitutional Union

Manchester- UK


* (This letter was originally written in Arabic and posted on the aforementioned two web sites on 29th and 30th May.)  (click Here to view Arabic Letter)











Gaddafi and the Abandoned Constitution

By: Mohamed Ben Ghalbon*[i]

Translation from Arabic

29 July ‏2005‏


We at the Libyan Constitutional Union (LCU) are certain that the manner in which the monarchist Libyan Government dealt with the events of June 1967 regarding its Jewish citizens accelerated the demise of the Libyan throne and coloured with hostility the choice of its replacement. 

The plans that were already in the making for a regime change in Libya, with patience and prudence, by those who hold the reins and move the political pieces in our miserable part of the world were modified to take a vengeful course 

In the beginning of the 1980’s uprising Libyan patriots in alliance with several major Arab states, which were unhappy with Gaddafi, began to form a serious threat to the Libyan regime.  However, this was not suitable to those who hold the reins because the vengeful plan (for Libya) had not run its complete course just yet and the country’s infrastructure did not reach the absolute wreck that was intended for it.  The once promising alliance was deliberately contained within a single organisation which went on to marginalize everyone outside its umbrella and plunged the alliance into a void of failure and irrelevance.

Now that Libya’s infrastructure has hit rock bottom and the country’s sole decision maker openly recognises the rights of the Libyan Jews to citizenship and compensation, the ruthless plan, it appears, is deemed to have completed its course and the country is welcomed back into the international fold.

It is no longer a secret that the Libyan Jews’ right for compensation was among the conditions for accepting Libya’s return to the international fold and granting Gaddafi and his heirs a new and long-lasting lease to rule Libya.  (Ref: Statement by the U.S. assistant secretary of State for Near and Eastern affairs William J. Burns before the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee on March 16, 2005: )

With the Lockerbie compensation still fresh in the mind, it is easy to picture the return of the Libyan Jews and the result of negotiations for compensation, particularly since it is now an established fact that Gaddafi will agree to all that secures continuity of his reign. 

However, this is not what really worries us.  We are concerned about a far greater matter.  When the survival of a particular regime becomes dependent on satisfying a minority of its citizens.  A minority that happens to be a well-trained and a tightly knit community that enjoys a completely advantaged standing with the superpower that is exerting the pressure and holds all the pieces.  To have this minority’s interests, as they alone desire them, as a condition to allowing the entire nation back to the international fold, would undoubtedly lose the regime its decision-making power and the nation (with its infrastructure in complete ruins) its political and economical independence.  This will also lead to a state where that minority is elevated to the elitist status within the society.

None of Gaddafi’s maverick politics or green theories will get him out of this particular web.  The trap was designed by ruthless professionals who meticulously studied and used his psychology to achieve a result where he is persuaded to react naturally in predictable ways to implement their objectives and faithfully complete the course.

We believe that the above analysis was the pre-determined outcome of the Libyan ordeal of the past 35 years, and it is the course we see developments will follow.

“New world order” wishes will turn into orders.  Gaddafi’s concessions will continue with the waves of pressure.  He will be powerless.  He will have no ground on which to contest the imposed demands, as he is the sole decision maker in the “Jamahiriya”.  He created it and the laws and legislations are entirely of his making.  He cannot hide behind the “People’s National Assembly” or divert responsibility to it.  Past years have shown the assembly to be a puppet show that merely rubber-stamps his wishes.

The internationally endorsed Libyan Constitution of 1951 was the only threat to implementing the wicked plot.  Gaddafi was therefore ‘encouraged’ to abolish The Constitution from the outset.  Attempts by The Libyan Constitutional Union to raise the Constitutional banner were stifled at birth, and the movement was isolated and kept in the dark to the extent that our call could only manage to break through barriers and reach the Libyan Opposition itself after 24 years of perseverance.  This was in spite of the clarity and relevance of its message, in addition, to the sincerity and aptitude of the majority of its target audience, the Libyan people.

For history, the late King Hassan II of Morocco was the only man who recognised our goal from the beginning.  He sent a personal representative to express his admiration and appreciation and to offer us his valuable and decisive support as a gift to the Libyan people.  However, this was on condition that we amend a certain point in our case.  His condition was (sadly) motivated by misinformation from factions of his then guests from the Libyan opposition groups.  This is not the appropriate time to elaborate on this matter.  Our refusal to comply lost us The King’s support, as we could not convince his majesty that his guests were misleading him.  A fact he learnt later but after Libya had lost that golden opportunity.  The late King assigned one of his most trusted men, the veteran politician and former Prime Minister of Morocco Mr Almuti Abu Obeid, to form the “Moroccan Constitutional Union” in the spring of 1983 to benefit the Moroccan people of the concept which had profoundly appealed to him.

Had Gaddafi ever reverted back to The Constitution at any time of his rule and recognised, respected and enforced it, he would still have been able to rule supreme as he wished (only without the divine aura he ruthlessly pursued), and would now be in a position to use it as an international shield to defend the country’s sovereignty.  He would be in a position to legitimately refer unreasonable demands to parliament, which in turn would be shielded with the constitution.

[i] Chairman of the Libyan Constitutional Union




Was posted on  Libya Al-Mustakbal   web site on 25 Jul 05 and   Libya Our Home   on 1 Aug 05









Libya’s Jews:


Testimony of British Government’s Secret Documents.

 A documentary study[1] by: Mohamed Ben Ghalbon


The subject of “Libya’s Jews” and the dramatic events, which befell them since 1945, and eventually led to their abrupt exodus from Libya in June 1967, is widely discussed on the Internet.  Entire web sites are dedicated to the matter, and they supplement the many books, which have been written about the subject in recent years.

It is noticeable, however, that all the facts are often presented from one side only, inevitably leading to many inaccurate, and often grave conclusions.

The profound influence of two major factors which gave rise to those crises and helped escalate them, namely the surge of Zionism among young Jews throughout the Arab world, and the creation of the state of Israel, are rarely put in their proper context.

I, therefore, wish to introduce the facts contained in British Government Secret Documents that are released after 30/50 years, and are kept in “The National Archives”[2]. These documents include reports by the British Military Administration in Libya, which was in charge during the two early disturbances of 1945 and 1948 prior to Libya’s full independence. Parliamentary records, press reports from Jewish newspapers and correspondences between British Government Officials and various Jewish International Organizations are also included[3].

This is an attempt to compensate for the lack of a credible recorded chronology of that critical period of our country’s history. The introduction of this alternative source of solid facts will hopefully help us all form an accurate picture of what really happened, and to understand the circumstances that led to it.

[1]  An Arabic version was published in the International Daily “Al-Hayat” in

a series of three instalments between 21st and 23rd September 1997. (click here to view)

[2] The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. England

[3]  To ensure accuracy, entire documents were used throughout.  In some cases this resulted in repetition.


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Document No: (1)

File No: FO371/45396

 Extract from "The Jewish Chronicle"

of November 16th 1945

 The grave outbreak of murder, rioting, and arson by Arabs in Tripoli on Sunday of last week, which, as briefly reported in our last issue, resulted in the deaths of 74 Jews, was followed on the Tuesday by further anti-Jewish riots at Zanzura, to the west of Tripoli, when 30 Jews, including a number of children, were killed. Another six Jews were killed at Zavia, where troops opened fire, and two Jews were killed near Kussabat.

Altogether, over 100 Jews have been killed and 219 wounded in these riots, which were instigated and carried out by subversive Arab elements. One Arab was killed and 36 were injured.

The Jewish quarters at souk el Juma and Tejura[1] in Tripoli were looted and gutted.

At Zanzura, Arabs attacked the Jewish quarter, set fire to the Synagogue and some houses and looted Jewish property.

Stern measures were taken by the British Administration who took over Tripoli in order to quell the riots.   There was intensive patrolling by troops and police, who had orders to shoot all looters and to fire, if necessary, to disperse groups of more than five persons.  Over 550 rioters were arrested, including 17 Arab leaders.

A message of sympathy and encouragement from the yishuv was sent to Mr. Zanchino Habib, President of the Jewish community of Tripoli, on behalf of the Vaad Leumi by the President, Mr. Isaac Ben-Zvi.

"The Yishu is horrified at the terrible pogrom”, the message says. "Your sacrifices are further proof of the bitter fate threatening Jewish minorities in the adjacent countries. Be strong and of good courage. Lift up your eyes towards Zion whence Israel's salvation will come”.

The trial of some of those arrested for rioting started before British military courts in Tripoli last Friday.

An official communiqué states that Tripolitania is now quiet, but that irresponsible elements have not entirely ceased their activities.

The funerals of Jews killed in the rioting "passed off without incident", the communiqué added.

The Mufti of Tripolitania, in condemning the riots, said that they were "a most disgraceful and lamentable episode". He called upon the Arab population to return to peace and restore the previous happy relationship, which existed between the Jews and the Arabs.

[1] Tejura

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Document No: (2)

File No: FO371/45396 Document ref: E10226 (PALESTINE &TRANSJORDAN)

Dated: 27th November 1945






Major Renton: asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will make a statement about the recent disturbances in Tripolitania, with particular reference to the cause of such disturbances; the places where they occurred; and the steps taken for the prevention of similar disturbances in future.

Mr. Lawson:

The Jewish community in Tripolitania have lived in friendly relations With the Arabs for many centuries. Although political tension had increased in the territory owing to the uncertainty regarding its future there was no reason to anticipate an anti-Jewish outburst. The outburst itself appears to have been a spontaneous reaction to similar troubles in Egypt regarding the Palestine situation. Later evidence points to local political instigation on the part of Arab extremists.

The disturbances began in Tripoli City on the night 4th/5th November at first in the form of mob violence, which was checked, by the following night by the intervention of the garrison.  The disturbances, which were aggravated by hooliganism and looting, then spread to the suburbs and outlying towns  (in particular Zanzur, Cassabat, Zliten, Zavia) when the attacks became sporadic and widely dispersed, with incendiarism, street assaults and attacks on individual houses by single Arabs or small parties, making it difficult to restore security quickly.

By 8th November the situation was again quiet. Five hundred and seventy-five arrests were made, and trials began on 8th November.

Additional Military Government personnel have been dispatched to Tripolitania; a curfew was imposed.  Sermons denouncing the extremists have been preached in all Tripolitan mosques, and statements to the same effect have been issued by the Secretary-General of the Arab League and El-Sayyed Idris El-Senussi. Arabs have also contributed to a voluntary relief organization for the Jews.


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Document No: (3)

 File No: FO371/45396   Document ref: E10034  (PALESTINE &TRANSJORDAN)

Dated: 18th December 1945



Palestine: Law and Order

 Mr.Porter asked the Secretary of State for War whether he is aware that subsequent to the recent massacres in Tripoli, the local Arab Leaders refused to guarantee that order be maintained unless the following demands were met:

  1. a)     Removal of the Palestinian Company attached to the British troops.

  2. b)     Disbandment of the Jewish Boy Scouts' association.

  3. c)      Dismissal of the Jewish members of the police. And what reply has been given to these demands.

Mr.Lawson replied that demands of this nature have not been made and that local Arab leaders have made no such refusal to guarantee law and order.




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Document No: (4)

 File No: FO371/45396,  Document ref: E9368,    Dated: 27th November 1945







27th November 1945

The Rt. Hon. Ernest Bevin, M.P         

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,

Foreign Office

11 Downing Street,S.W.l.



I am directed by the Executive of the World Jewish Congress to refer to the recent anti-Jewish riots in Tripoli, which resulted in a heavy loss of Jewish life and destruction of much property belonging to the Jews.

The World Jewish Congress has received from the Jewish Community of Tripoli a bitter protest against this out break of anti-Jewish violence, hitherto unknown throughout centuries of peaceful and friendly relations between the local Arab and Jewish populations. In complaining of the failure of the military and civil authorities to suppress the outbreak, the Jewish Community State that, notwithstanding their appeal to the authorities for prompt measures of protection, the attacks against the Jews and their property continued for more than 48 hours.

The reports reaching the World Jewish Congress state also that Arab elements hostile to the Jews and associated with the former Nazi and Fascist regimes, have recently found their way into Tripoli and other North African countries, and the disturbances which have resulted in heavy loss of Jewish life and property have been instigated by and carried out under their direction.

I am directed by the Executive of the World Jewish Congress to express the earnest hope and to request that His Majesty's Government will institute an immediate inquiry into the circumstances of the anti-Jewish outbreak in Tripoli in order that the responsibility for these outbreaks may be determined, and that measures may be taken to prevent their recurrence. It is requested in particular that those found responsible for provoking and carrying out the attacks against Jews should be punished severely, that measures be taken to suppress subversive and anti-Jewish activities, that instructions be issued to the British military authorities to secure the fullest protection of the Jewish community, and that full compensation and restitution be exacted and made in respect of the loss of Jewish life and property.

A letter in similar terms to the foregoing has been addressed to the Secretary of State for War.

I am, Sir,

Yours faithfully,

A. L. Easterman

Political Secretary.


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Document No: (5)

File No: FO371/45396,  Document ref: E9368/119/31,    Dated: 3rd January 1946











3rd January 1946.

 The Rt. Hon. Ernest Bevin, M.P.,

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs,

Foreign Office,




       I am directed to refer to my letter of November 27th last on the subject of the recent anti-Jewish riots in Tripoli, and to express the hope that an early reply may be received.

The World Jewish Congress has received a cable from the Jewish Community in Tripoli stating that "the conditions of our community are desperate." and complaining that no investigation has been made into the recent disturbances, which resulted in heavy loss of Jewish life and property.

I am requested to enquire whether the proposals made in the letter of November 27th have met with the approval of His Majesty's Government, and whether any action in relation to them has been taken or is contemplated.

I remain,

Yours faithfully,


A. L.Easterman

Political Secretary


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Document No: (6)

File No: FO371/45396


A draft of the War Office’s reply to

Mr. A L Easterman’s correspondences

Prepared by Mr. A C W Drew, and approved by

T Wikeley of the Foreign Office

on 14th January 1946 (ref: E9368/119/31)


 The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your letter of the 27th November on the subject of the recent anti-Jewish riots in Tripoli, and to express his regret that he has not been able to let you have an earlier reply.

As explained by Mr. Lawson in his statement in the House on the 27th November, the sporadic nature of the outbreak in Tripolitania made it difficult to restore security quickly but everything was done to bring it under control as soon as possible. The final report, which is being prepared, on the incident has not yet been received, but so far there is no evidence of any organized external influences, and certainly none which might be accredited to Nazi or Facist sources.

With regard to the other points you raised, precautionary measures were, in fact, taken at once, and continued in operation after the disturbances.  Many arrests were made at the time and the trials of the accused began immediately after the disturbances.

The question of compensation and restitution to be exacted for the loss of Jewish life and property is primarily a matter for the courts to decide, and any claims should accordingly be submitted to the appropriate judicial authorities if this has not already been done.

A.L. Easterman, Esq.,

Political Secretary,

World Jewish Congress.

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Document No: (7)

File No: FO 160/98,   Dated: 12th June 1948


12th JUNE 1948.


An Account issued by the Public Information Office drawn from official

and semi-official sources, and the reports of eyewitnesses.


The disturbances in Tripoli, which broke out in the afternoon of Saturday June 12th 1948, lasted for only a few hours altogether; and quick action by the Civil and Military authorities prevented what might have been a much more serious outbreak.

An impartial and substantially accurate account was sent out by the correspondents of the Press during the disturbances; and It Is as well to put on record that the reports of responsible neutral observers such as the U.S, French and Greek Consular representatives combine in agreeing that the action of the authorities; was both prompt and efficient In checking the outbreak.

The leaders of the Jewish Community however, have since launched a series of somewhat hysterical charges against the British authorities, accusing them of slackness of administration, delay in deploying the security services for the protection of Jewish lives and property, and lack of firmness In dealing with the rioters. They have not even hesitated to accuse the authorities of connivance with the Arabs in initiating the disturbances; though what profit Britain obtains from promoting racial trouble in Libya while her trusteeship over that territory is in the course of being debated by the Four Power representatives in London, is not evident. These accusations have been cabled to various Jewish world organizations, and doubtless will be used by the enemies of Britain to make propaganda.

What are the facts?

It may be as well to say here a few preliminary words on the general situation in Tripoli as it affected Jews and Arabs at the outbreak of the disturbances.

Relations between the two communities were, so far as can be ascertained, normal. A certain tension was naturally noticeable among the Jewish community who was apprehensive that Arab feeling over the events in Palestine might well turn against those Jews living outside. There is no evidence however that these misgivings were justified or that there had been any hardening in Arab feeling in the City. Nor had the news of anti-Jewish riots in Algeria received here earlier in the week any appreciable reaction among the responsible Arab Community.

There was, however, one element, which had a disturbing influence in the City. This was the presence of a number of Tunisian volunteers, estimated at about 200, who had arrived in Tripoli en route to Palestine. These Arabs, few of whom were known personally to the Tripoli Arabs, were in a state of some excitement as orders had just been received from the Arab authorities in Egypt that no more volunteers were wanted, and it was therefore necessary for them to return to Tunis. It was the presence of these disgruntled visitors combined with a certain aggressive spirit noticeable lately among the local Jewish youth (two Arabs had been taken to hospital on 6n June 11th after incidents in which they had been beaten by Jews after isolated street accidents) that possibly provided the fuel for the outbreak which followed.

The Saturday morning and afternoon of June 12th were completely normal until 16.10 hrs. At this latter time a Jewish youth in the vicinity of the junction of Via Leopardi and Corso Sicilia became involved in an argument with an Arab. Some Tunisian Arabs, believed two, in the vicinity, also joined in and words led to blows and a running fight down the Via Leopardi in which other Tunisians from the vicinity of the Cafe Pasquale and Jews from the Mercato Rionale joined. The argument between the original Jew and Tunisians was forgotten and the cry was taken up by Arabs, presumed to be Tunisians, of "If we can’t go to Palestine to fight the Jews lets fight them here”. A crowd of Arabs quickly gathered and made for the Jewish quarter of the Old City via the Bab el Horria, Via Manzoni, Via Leopardi areas. Bombs were thrown by Jews at these Arabs who were them selves armed with sticks and stones.

By 16.40 hrs a crowd of about 500 Arabs, mostly young boys, had taken up positions on the high waste ground to the immediate West of the Via Leopardi and were stoning Jews making for the Old City and others living in houses between Via Leopardi and Via Manzoni. The Jews were retaliating and had taken up positions on rooftops. Looting had started in houses nearby to the Arab crowd. A police officer and a party of police from Market Police Station turned out and on approaching the Jewish quarter from the Via Leopardi came under stone throwing from Jews on the city walls.

A bomb was thrown at the police party from the rooftops manned by Jews.  This was followed by several shots from small arms. The police party opened fire and succeeded temporarily in clearing an area between the opposing factions. A general stand-to of police was ordered at 17.40 hrs and a curfew ordered from 19.00 to 06.00hrs.

Looting continued In isolated areas in the vicinity of the Via Dante, Via Petrarca, Via Leopardi, and Via Manzoni. Heavy stoning started again at 18.15 hrs followed by the first cases of arson. Military reinforcements moved to Market and Western Police Stations. With the coming of the curfew, the main Arab crowd broke into several groups each from 50 to 500 strong and made their way from the affected area in the vicinity of the Old City through the New City to the Dahra, Fesclum and Sharia Sidi Khalifa. En route these gangs looted and set fire to Jewish shops, houses, garages and stores. As a result, Tripoli Engineering Company and a large store, both belonging to Giuseppe Habib, were completely gutted.

Numerous other fires were caused In the vicinity of the Via Petrarca, Via Dante and Via Leopardi.

Curfew was rigorously enforced by police and Military composite mobile and foot patrols.

By 2O.00 hrs the situation in the vicinity of the Old City was completely under control except for fires, which were still burning.  On its way home, one gang of about 50 Arabs stoned the house of Giuseppe Habib in the Via Giuseppe Orsi. From 20.00 hrs to 23.00 hrs several minor incidents took place and police mobile patrols besides enforcing the curfew were called upon to deal with the instances of extricating Jews who had taken refuge at the Municipal beach, in shops In the new city and elsewhere, and of arresting Arabs hiding in the Arab Cemetery evading curfew.

Casualties up to midnight on 12th June 1940 were as Follows: -








Seriously injured 






An Unknown number of Jews and Arabs were treated at the Colonial Hospital and elsewhere but not detained.

From Midnight on 12/6/48 until 06.00 hrs the next morning no incidents were reported. Some 47 arrests were made for disregard of the Curfew Regulations.

With the lifting of the curfew at 16.00 hrs an attempt by

Some 200 Jews to leave the Old City to collect animals was prevented by the Police. Jews had by 06.30 hrs taken up positions on the Old City wall and roof tops. At 07.00 hrs two groups of Arabs approx. each 40 strong gathered in the Suk el Talat. These were dispersed by Police who fired one round. At 07.15 hrs trouble broke out again between Jews and Arabs in the vicinity of Via Leopardi and Via Manzoni. Stoning started, followed by looting of Jewish premises.

By 07.50 hrs police had cleared a gap between Jews and Arabs in this area. One Italian hand grenade thrown at the police truck bounced from the road and exploded harmlessly on open ground. This can only have come from the rooftops of Jewish houses. A large crowd of Arabs had by this time gathered in the Via Leopardi and heavy stoning was going on. At 08.15 hrs control passed from the Civil Authorities to the Military Commander but Police remained in their positions until troops were deployed at aprrox. 10.00 hrs.  At approx. ll.30 hrs Jews on the City Walls heavily stoned the diesel train making for the port.  A police escort was forwarded to get the train through. The situation in the Old City had, by this time, become out of control and hand to hand fighting was taking place at several approaches. Jews on the City wall and rooftops had bottles of oil and benzine, which they were endeavoring to throw on the Arab crowds. Looting in the area surrounding the Jewish Hara, and arson in Via Ippolito Nievo was going on.

The Army had completely restored order in the areas round the Old City by 11.30 hrs. A large number of Arabs approx. 1,000 had been encircled and were screened by Police. Night looters were arrested. Most of the encircled Arabs were hawkers and street vendors.

Curfew was enforced from midday onwards. No further incidents were reported during the night.

With the lifting of curfew at 06.00 hrs on 14/6/48

Police mobile patrols in strength operated throughout the Old and New City area. Two Arab women were arrested for looting in the Case Popolare area. Jewish looting of Arab houses in the Old City began on the 13th, and by the following day some 17 Arab houses had been looted by Jews of whom seven had been arrested.

The following casualties had been notified up to 08.00 hrs on 14/6/48:



Jews Arabs Italians




13 3 -

Seriously Injured

22 13 -


16 38 1


The following police arrests had been made up to the same hour: -

Looting Rioting Assault Outrage Poss. Of Arms Arson Curfew
40 29 4 1 7 9 75

The situation at 08.00 hrs was quiet although tension between Arab and Jew was obvious especially in the affected area i.e. vicinity of Old City and Market P.S.

Police patrolled in strength - Military remaining in deployed positions. No incidents took place during the morning. At 12.00 hrs military enforced a curfew of the area North of the Corso Sicilia including the Old City. Two Arabs and one Jew were shot by troops during the enforcement of this curfew. No incidents took place in the rest of Tripoli during the remainder of the day. Curfew was re-imposed at 19.00 hrs to 06.00 hrs on 15/6/48 and enforced by Police and Military. By 19.00 hrs tension had eased considerably. At 19.15 hrs police attended the deportation of 260 Tunisian Volunteers for Palestine who were ordered to be returned to their own country. They left without incident.

The burial of 3 adult Jews  and one child  killed  during the night 12-13/6/48 was carried out without incident under police escort.

Jewish posters to the effect "It is honourable to die for one's country" were found on and removed from the wall of the Old City Hara.

At 23.00 hrs police escorted food from the new city into the Jewish Hara where it was distributed to the refugees in the Synagogue.

32 arrests were made breaking the Curfew Regulation, which brought the total arrests during the period of disturbances up to the following figures.

Looting Rioting Assault Outrage Poss. Of Arms Arson Curfew
40 29 4 1 7 9 107

About 10% of this total were Tripoli town Arabs; 10% were

Jews; the remaining 80% were all Arabs from Tunis or the provincial areas of Tripolitania.

No incidents took place during the night 14-15/6/48.



***   *****   ***


Document No: (8)

 File No: FO 160/98,   Document ref: S.15/1,   Dated: 12th June 1948

Appendix VIII.



12th JUNE 1948




1.                  (1) At a meeting of Arab and Jewish Committees on the 14th June, the latter publicly asserted that they had no confidence in the Arab police who did nothing, to prevent the mobs looting, murdering, and committing arson.

          (2) A written complaint to the Chief Administrator on 15th June, and verbal complaints to S.C.A.0. Superintendent Tripoli, Captain Stanley, B.I.S Brammer and Gardner, and to Station Officers Market and. Western, allege that the Arab police failed in their duties on l2th/13th June.

  1. 2.                   (1) The official police report, which is wholly factual, will dispose of these malicious assertions.

(2) Admitted to hospital were four Arabs dead and twelve wounded by gunshot. It is established that the troops shot one Arab on the 13th and two on the 14th as curfew breakers. British police officers shot one Arab dead and wounded two others. Ten Arabs therefore, were shot by the Muslim police. These facts in themselves dispose of certain of the allegations.

(3) That arson was not greater and looting and damage to property more widespread was due in large part to the dispersal of rioters and looters by the Muslim police. Fifty-eight Arab arrests, in flagrant delicto, were made by Muslim police. 

(4) At one period there were 250 Jewish refugees in Market Police Station, and numbers in Western, who were cared for by Muslim police. These were all taken to their places of refuge by Muslim police in police transport, or escorted by them on foot.

(5) Eleven members of two Jewish families were saved from being incinerated in the second floor of a burning building by the efforts of Muslim Police.

(6) Members of H.M. Forces, British civilians, and British police officers, have testified to the sterling work performed by Muslim police in assisting Jews evacuating from the old City with the removal of their household belongings. 

(7) I have testified in the conclusion to my police report of the care with which Muslim police handled seriously wounded and injured Jews and removed terrified women and children to safety.

(8) All Jewish property recovered from Arab looters was duo to the efforts of Muslim police. 

(9) The burial of ten Jewish victims in the early hours of the 13th morning by representatives of the Jewish Community escorted by a party of police under two British officers elicited an outburst of ingratitude, first from the President of the Community and later from the Chief Rabbi. It was necessary not to delay the burials, and early burial had been requested of the P.M.0 by the Chief Rabbi; it was also essential that they should take place within the curfew period. The relatives were informed and a Rabbi was present. The President desired the burials to take place at l000 hours on the 14th June, and was informed that they had already taken place, to which he replied it was a “disgrace” and a “sacrilege”. The Chief Rabbi expressed himself in somewhat similar terms.

3.     3.   On the instructions of the Chief Administrator, B. I. Brammer was attached to the office of the Committee of the Jewish Community from 16th to 20th June, both days inclusive, for the purpose of hearing, and Investigating complaints which previously were the subject of continual telephone communications from the president, Chief Rabbi, and other members of the Committee, to H.0, B.M.A, S.C.A.0, and Province police officers. A copy of his report is enclosed. (see below)*


4.     The spate of calls for assistance, false information, and rumors of further disorders and the like are inseparable from racial disturbances, and every sympathy is felt for the minorities against whom disorders are directed. But the organized attempts to discredit the civil security forces which in the present instance are without any foundation, and the attempts to use information known to be false, in the hopes of inducing the Administration to provide greater individual protection and to give colour to the allegations that the police force is disregarding its responsibilities towards the Jewish Community, are to be discouraged by every possible means.

I should be surprised if those hundreds of Jews, mainly women and children of the poorest classes, who sought and received protection from the police, and who were taken to places of safety and retained in safe custody during the l3th/l4th June, would have a word of complaint to raise against the attitude of the Muslim police. They certainly showed no signs of fear at being taken under their protection.

It is all the more regrettable that the heads of the Community should follow the pattern of Palestine Jewry of the past thirty years by placing every obstacle in the way of those responsible for security. One strong man with a sense of proportion and of fair play, on the Committee, would have instilled some confidence into the Community and could have eased the burden of those whose efforts to maintain and sustain control of the situation were continually being frustrated by the inconsequences of the Jewish leaders.



Commissioner of Police.


   * NOTE:  Retained and not enclosed as it is a long document. It contains a mass of evidence, which can be used in rebuttal if complaints are made at a later date.



***   *****   ***


Document No: (9)

File No: FO 160/98,   Dated: 19th June 1948

Appendix III



I had not seen the Police Force "in action" as I was in Fayed on the occasion of the 17th February 1948. For this reason I spent a considerable part of Saturday, 12th June, from 163O hours until Sunday evening in the areas of the Western and Market police Stations.

There was a Tripolitania District Sports Meeting In progress at the Stadium on Saturday afternoon, in which teams from the police were competing.   A B.I. and 12 ranks were on duty from Market Police Station, and I and my Deputy and other officers of the Force were interested spectators.

I left the Stadium at approximately 1630 hours, followed by my Deputy. Police personnel were embussing at the Stadium as I left. I proceeded direct to Western Police Station whilst my Deputy drove to Market Police Station.

We both found, independently, that patrols and the few Station availables at these Stations were already at the scene in Market Police Station area and in the Old City from Western Police Station

Sergeant No.94 was in charge of Market Police Station. He “stood to” his Station personnel at 1610 hours and sent out the first party prior to arrival of the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent Police Training School.

Superintendent Tripoli, who was in his house in the Garden City, proceeded direct to Market Police Station. Superintendent Police Training School accompanied my Deputy from the Stadium and proceeded at once to take charge of a police party from Market Police Station.

B.I. in charge Market Police Station, on duty at the Stadium, paraded all police at the Stadium by loud-speaker and was at his post shortly after 1645 hours.

A.B.I. Armstrong arrived at Western Police Station at 1650 hours with a party in M/T. I moved him to the Old City exit above Bab el Djidid and followed in my car.

There was a large crowd of excited, inflamed Jewish youth held in check by Captain Stanley and a handful of Police. A.B.I. Armstrong's truck was backed into the entrance to prevent their exit.

The main disturbances were in the Market area outside Bab el Djidid and in Vias Leopardi and Manzoni. Police parties i/c Superintendent Tripoli and Superintendent P. T. S. were dealing with these rioters and looters. The time was approximately 1700 hours.

I proceeded to Central Police Station with Major Dibdin, Superintendent Eastern Province on weekend leave, and ordered the P.T.S. by telephone to move to Market Police Station.

Traffic Police had been paraded at Central Police Station by B.I. i/c, and proceeded to Market Police Station with Central Police Station availables in M/T provided by B.I. i/c.

I then proceeded with Major Dibdin to Market Police Station, at approximately 1745 hours. A platoon of Beds and Herts was deploying towards the Via Dante from the Police Station.

A first floor flat in Via Leopardi was being broken into. I ordered Major Dibdin to bring up a police party under Inspector Zentuti.

They went into the building with batons, where we found some 8/9 riff-raff of the lowest type bludgeoning an old man (and) a woman whilst others were looting the rooms. There were a number of younger persons and Children in the back rooms. I have rarely seen Muslim police attack their brethren with such vigour and fury in the defence of Jew. They beat them out of the flat and in three instances threw them down the stairs into the arms of the party waiting below to receive them.

Superintendent P.T.S. had by this time arrived in M/T and took charge of the bodies and deposited them at Market Police Station, where Major Dibdin and I identified them whilst Superintendent P.T.S. recorded particulars.

I was greatly impressed too with what care the Muslim Police handled the Jewish wounded and injured. The Via Leopardi in the vicinity of this block of flats was filled with Jewish families from their flats, begging to be taken to safety.   The police shepherded them into police transport as well as escorting them by foot across to Market Police Station. Inspector Zentuti set magnificent example and I do not think it was altogether the fact that the Commissioner and other British Officers were in view that accounted for their behaviour to the injured and to terrified Jewry.

The mob was composed, almost entirely of the dregs of humanity who would as soon have killed their fellow Muslims for loot in their state of viciousness as they would Jews.

Superintendent Tripoli, Superintendent P.T.S, and other British officers engaged, many of them with much Palestine service, testify to the impartial manner in which their police carried out their duties with both courage and prudence.

Throughout the period I found the Muslim police vitally alert and intelligently anticipating their duties and responsibilities.

I have no hesitation in attributing the discipline and alertness of the police to the example of teamwork set by Major Lay within his command, which is the foundation of all good police work. The Libyan Police learned to repose complete confidence in their officers, and to realize that they will be well led and supported in their efforts.                      

It is worthy of note that not one single member of the Tripoli Force reported sick. Police and recruits from Police Training School were on short commons from 12th to 16th June, and had to take their rest as best they could. They made no complaints and they proceeded on their duties by day and night washed and shaved.                      

The team of British Officers in Tripoli City is an exceptional one, and they and their rank and file deserve well of the public whose servants they are.




Commissioner of Police


TRIPOLI, 19th JUNE 1948.


***   *****   ***


Document  No: (10)

File No: FO 160/98,   Document ref: 18/B/16/6,  Dated: 23rd June 1948




The Chief Administrator

British Military Administration

Tripolitania, M.E.L.F.1

23 June 1948





I submit a report on disturbances, which took Place in Tripoli on 12th and 13th June, together with appendices.   Copies are being sent to War Office (CA2), Rome Embassy, Civil Affairs Agency Cairo and the Chief Administrator Benghazi.


T.R. BLACKLEY, Brigadier.



Public Information Officer





12th/13th JUNE 1948






1.  Since the anti-Jewish riots of November 1945 Arab/Jewish relations throughout the territory have been ostensibly harmonious and there have been no incidents of a political or riotous nature. Among the younger elements of the Jewish community there has been a steady growth of Zionism, helped perhaps by the appointment from Palestine in 1947 of Chief Rabbi yelloz, Algerian by birth but holder of a Palestinian passport. The visit of the Four Power Commission produced no repercussions and the apparent inter-racial solidarity was emphasized by the tea party given by the Jewish leaders to the Arab Liberation Committee headed by Beschir Saadawi Bey.

2. The proclamation of the state of Israel on 15th May 1948 aroused among the Arabs less interest then was expected and advice and pressure from B.M.A. prevented any public display of Jewish jubilation. Prior to this date, there had been practically no local volunteering for the Palestine Army of Liberation. But after 15th May, despite intensified frontier control by the French authorities, Tunisian and Algerian volunteers began to appear in increasing numbers in Tripoli en route for the training camps at Mersa Matruh. This gave a stimulus to local volunteering and the Tripoli Palestine Defense Committee were busily engaged in sending French and Libyan recruits Eastwards. At the same time many ardent young Zionists were departing for Italy on the first stage of their journey to Israel. The situation was being closely watched by the police and security officers, and there was every prospect that any clash would be confined to the distant battlefields. On 7th June Egypt announced she would accept no more volunteers from the West. It is estimated that by 12th June there were from 400 to 500 Tunisians in the Old City hoping to press on, but dreading the alternative of having to return to French territory from whence they had clandestinely escaped. A definite anti-Zionist atmosphere was slowly being engendered in the Old City, as the restless volunteers roamed aimlessly around. Their continued presence was a constant reminder of the momentous issues elsewhere, of which the cafe and teashop radios unceasingly blared. At the same time provocative activity among the young Jews of Tripoli, now strongly imbued with Zionism, was increasingly evident. The underlying causes of the disturbances were world Muslim-Jew tension and local economic distress which has attracted to Tripoli Town large numbers of unemployed.      

Of the seventy-seven persons arrested for participating in the disturbances only nine were residents of Tripoli Town.

3. Racial disorders are wholly unpredictable in that the smallest incident of daily occurrence may for some unaccountable reason provoke dissident persons or groups to murder and to riot. Such an incident occurred in the vicinity of Via Leopardi and Corso Sicilia at 16.05 hour on Saturday afternoon, 12th June. An Arab and a Jew commenced to argue. Tunisians joined in, words led to blows and more Tunisians arrived shouting "If we cannot go to Palestine to fight Jews, let's fight than here".      

Police and civilian eyewitnesses have uncontestably established that this was the initial incident from which arose, within minutes, the subsequent disorders. It would be easy, but it would be false, to claim that the bulk of the consequent pillage, murder and arson was committed by Tunisians. Before order was restored 77 Arabs and Jews were caught in “flagrante delicto” and arrested on serious charges. Only seven of these were Tunisians. The mobs in the main, were composed almost entirely of the dregs of humanity, riff-raff who would as soon have killed their fellow Muslims for loot in their inflamed state of viciousness, as they would Jews.

Rioting broke out spontaneously and there is no evidence or suggestion of planning or preliminary organization.

4. This cannot be said of the Jewish defence measures. They show some evidence of preparation as a few grenades were thrown from housetops and there were occasional shots. This, together with the appearance of signs in Hebrew "It is good to die for one's country (Appendix IV) are an indication that some form of defence organization was in existence, and its role was not purely defence, because on several occasions determined parties of young Jews battled with the police in efforts to break out of The Old City in order to attack Arabs. When the situation was back to normal Jewish shopkeepers in the New City who opened their shops were threatened by small gangs of Jewish hooligans and forced to close again. The French Consul has reported an air of toughness and truculence among his Jewish proteges and officers of the Administration who experienced the 1945 riots have noticed a hardening of moral as compared with 1945.

5. A note by Colonel A Saunders, C.M.G., O.B.E., M.C., Commissioner of Police, Tripolitania, on the conduct of the police is attached as Appendix III.

From no source except the Jews themselves, has there been any suggestion of failure to perform their duty and all complaints made by the Jews so far have been meticulously examined and found to be groundless. A summary of the various complaints together with their explanation is attached as Appendix VIII.

6. Fire Brigade Appendix II gives a report of the good work carried out by this mixed body of Italians and Arabs commanded by an Italian. Much damage was caused to Jewish business premises and garages where several vehicles were destroyed. A synagogue in Via Balmi was desecrated and pillaged and an attempt was made to set it on fire. Elsewhere at Via Gian Battista Vico No.6, a private house in which a room was hired for use as a prayer room, was sacked and badly damaged by fire.

7. Liaison with Military Commander. Since the 1945 disturbances the lessons learnt at that time were taken to heart and reference to the section of this report dealing with the "Course of Disturbances" and Appendix I, “Extracts from H.Q., B.M.A., Command Post War Diary" will illustrate the degree of preparedness that existed, and the close and efficient co-operation between B.M.A., and the military authorities. Valuable experience of Internal Security problems was gained as a result of the 17th February 1948 Arab demonstration, and it is to be noted that the disturbances were confined solely to Tripoli City. Bus and Train services were cancelled to prevent mischief-makers carrying the trouble into the provinces.

8. Influence of Local Indigenous Authorities. The authority of Arab and Jewish leaders and notables proved ineffective when confronted with the impassioned violence of the mob. On Monday a meeting of Arab and Jewish leaders was held in the house of an Arab notable and a joint statement deploring the disturbances and calling for peace, was issued to the press.

The meeting was organized by officers of the B.M. A., and only their presence at it resulted in the statement being prepared and agreed to, as the notables were more interested in bitter recriminations, accusations and counter accusations about the past, rather than co-operation in the present and the future.

9. The Future.  The Arab/Jew problem in Middle East countries is as old as history and will remain an acute one until there is a Palestine settlement agreeable to both parties. The best we can hope to attain is an alert and efficient security force of civil police backed by military in aid of the civil power, together with a well-established and active intelligence service. Little or no assistance can be expected from community leaders in controlling their lawless elements, who will seize the slightest opportunity to pillage and to riot. Unfortunately the Jews profess no confidence in the Libyan police force which saved the lives of so many of them and are continually asking for the protection of British Military Police. The only effective solution to this problem lies in the recruitment or a neutral striking force such as was asked for and approved in principle after the 1945 disorders.

Little or no assistance can be expected from community leaders in controlling their lawless elements, who will seize the slightest opportunity to pillage and to riot. Unfortunately the Jews profess no confidence in the Libyan police force which saved the lives of so many of them and are continually asking for the protection of British Military Police. The only effective solution to this problem lies in the recruitment or a neutral striking force such as was asked for and approved in principle after the 1945 disorders.





10.  A large crowd of Arabs quickly gathered at the scene of the incident in Via Leopardi (a mixed Arab/Jewish quarter) and then proceeded towards the Jewish quarter of the old City in the vicinities of Bab el Horria, Via Leopardi and Via Manzoni. There was a running fight in Via Leopardi in which Jews from the Mercato Rionale (Via Leopardi) joined. (Appendix VI is a street plan of Tripoli). Jewish defence measures were not delayed and they promptly manned the housetops and missiles including hand-grenades were thrown at the advancing Arabs who were armed with sticks and stones. That they did not enter the Old City by the New Gate was due,firstly, to the aggressive attitude of the Jews themselves, and secondly, to the firm and prompt action of the police. Thwarted in their advance on the Old City the Arabs set to looting nearby Jewish premises and assaulting any Jew they could catch.

11.  Police reaction was equally prompt, patrols and station "availables” being quickly on the scene in response to an S.O.S. recorded at Police Provincial Headquarters at 16.06 hours. By 17.00 hours a police striking force from the Police Training School under the command of a British Major, had succeeded in clearing an area between the clashing forces of Arabs and Jews. In doing this, they were stoned by both opposing factions and the Jews not only threw a bomb, but a few shots were fired at random.

12.  At this time the Chief Secretary had opened a Command Post at Headquarters, B.M.A., and Brigadier Phayre (2 AGRA) who commanded troops In the Tripoli Area, established at 1710 hours his command post in the offices of S.C.A.0. Tripoli and Western. From that moment full co-operation and liaison existed between the Army and Civil Authorities. He at once arranged for a platoon of the Beds and Herts to be sent to the Market Police Station and further military dispositions that evening were as follows:

1730 1 Coy of Beds & Herts to the Castillo and another Coy at five minutes notice to move.

1756 1 Coy moved to Western and Market Police Stations.

1827 2 Coys moved to the Castello.

1935 1 Platoon assisted the police at the New Gate.

1955 6 Sections in Corso Sicilia.

2045 No.2 Mobile Provost Coy started patrols.

At 1735 hours the police reported they had been forced to open fire. A Curfew from 1900 to o6oo hours on the 13th June was announced and notices

were posted throughout the City. At 1745 hours the first case of arson was reported and the Fire Brigade started their nightlong fight against fires (see Appendix II).

13.  Unti1 1900 hours the police were busy dealing with looters, preventing Arabs from entering the Old City and containing Jews from breaking out to attack the Arabs. There were no incidents in the Old City, except the looting of Arab owned shops and premises by Jews on the evacuation of the Arabs.

14.  In the meantime at Headquarters Command Post-

 A. Heads of Departments and other hurriedly summoned officers were reporting and being detailed for special duties.

 B. S.C.A.Os in central and Eastern Provinces were phoned and informed of the situation.

C. U.S.A., French and Greek Consuls were given all available information.

D. Local British and American businessmen were alerted and Curfew passes were prepared for issue to previously selected personnel.

E. The Chief Administrator held a conference with the District Commander and the Chief Secretary and Sitrep No.1 was issued at 18.15 hrs.

   (Full details of all Command Post activities can be obtained from the Headquarters Command Post War Diary at Appendix I).


15.  Curfew was enforced at 19.00 hours onwards, and the police had to contend with many small mobs in the "triang1e” formed by the Stadium (as apex), the Via Dante, Gorse Sicilia and Sciara Sidi Omran (base), who now were making their way to their homes in the Dahra quarter, Feshlum and Sharia Sidi Khalifa areas, causing some damage by looting and arson to Jewish shops, stores and garages on their homeward routes. By 20.00 the situation, except for fires, was under complete police control.

Mobile Military Patrols circulated in the main streets surrounding the troubled areas.


16.  At Headquarters and Provincial Command Posts liaison Officers from the Garrison were on duty with senior Administration officers all night.  The following action was taken: -

A.  Contact maintained with Provincial S.C.A.Os.

B. Sitrep No.2 issued at 22.30 hrs by the Chief Administrator.

C. Curfew notices issued to the Italian and Arabic Press.

D. All bus services due to leave Tripoli for the Provinces cancelled for Sunday but arrangements made for delivery to the Provinces of the Sunday newspapers.

E. Leaders of the Italian community visited by the Deputy Chief Secretary.

At 2400 hrs forty-six persons were under arrest on serious charges and the casualty roll was: -



Arabs Jews




3 11

Seriously Injured

8 10


18 6


In addition an unknown number of Jews and Arabs were treated but not detained in hospital.

17.  Sunday 13th June.   By 06.30 hrs Jews were again manning the rooftops of the old City and half-an-hour later police dispersed two mobs of Arabs each approximately forty strong, when they gathered in the Suk el Talat, but, by 07.50 hours Jews and Arabs were clashing in the Via Leopardi- Via Manzoni area.  By 07.50 hrs the police had separated the opposing parties and a hand grenade had been thrown from a Jewish housetop against a police truck, but fortunately bounced off and burst harmlessly on open ground. In Via Leopardi a large Arab crowd was stoning Jewish premises and the police were forced to open fire.

18.  At 08.15 hours Emergency Proclamation No.175 was signed and at the request of S.C.A.0, Tripoli Province and with the approval of the Chief Administrator, Brigadier Phayre assumed responsibility for restoring order in Tripoli Town.  A Curfew from 12.00 hours on 13th June to 06.00 hours on 14th June was announced, and military forces moved in on the troubled areas being fully deployed by 10.00 hours.  The troops consisted of the following: -

              2 Coys Beds & Herts.

              1 Composite Coy, Guards.

              1 Coy from S/T Batteries 12 A/T Regiment.

              3 Platoons 1 Inf. Div. Signals Regiment.

              1 Composite Coy, 73 AAA/12A/T Regiment. (zavia).

               Military Police.


By 11.30 hours the situation was completely under military control, but shortly after Curfew hour police mobile patrols in the New City shot and arrested two different small gangs of looters caught in the act.   The rest of the day passed without incident and at 17.25 hours a party of 113 Tunisians was embussed and sent to Benghazi with a police truck as escort.

The remainder of the Tunisians was under police guard in a compound on the fringe of the old City.

19.  Headquarters Command Post remained manned and emergency administrative measures were taken throughout the day as can be seen from Appendix I. Tripoli newspapers are not normally published on Monday but orders were given for a special edition carrying news of the Curfew for the l4th/l5th June, which included a special Curfew from 12.00 to 14.00 hours on the 14th June for the area North of Corso Sicilia from the Castello to the Municipal boundary at Gargarese.  At a Military Command Conference at 19.00 hours security of Tripoli Town was delegated to the police from dusk to dawn, whilst the troops became responsible for the affected area within the “triangle”.  During the night the police escorted bread to 800 Jews taking refuge in a synagogue, and also escorted Jewish gravediggers to the burial of the Jewish dead.

20.  Monday 14th June.  Mobile police and military patrols in strength operated as from 0.600 hours and the troops remained deployed. The atmosphere was tense in the Old City and the Jewish Hara, but there were no incidents. During the restricted Curfew, two Arabs and a Jew were shot during a sweep of the area by military forces. This had a salutary effect on the population and particularly impressed the Italian Community. A further 120 Tunisians were sent towards Benghazi, but following receipt of a signal from C.A.B. the remaining 270 were embussed and sent under a strong military escort to Zavia at 19.15 hours en route for Tunisia. On being searched in Zavia, three were found to be suffering from gunshot wounds and were transferred under police guard to hospital. At 08.30 hours on Monday morning B.M.A. officers were present at a meeting of Jewish and Arab notables. A statement deploring the disturbances was issued to the Press but the spirit and atmosphere of the conference was far from amicable.

There were no further incidents that night and at midnight the total number of arrests were as follows: -










Possession of Arms







21.          Tuesday 15th June.  There is nothing of interest to report. The troops remained deployed but no curfew was imposed.

22.          Wednesday 16th June.  S.C.A.O. Tripoli resumed authority from the Military commander at 08.15 hrs. Gangs of Jewish youths were threatening Jewish businessmen who opened their shops or cafes in the new City and forcing them to close again. A platoon stood by in the castello and mobile patrols provided by the Military Police continued to operate in liaison with the Civil Police and will do so until further notice.

A leading member of the Jewish Community spoke to the gangs of young Jews and persuaded the Businessmen to open their shops.

23.           Thursday 17th June. Over 50 per cent of the shops opened.

Friday 18th June.  Practically all shops opened.

Saturday 19th June. Jewish holiday.

Sunday 20th June. All shops opened.



British Military Administration,



21st June 1948.


Copies to:

C.A.B., M.E.L.F.


War Office   (CA2)


Rome Embassy


Civil Affairs Agency, Cairo


Chief Administration Benghazi




Internal Distribution

Trip. District


Commissioner of Police




S.C.A.OS.    (3)






***   *****   ***



2nd Part to follow.


Click the image below to view Arabic version in Al-Hayt newspaper












9th January 2006


An open letter to the leader of the

 Libyan Jewish Community in the United Kingdom

in response to the speech given at the Coptic International Conference

held in Washington D.C, on 16-19 November 2005.



Jews of Libya

Mohamed Ben-Ghalbon     Al-Hayat     - 09/01/06

Dear Raphael Lozon,

Your above mentioned speech expressed the longing of a Libyan for his country and a natural yearning for home that can be understood by all who have experienced the suffering of being away from home and the consequences of forced exile.

We in the Libyan Constitutional Union (LCU) dearly hope that your mother's wish to visit her birthplace Benghazi is realised soon.  We also support your right to receive the remains of relatives who were lost during the security disturbances which engulfed many Libyan towns, and which appeared to be a spontaneous public response to the 6-day war in 1967.  We also support your wish to have the remains taken to their final resting places in the appropriate manner.

Lillo Arbib

Hussain Mazegh

 Head of Libyan Jewish Community (1967)

Libya’s Prime Minister (June 1967)

We have previously expressed our views in this paper regarding what happened to your community in 1967, long before the case began to be publicly discussed and became one of America's conditions for the rehabilitation of the current Libyan regime and for prolonging its lease to reign. (a copy of an article published on 9th March 1995 may be seen in the pages allocated to this case on the LCU archive web site:  We expressed our views again in an open letter to you, dated 10th June 2005, which was published in many Libyan internet sites, and therefore there is no need to reiterate these views here.  We continue to share your sorrow and pain and fully understand your ordeal. 

However, you were not completely accurate in your speech when you compared your situation with that of the Palestinian's and equated your ordeal with theirs.  You were also far from accurate when you described the Israeli-Arab struggle as a conflict between a democracy and a dictatorship.  I do not wish to elaborate further on this particular matter because I wish to focus our dialogue on the Libyan case in the hope that we succeed in building stronger friendly links based on truth and good intentions to bridge the regrettable sad gap that clearly exists between us.

In the above mentioned speech, you stated that in 1967 a decision was made to expel the Jewish community from Libya and that they were allowed only one small suit case and twenty pounds per person.  Here I do feel that it is in the benefit of all concerned that this information is made accurate. 

Travelling with this meagre amount of money was in accordance with the then existing currency regulations which prevented any Libyan national from taking abroad more than 20 pounds in cash.  The regulation was not applied specifically or only to the Libyan Jews.  It was possible to transfer any amount in accordance with the currency regulations of the bank of Libya in the form of traveller's cheques, bank credits or bank guarantees. 

With regard to the decision to leave Libya hurriedly, it was a decision taken by the leaders of the Jewish community and was not an order of expulsion by the Libyan government.  The Jewish historian, Renzo De Felice, published a book in 1978 entitled "epri in un paese Arabo", which was dedicated to this matter.  On page 278 of the English translation of the book, he wrote:  "The First official step was taken by Lillo Arbib on 17th June.  He sent a message to Prime Minister Hussein Mazegh asking him to allow Jews so desiring to leave the country for a time, until tempers cool and the Libyan population understands the position of Libyan Jews, who have always been and will continue to be loyal to the State, in full harmony and peaceful coexistence with the Arab citizens at all times."  The Government quickly agreed: the emigration office started work on June 20 preparing the documents necessary for departure."

In order to enable Al-Hayat readers to follow this dialogue, I wish to introduce a brief account of some relevant aspects of the case of Libya's Jewish community:

According to Jewish sources a community of about 40,000 Jews lived in Libya during the period prior to 1948. Only some were routed in Libyan society since before the Islamic era, others migrated to Libya from the neighbouring countries of North Africa, while others were refugees from Andalusia who fled the Spanish Inquisition.  The community lived in peace and dignity among the rest of the Moslem communities of the Libyan society, until the Zionist movement crept into its fabric and preached the idea of migration to the "Promised Land" to colonise and establish a Jewish state.  This prompted the attitude of the young towards contempt and defiance against the society - a behaviour against the interests of any minority in a multicultural society. 

Herzl’s Young Zionist Group of Benghazi (1940s)

The first clash, Libya witnessed in all its history, between Jews and Moslems was on 3rd November, 1945 when a wave of strikes spread in many Arab countries marking the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.  The clashes were repeated in 1948 as a reaction to the bloody news from Palestine.  According to official British Government documents the Libyan Moslem uprisings were spontaneous and without pre-planning, sticks and stones were used.  Whereas, the documents recorded, the Libyan Jewish uprising was premeditated and guns and ammunition were employed.  This testimony is from an independent and responsible party - The British Government when it ruled Libya at the time during the UN mandate.  A party that may not be accused of being biased to Moslems or indeed of being anti Jewish. 

We have previously written on the subject in Al-Hayat and included the said British Government official papers in a three-part documentary series (21-23 September 1997).  A copy of the series may be found through this link: .

Following the 1948 clashes, the British authorities in Libya "encouraged" the Libyan Jews to migrate to Israel after selling off properties and taking their few possessions with them.  Libya at that time was more or less devoid of resources and all citizens suffered from severe poverty, illiteracy and diseases resulting from decades of Italian colonisation and the war between the Allies and Axis (Second World War) which was fought on its land.

Despite these hardships and a lack of any sign of recovery in the foreseeable future, about 7000 Jews were not influenced by the Zionist calls nor by The British "encouragement" and chose to remain in Libya.  The stand shown by that section of the Libyan Jews at that time requires no rhetoric or further emphasis of loyalty or true belonging to their Libya.

The surprise came with the discovery of oil in the country after independence.  Prosperity and wealth spread among all sections of the society.  With that momentous change came suspicious interests in Libya by the International Zionist Organisations, wickedly employing the existence of the small Jewish minority in Libya.  At the front of these organisations and most active in the sudden dubious interest was the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the president of which (Mr Louis Caplan) visited Libya in the summer of 1961.  Following that visit the Jewish community leaders (Lillo Arbib, Hai Glam, Clemente Habib, Angelo Nahum, and Pinhas R.Naim) submitted a written complaint to the Libyan Prime Minister (Mr Mohammed Othman Assaid) demanding a list of rights for the Jewish community in the country.  The International Organisations succeeded to convince the former UN envoy to Libya, Mr Adrian Pelt, to carry out a discrete investigation about the affairs of the Libyan Jews during his visit for the 10th anniversary of Libya's independence.  His report, published on page 230 of Renzo De Felice's book, was disappointing to the organisations. "The former U.N commissioner wrote that anti-Semitism, in the sense in which it is understood in the west, did not exist [in Libya], but that there was strong feeling against Israel ((....)).  In the field of personal relations there was not much animosity against Jews. ((....)) Arabs and Jews would meet privately...((...))". However, in spite of that, the Zionist international organisations continued to subject the newly born Libyan state to sustained pressure, intimidation and embarrassment portraying it internationally as an anti-Semitic country (as De Felice recorded).  The sustained pressure forced the Libyan government to ask the leaders of its Jewish community to issue a statement to the UN contradicting the accusations of anti-Semitism.  This request of assistance was refused.

King Idris Receives a Delegation of Libya’s Jewish Community

on Independence Day (1951)

In order to add additional useful material to this important dialogue, we believe that it is helpful to make reference to an interesting letter dated 15th October 1964 from Canada's Secretary of State for External Affairs to the British Ambassador in Tripoli.  In this letter, the Canadian official requested specific information about the Libyan Jewish community following allegations by Canadian Jewish Organisations that Libyan Jews were being persecuted.  The British Ambassador in Tripoli, Mr. Rod Sarell, replied on 28th November, 1964.  The following are short extracts from his letter (kept in the British National Archives, file No: FO371/178894, Document No. VT 1571/2). 

"I have the honour to refer to your letter of October 15, 1964, concerning the position of the Jewish Community in Libya.
There are probably between 6,500 and 7,000 Jews in Libya, the majority of whom are resident in Tripoli.  With the exception of a few manual workers, usually engaged in carpentry or the ritual preparation of Jewish food and wine, their means of livelihood are mainly commercial.  They are merchants, commission agents, or shop keepers.  At present it is probably true to say that they are experiencing, in common with Libya as a whole, prosperity unparalleled in the long history of the community.
There is no official discrimination against the Jews but the tension between the Arab States and Israel results from time to time in attacks in local press, which allege that some members of the community are agents of Zionism.  This has on occasions resulted in local disorders, of whatever origin, taking on an anti-Jewish bias. ((....))  It is only fair to say however, that a very large part of local business is in Jewish hands including many of the most valuable British agencies. ((….)).

For this reason and because the Jews here are essentially a Mediterranean people, whose history can be traced back to Roman times, it is unlikely that any significant number would wish to emigrate to Canada unless under extreme duress ((....)).  In fact about 300 are entitled to British passports facilities mostly on the basis of ancestors born in Gibralter in the 18th and 19th Centuries.  The latter class of Jews are, of course, eligible to apply for permits to emigrate to Canada under existing regulations.  It is perhaps indicative of the attitude to migration that the only recent application in this category dealt with by the Consular Section of the Embassy, that of the Habib family - which is the subject of your letter of 30 August 1963 - resulted in one member of the family leaving for Canada although the others were eligible to do so."

The question that forces itself here is: How and why the Jewish leaders in Libya took the decision on behalf of their community to leave the country in 1967?  A choice which members of this small community refused to make in 1948 at a time of extreme poverty and hardships, with the lure of the Zionist movement on one hand and by the British "encouragement" on the other.  Furthermore, the bloody clashes of 1948 were more serious than what they were subjected to in the riots of June 1967.  How and why the leaders took the decision while the Jewish Libyan community were among the earliest to become wealthy from the returns of oil?  It was clearly obvious to all that the economic improvements were only the beginnings of greater fortunes.  Here we wish to introduce a testimony by Renzo De Felice about the state of affairs of the Jewish community in Libya during that period.  On page 269 of the English translation of "epri in un paese Arabo", De Felice states:  "Over less than six years [after discovery of oil in the country], the Jewish community's economic situation went from the "disastrous" condition of 1957 to one in which half of its members might be described as "well off"; there were cases for being "very wealthy" ((...))".

In the answers to these questions there is concealed the secret behind the 1969 Libyan Coup d' Etat and an explanation of its eccentric behaviour; factors that have baffled all for more than three decades.  In order to systematically introduce possible answers, one should include a relevant series of historical facts with direct links to this convoluted case.  In the beginning of the 20th century, the Jewish international organisations were divided in their selection of a national homeland for Jews.  While there was a section among them not prepared to accept anything less than Jerusalem and mount Zion, there was another equally significant section who were cautious of this choice, believing that it was an impossible dream to realise.  They sought alternative destinations easier to colonise and convince the world by historical rights to the claim, where resistance would be minimal as well as being far from the religious hotspots of conflict.  The choice of the latter party, after several expeditions and relevant research, settled on Libya to be the dream national homeland for the Jews.  The idea was put forward by the British Jewish traveller, Sir Harry Johnston, who introduced it to Mr Israel Zangwill, Head of the Jewish Territorial Organisation in London.  The organisation sent a scientific expedition to Libya in 1906 led by Mr Nahoum Sloush, a professor at the Sorbonne, which was followed by another in 1908.  The reports of both expeditions were very encouraging to the extent that Mr Zangwill stated that Cyrenaica (a province in the east of Libya), rivals Palestine itself in becoming a Jewish national homeland.  For more details about this subject and the reasons behind the choice of Libya as a Jewish homeland, one may consult the documentary book by Mr M. Bayou, published in March 1975 entitled: "The Zionist Project to Inhabit Libya".  In addition, Al-Hayat published a brief account of the subject on 20th September 1997: Jewish Emigration to Palestine and the Story of the Alternative Homeland:

The Jewish International Organisations approached the Ottoman Empire with their intentions.  The Ottoman Empire agreed to the requests but offered only the area of Sirt and its surroundings as a destination (an area on the Western Libya coast which had been a refuge for the Jews of Cyrenaica following their revolt against the Roman Empire in year 115 AD).  In addition, the Ottomans made it a condition that only the Jews from Ottoman territories would be allowed to migrate into the allocated areas.   However, the Zionist organisations were insisting on being given all of Cyrenaica, and planned to relocate large numbers from Ottoman territories to outnumber the local inhabitants, which was small at the time (the inhabitants of all of Libya totalled less than 1 million).  The intention was to create a new geographical reality on the ground that would be difficult to dispute, and then continue to open the doors for the Jews of Europe and Russia to flood into the new occupied areas.  They (the Jewish international organisations) offered much needed financial and political facilities to the Sultanate which softened its position regarding the choice of Cyrenaica.  The negotiations were going speedily in favour of the Jewish interests, when the coup of 1908 against the Sultan took place in Turkey.  The new rulers (in Istanbul) would no doubt have gone on to grant all of the Jewish desires without conditions,  however, the swift move by Italy to invade Libya in 1911 put an end to that dream and united the focus on Palestine. 

Libyan Prime Minister Mahmud Muntasir Receives B. Duvdevani,

Representative of the Jewish Agency’s (1951)

We in the Libyan Constitutional Union are certain that the self-confidence of the Zionist movement after accomplishing the dream of fully colonising Palestine, achieving significant influence over the international public opinion and securing supremacy on the Arabs in every field, coupled with the discovery of vast reserves of oil re-kindled the dream to exploit Libya.  This explains the conspiratorial and suspicious interests in Libya by the Zionist organisations immediately after the discovery of oil and the sustained campaigns to embarrass and portray the Kingdom as an anti-Semitic country.  It is quite clear that the organisations succeeded in attracting the loyalty of some leaders of the Libyan Jewish community as evidenced by their refusal to support the government with a testimony to the UN (when the government faced persisting false accusations of anti-Semitism).  Here I am not accusing the Libyan Jewish community of conspiracy or treason, their loyalty to Libya was demonstrated in making the difficult choice in 1948 as mentioned above, but pointing the finger at some of its leaders. 

We are seriously concerned that the influence of the Jewish organisations inside the American institutions responsible for the Middle Eastern policies were employed to materialise the Zionist desires to control Libya politically and exploit it economically as soon as the Palestinian case reaches a solution and the two sides arrive at some sort of accord that satisfies the Arabs and forces peace between them and the Israelis.  Thus came the Libyan coup d'Etat of 1969.  A first step to prepare, with its extraordinarily narrow vision, the required environment for realising the scheme.  The coup ruined the infrastructure of the country, spread anarchy and confusion in the nation and tarnished the reputation of the country until it was expelled from the international community and lost the respect and sympathy of all.

With a deep American sense of history and realisation that political secrets are only temporary, and with a full commitment to the reputation of America, these institutions planned that when the conspiracy is eventually exposed, it would appear to be an angry, vengeful reaction against a savage nation that ravaged a God-fearing minority.  An act against every human standard and against the basic rules of the Islamic faith itself -expelling a minority from their own country, allowing each one only "a small brief case and twenty  pounds".  This (the plot) would appear to be a justifiable angry response and would result in few prepared to condemn it  in defence of a country who's coup lost it its respect, credibility and every friendship of note.  Neither would there be defence for the interests of a nation now retarded several centuries in every civilised field by the peculiar practices of the coup. 

For history not to record that America conspired against a friendly nation and a loyal government, your community, Mr Lozon was manipulated and sacrificed to create that cover and to punish you for preferring Libya in 1948.  Furthermore, your community is to be used for the return to Libya in a planned fashion as an organised, trained and united community with many of its members brainwashed and a new generation brought up with first loyalty to Israel.  You have been convinced, as we are, that you were innocent victims.  However, this is an undisputed fact, exploited to achieve an evil.  Returning your community to a society in the grips of anarchy, ignorance and deep confusion will inevitably make you a leading elite minority in the society enjoying international respect and sympathy.  The outside world would no doubt choose to with the country through you on political and economic affairs.  The coup apparatus, once forced to realise that its existence and continuation are directly linked to the satisfaction of the elite minority, will endeavour to protect and serve it.  Additional analysis related to this subject may be found in an article entitled "Gaddafi and the abandoned constitution": .

Relationships can only be established and sustained on the basis of the fairness and righteousness that the heavens and earth were created upon.  Therefore, Dear Rapahel, I hope that your community joins us in demanding an international inquiry into the case to unveil its mystery before final decisions are made.  Perhaps the inquiry will unveil the most sordid conspiracy of the last century and save your community from being a Zionist tool (and enable you to realise the real reasons behind your exile) and participate in saving Libya's independence without jeopardising your right to an honourable return home. 

Yours Sincerely
Mohamed Ben-Ghalbon
Chairman Libyan Constitutional Union


* References:

1. English Translation of: (Jews in an Arab Land: Libya, 1835-1970. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985) by the Jewish historian, Renzo De Felice.
2. The British National Archives
3. Mustafa Bayou's book: "The Zionist Project to Inhabit Libya", published in March 1975.






بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Corrections to some of the information contained in the article by

Mr. Raphael Luzon regarding the murder of members of his family in Libya.


Translation from Arabic


I read the article by Mr. Raphael Luzon, chairman of “Jews of Libya - UK” which was posted on 1st January 2007 on the Libyan web site “Akhbar Libya” under the title “What law and what jurisprudence would allow the annihilation of an entire Libyan Jewish family?”[1].

I noted that in this article he inserted the name of a Libyan army officer accused of killing members of his family in 1967. To my knowledge, this is the first time the identity of this officer was publicly added to the recently opened file of the Libyan Jews.

In the interest of serving the general Libyan national interests, I take this opportunity to add to this open file my own findings which I obtained and verified from responsible and highly positioned sources during my investigation of this particular issue in the mid nineties of the past century.  Those facts led me to conclude that the government of P.M. Abdul-Qadir Al-Badri, (which succeeded that of P.M. Hussein Maziq in the aftermath of the June 1967 events), was serious in following up the said episode to establish the facts so that justice could be served.

This was evident by the government’s request to the high command of the Libyan army to hold an inquest into the murder charges in question so that it could take the appropriate measures according to its findings.

A committee comprising a number of high ranking officers of the Libyan army was in fact formed to look into the matter.  The accused (named in the article), Mustafa Al-Greetly actually appeared before this committee.  He admitted the charges from the outset and without any hesitation.  He declared that he acted on his own initiative, and that he gave the orders to his soldiers to shoot the family without orders from his superiors, with no coordination with anybody from within or outside the army.  He boasted that he was motivated by his Pan-Arabism and Nasserite sentiments and beliefs.

The committee verified the accused’s admission through its own means and passed – with narrow mindedness, short sightedness and a total betrayal of trust – its report to the Prime Minister denying the incident ever took place.  That false report misled the government and prompted it to close all doors of debate with the international bodies which were pressing it to take the appropriate humanitarian stand and the necessary legal action.

I also learnt –from the aforesaid sources - that the motives of that committee to mislead the government in this case were the same motives that stopped leading officers in the Libyan Army from arresting Gaddafi’s young army officers when they were plotting their coup d'état, even though they had full recordings of their secret meetings and plans from the military intelligence agency which had them all under surveillance.  Those motives were “preserving the good name of the army”!!!  In the first incident they misled the government, while the second resulted in the fall of the throne.

I will continue - for the time being - to withhold the identity of my sources for security considerations that are clear to all.

I finally wish to put this question to Mr. Luzon and to the readers in general:

Isn’t it curious that the perpetrator of this criminal act was none other than the grandson of Ramadan Bey?” [2]

This is in-spite of the fact that the Libyan Army was at that time crowded with officers who were affiliated with Pan-Arabist parties, as well as those who adored Gamal Abdul-Nasser.

In this I find further support to my analysis to those events which I expanded on in a long article published by the London based daily “Al-Hayat” on 9th January 2006. [3]


Mohamed Ben Ghalbon


Libyan Constitutional Union

18 February 2007


[2] Ramadan Bey was the known name of Ramadan Al-Greetly in the city of Benghazi.  He was one of the most prominent official collaborators with the Italian occupying authority in the Cyrenaica province.  As a result of being a trusted link between the occupying force and the local citizens Ramadan Bey had offered mighty services to many Cyrenaican personalities and families who had been the subject of suspicion from the brutal colonial power in the country.  Many were indebted to him for saving their necks from the noose of Italian gallows.  No doubt he offered more significant services to his foreign employers.  This was evident by him and all members of his family being granted Italian nationality and departing with them to Italy when the remnants of the Italian army were forced to flee the country in the early forties.  Some of them opted to return to Libya after it gained independence benefiting from King Idris’s compassionate decision not to open old files or dwell upon the past.  They chose to live in the city of Tripoli were their past and its consequences were not known.  Some of them still live in Italy, which, since their family’s departure with the defeated Italian armies has become their home; while others travel between Italy and Tripoli.










An Open Letter

To the Head of the Libyan Jewish Community

in the United Kingdom


The Honourable Raphael Luzon


“The Right of Return”

Is it a right only to Libya’s Jews, or does it include the Palestinians?


19 March 2007


Assalam Alaikum,

I have previously expressed, on several occasions, my deep sorrow for what had befallen you in 1967 and its agonising consequences over the past 40 years [1] & [2].   It is a feeling shared by all conscientious people in the Libyan society.

In the past, I was always careful that our dialogue did not expand to include the Palestinian issue.  I deliberately tried to focus solely on the Libyan issue in the hope that we would be able to build a bridge of understanding and mutual confidence that would help us cross the divide that has existed between us for all these long years [3].

My abstention from discussing the Palestinian issue was not out of negligence or lack of concern, for we have obligations towards our Palestinian brothers too. The injustices which have befallen them – and still do – including killings, forced exile, confiscation of their lands and property and total violation of their human rights, are of unimaginable magnitude.  Any fair or conscientious human being can not overlook or sidestep their plight.

Now that we have bridged the gap between us, we would like to know your views, as well as those of the Libyan Jewish community at large, regarding the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their confiscated homes.  The Palestinian right of return is so fundamental it is recognised by a United Nations resolution that consecutive Israeli governments refuse to implement or to even entertain the principle of discussing.

What cannot be overlooked is that your tragic ordeal is distinctly linked to that of the Palestinian people.  It would not be fair to expect sympathy for your demands from the Libyan people without recognising the similar rights of the Palestinian people.  This is by no means a stipulation of your rights, rather a quest for a balanced moral stand prompted by the principles of fairness and even-handedness.

Would we see from you a just stance equal to that which you expect from your Libyan brothers?

Mohamed Ben Ghalbon

Chairman of the Libyan Constitutional Union

Manchester - UK


[1] “And the Jews of Libya”, “Al-Hayat” Newspaper, 9 March 1995:

[2] An open letter posted on 28 May 2005:

[3] “Al-Hayat” Newspaper, 9 January 2006:










 Arabic Originals


رسالة مفتوحة إلى رئيس الجالية اليهودية الليبية في المملكة المتحدة


مسؤلية حماية اليهود الليبيين في سنة 1945 و 1948 كانت تقع على عاتق الحكومة البريطانية



هل حق العودة ليهود ليبيا فقط، أم أنه كذلك للفلسطينيين ؟


المنظمات الصهيونية تسعى للسيطرة على ليبيا بعد تسوية القضية الفلسطينية





بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


رسالة مفتوحة

 إلى رئيس الجالية اليهودية الليبية في المملكة المتحدة

رافائيل لوزون المحترم

19 ربيع الثاني 1426 الموافق 28 مايو 2005

السلام عليكم  

إن ما تعرض له إخواننا في الوطن من اليهود في سنة 1967 أمر مريع حقاً.  فما كان ينبغي أن نسمح لجرائم الجيش الإسرائيلي ضد الفلسطينيين أن تحطم تناغم الأمة الليبية.

وقد سبق وأن عبّرت عن ذلك علانية منذ أكثر من عشر سنوات وقبل أن تبرز قضية اليهود على سطح الأحداث الليبية، وقد نشرت ذلك في جريدة "الحياة" اللندنية بتاريخ 9 مارس 1995 في عددها رقم 11705 (راجع موقع أرشيف الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي : ).

وهذا يدحض اتهامكم في رسالتكم المنشورة في موقع "أخبـار ليبيا" بتاريخ 26 مايو، و موقع "ليبيا وطننا" بتاريخ 28 مايو 2005، بأن اهتمام النشطاء الليبيين "لم يشمل أبدا الطائفة اليهودية"!

كذلك فإن ما أوردته بخصوص مظاهرات عامي 1945 و 1948 من أنها كانت "بدون أي سبب يُذكر" فهو أمر غير دقيق، فالوثائق الرسمية للحكومة البريطانية تقول عكس ذلك تماما.  وقد سبق وأن نشرت تلك الوثائق كذلك في جريدة "الحياة" في ثلاث حلقات متتالية بتاريخ 21 إلى 23 سبتمبر 1997 (نسخ منها محفوظة في الموقع، تجدها على الرابط المشار إليه أعلاه).

وهذا يعكس بوضوح إحساسنا في بمعاناة يهودنا بنفس عمق احساسنا ببقية الأقليات و الأعراق التى يتكون منها الشعب الليبي، كما يدلل على محاولاتنا المستمرة لسبر غور تلك الحلقة من تاريخ بلادنا المعاصر للتعرف على جذور هذه المشكلة بلا تحيّز ولا أحكام مسبقة.

إننا ندين بلا تحفّظ ما حدث ليهود ليبيا في عامي 1945 و 1948.  ونودّ أن نشير هنا إلى أن مسؤولية حمايتهم كانت تقع على عاتق الحكومة البريطانية، لأن ليبيا لم تكن دولة مستقلة فى تلك الآونة، فقد كانت البلاد بأسرها تحت حكم الإدارة البريطانية التي انتدبتها هيئة الأمم المتحدة لحفظ الأمن والنظام فى البلاد التى حُررت لتوها من براثن الإستعمار الإيطالي، ولم يتم آنذاك الإعتراف بحق شعبها فى تأسيس دولته المستقلة.  ولعلّ الحكومة البريطانية هي الجهة التي ينبغي توجيه الإدانة والمطالبة إليها، وربما هي الجهة التي أرادت "تشجيع" اليهود على الهجرة إلى فلسطين.

بالإضافة إلى ما سبق ، فقد ورد في رسالتك أن اليهود كانوا قد مُنعوا في عهد المملكة الليبية  "من عدّة حقوق مثل حق التصويت أو الترشيح للإنتخابات، وحق العمل في المؤسسات الحكومية، أو الخدمة في الجيش".  وهذا صحيح، إلا أنه كان بناءً على تعليمات شفهية للمسؤولين، لا يعززها أي قانون، وتتناقض صراحة مع الدستور الليبي.  لكن إخواننا في الوطن لم يتحدّوا تلك القرارات بالتوجّه إلى القضاء الذي كانت آلياته تسمح بالطعن في قرارات الدولة وقوانينها التي تتعارض مع بنود الدستور.

وقد مارس البعض ذلك الحق بكامل الحرية، وعلى أعلى المستويات عندما حكمت المحكمة العليا ببطلان أحد المراسيم الملكية (راجع ص 125 من كتاب علي الديب: "مؤامرة بن حليم على الديمقراطية في ليبيا 1954"). وفي مناسبة أخرى حكمت المحكمة العليا لصالح شركة مقاولات ضد قرار إحدى الحكومات وتم تنفيذ الحكم. (راجع قضية."طريق فزان" في كتاب.مجيد خدوري: "ليبيا الحديثة" ص 315 من النسخة الإنجليزية).

وبذلك يكون يهود ليبيا قد وقعوا في نفس الخطأ الذي وقعت فيه الأحزاب السياسية الليبية عندما تم منعها من ممارسة نشاطاتها، ورفضت الحكومة التصريح لها بمزاولة العمل السياسي فى ليبيا،  فلم يلجأ أي منها إلى القضاء للمطالبة بحقه والإصرار عليه، وإدانة الحكومة بخرق الدستور.  ولو فعلت الأحزاب السياسية وطائفة اليهود الليبيين ذلك لكانوا قد فازوا بحقوقهم بالإضافة إلى إغناء التجربة الدستورية في الدولة الوليدة.  فالدولة الليبية الخارجة لتوها من سيطرة الإستعمار كانت تتعثر فى أخطاء التجربة الجديدة، هذه الأخطاء التى كانت ناجمة بالدرجة الأولى عن القصور وليس سوء النية. 

فيهود ليبيا، كبقية إخوانهم الليبيين، لم يدركوا أهمية وفاعلية الدستور الليبي المعتمد دوليا في الحصول على حقوقهم وصيانتها.

وختاما فإنني أكرر التأكيد على أنه ليس في ذلك ما يبرر أو يخفّف من مرارة قتل أي مواطن لمواطن آخر ولا بغي جماعة على جماعة أخرى، تحت أي ذريعة أولأي سبب من الأسباب.

محمد بن غلبون

رئيس الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي

مانشستر / المملكة المتحدة











القذافي والدستور المعطّل


7/24/2005 8:27:00 AM]

محمد بن غلبون
رئيس الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي

إننا في الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي على ثقة من أن الطريقة التي تعاملت بها حكومة المملكة الليبية مع ما حدث لمواطنيها من اليهود في شهر يونيو من سنة 1967 قد سرّعت بإسقاط العرش الليبي، ولوّنت بالعدوانية اختيار نوعيّة البديل له، وجعلت مخططات التغيير التي كانت قبل ذلك تدرس وتحاك بهدوء ورويّة و موضوعية تأخذ منحى إنتقامي.


ولما كان وقت التصحيح، في مطلع الثمانينيات لم يحن بعد بالنسبة للقابضين على أزمّة الأمور، المحرِّكين لقطع شطرنج اللعبة السياسية في منطقتنا البائسة، حيث لم تصل البنية التحتية للدولة الليبية بعد إلى الحضيض المخطط له، ومع بداية العمل المعارض المنظم الذي بدأ يشكل خطرا حقيقيا على مستقبل النظام الحاكم في ليبيا، تم احتواء تحالف بعض الدول العربية الكبرى مع الطليعة الليبية الثائرة في ذلك الوقت في تنظيم معارض واحد تردّى بذلك التحالف الصادق و بتلك الثورة الواعدة إلى هاوية الخيبة والإحباط، ليطول بذلك عمر النظام وتزداد قبضته إحكاما.

والآن وبعد أن وصلت الأمور إلى ما رُسم لها بدأ يُرحّب بعودة ليبيا إلى الحظيرة الدولية بعد أن اعترف صاحب القرار الأوحد فيها بمواطنة اليهود وحقهم في التعويضات.
ولم يعد خافيا أن تعويض اليهود وحقهم في العودة إلى ليبيا كان من الشروط الأساسية لإرجاع ليبيا إلى المجتمع الدولي، وإعطاء معمر القذافي وورثته رخصة بقاء جديدة طويلة الأمد. (راجع تقرير مساعد وزير الخارجية الأمريكية لشؤون الشرق الأدنى و الأوسط، ويليام برنز، أمام لجنة الشؤون الخارجية التابعة للكونجرس الأمريكي بتاريخ 16 مارس 2005: )
ومن السهل تخيل اليهود في ليبيا عما قريب والتنبّوء بنتائج مفاوضات التعويضات وحجمها، فتعويضات لوكربي غير بعيدة عنا.  ومن البديهيات المسلّم بها الآن للجميع أن القذافي يوافق على أي شئ فيه ضمان استمراره في الحكم.

وليس هذا مايقلقنا، فإننا نراقب قضية أهم بكثير بالنسبة لنا، وهي باختصار شديد -لأن الموضوع لا يحتمل التفصيل- أن ارتباط بقاء أي نظام بإرضاء أقلية معينة من مواطنيه (مترابطة و مدرّبة وتتمتع بعلاقات دولية خاصة) واشتراط مصلحتهم، كما يرونها، للترحيب بالأمة في المجتمع الدولي، لا محالة سيُفقد تلك الحكومة حرية قرارها وتلك البلاد، ذات البنية التحتية المنهارة، استقلالها السياسي والإقتصادي، ويجعل من تلك الأقلية طبقة عُليا في المجتمع.

ولن تفيد القذافي أي شطحة سياسية، ولا نظرية إرتجالية في الخروج من هذا المأزق، فقد صمّمه محترفون متخصصون درسوا بدقة متناهية نفسيته وعقليته واستعملوها بإحكام فكانت ردود أفعاله متوقعة لديهم دائما وكأنهم يُملون عليه ما يفعل.

تلك هي النتيجة المقررة لأحداث الخمسة والثلاثين سنة الماضية، وهذا هو الإتجاه الذي نرى الأمور تسير فيه ، وستتحول الطلبات الدولية إلى إملاءات، وكلما نالوا منه بعض المكاسب يصرون على غيرها، وسيستمر التفريط مع كل موجة ضغوط، وهو لايملك حيال ذلك ما يفعله، وليست له حجّة للتمنّع، فهو "الكلّ في الكلّ" في جماهيريته، وهو صانع أطرها وهياكلها، وكل قوانينها من وضعه، و"مؤتمر الشعب العام" ما هو إلا تمثيلية لن يستطع التستّر خلف قراراته ولا إقناع أحد بأنها تحدّ من صلاحياته أو تمنعه من التنازل.

ولقد كان الدستور الليبي -المصادق عليه دوليا- هو الخطر الوحيد الذي يهدّد إحكام هذا الفخّ الجهنّمي، ولذلك فقد "شُجع" القذافي على تعطيله منذ البداية، ثم خُنق الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي وحجب الضوء عن دعوته حتى أنها لم تخترق النفوس لتمسّ العقول في داخل صفوف المعارضة الليبية نفسها إلا بعد 24 سنة من الإصرار والإلحاح و المثابرة، بالرغم من صراحة ووضوح الطرح وفطنة ووطنية الأكثرية.

وللتاريخ فإن الملك الراحل الحسن الثاني (رحمه الله) كان الوحيد الذي أدرك مرمانا منذ البداية، فقد أوفد ممثلا شخصيا له ليبدي لنا إعجابه وتقديره واحترامه، وليعرض علينا تأييده الشخصي الفعّال كهديّة للشعب الليبي إذا ما قبلنا إجراء تعديلات معينة على طرحنا.  وقد كان مبعث اشتراطه لتلك التعديلات معلومات مضللة من بعض ضيوفه من المعارضة الليبية في ذلك الوقت (ليس هنا مجال كشفها).  وقد أفقدنا رفضنا لتلك التعديلات مساعدته، ولم نستطع إقناعه بأنهم يكذبون عليه، الأمر الذي تبين له لاحقا، ولكن بعد ضياع تلك الفرصة الذهبية على الشعب الليبي.

وكان (رحمه الله) قد كلف أحد أبرز رجاله، السياسي المخضرم و رئيس الوزراء الأسبق المعطي أبو عبيد تأسيس "الإتحاد الدستوري المغربي" في ربيع سنة 1983 ليفيد المغرب من الفكرة التي جذبته.

ولو أن معمر القذافي كان قد عاد في أي مرحلة من مراحل حكمه إلى الدستور فحكّمه و احترمه لكان "ظَلَمَ وحدَه"  كما يريد، فقط بدون تألّه، ولوجده الآن درعا دوليا لاستقلال الوطن، و لأحال به الشروط المجحفة على برلمان الشعب المحصّن بدستوره.



نشر لأول مرة على موقع عرب 2000 بتاريخ 24 يوليو 2005










رسالة من رئيس الاتحاد الدستوري الليبي محمد بن غلبون

إلى رئيس الجالية اليهودية الليبية في بريطانيا رافائيل لوزون ...

 المنظمات الصهيونية تسعى للسيطرة على ليبيا بعد تسوية القضية الفلسطينية

    الحيـاة  - 09/01/2006

أعرب رئيس الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي محمد بن غلبون عن خشيته من ان نفوذ المنظمات الصهيونية داخل الأجهزة الأميركية المسؤولة عن سياسة الشرق الأوسط يجند لتحقيق الأطماع الصهيونية في السيطرة على ليبيا سياسيا واستغلالها اقتصاديا بمجرد ان تسوى القضية الفلسطينية. وعرض بن غلبون في رسالة مفتوحة إلى رئيس الجالية اليهودية الليبية في المملكة المتحدة رافائيل لوزون تعليقاً على خطاب ألقاه الأخير أمام مؤتمر الأقباط العالمي في واشنطن في تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) الماضي، ملابسات هجرة الجالية اليهودية من ليبيا الى اسرائيل اثر حرب الايام الستة العربية – الاسرائيلية في حزيران (يونيو) 1967، وتطرق الى «الأطماع الأميركية والصيونية بالاستيلاء على ليبيا منذ اكتشاف النفط فيها. وفي ما يأتي نص الرسالة:

السيد رافائيل لوزون 

تحية طيبة وبعد... 

لقد عبّر خطابكم أمام مؤتمر الأقباط العالمي الذي انعقد في واشنطن بين 16 تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) 2005 و19 منه عن شوق مواطن ليبي لبلاده وحنين طبيعي يقدّره كل من ذاق مرارة الإغتراب عن وطنه، وقاسى معاناة الغربة الجبرية.

وإننا في الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي نتمنّى أن تتحقق أمنية والدتك في زيارة بنغازي مسقط رأسها في أقرب وقت ممكن، كما نؤيد مطالبك المشروعة لاستلام رُفاة أقاربك المغدورين أثناء الإضطرابات الأمنية التي اجتاحت مدن ليبيا، في ما بدا و كأنه رد فعل عفوي لنبأ اندلاع حرب الأيام الستة في حزيران (يونيو) 1967، كما نؤيد تمكينك من دفنهم بالطريقة المناسبة.

رئيس الوزراء الليبي حسين مازق-حزيران(يونيو) 1967

ليللو أربيب زعيم طائفة اليهود الليبيين - 1967

وقد سبق أن عبرّنا عن رأينا، على صفحات جريدة «الحياة» الموقرة، في شأن كافة ما حدث لكم عام 1967 من قبل أن تفتح ملفّات هذه القضية وتُفرض من جانب الولايات المتحدة على سطح الأحداث الليبية وتجعل تسويتها من شروط تمديد عمر النظام الليبي وإعادته إلى الحظيرة الدولية بعد عزله لفترة طويلة من الزمن. (نسخة مصورة من المقال الذي نشر في 9 آذار (مارس) 1995 محفوظة في الصفحة المخصصة لهذا الموضوع في موقع أرشيف الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي على الرابط التالي:

ثم كرّرنا التعبير عن رأينا في رسالة مفتوحة لك بتاريخ 10 حزيران 2005 نشرت في غالبية المواقع الليبية على الإنترنت، مما يغنينا الآن عن التكرار. وما زلنا نشاطركم الآلام والأحزان ونتفهم مأساتكم. إلا أنه قد جانبك الصواب عندما قارنت قضيتكم بالقضية الفلسطينية وساويت بين معاناتكم ومعاناة الفلسطينيين. كما جانبك الصواب أيضا عندما وصفت الصراع العربي - الإسرائيلي بأنه صراع بين الديموقراطية والديكتاتورية.

ولا أريد أن أُسهب في هذا المجال لأنني أرغب في حصر تبادل وجهات النظر بيننا دائما في حُدود القضية الليبية، علّنا نوفّق إلى بناء جسر ودّي مادّته الحقائق وحسن النيات يعبر الهُوّة المؤسفة التي بيننا.

لقد جاء في خطابك أنه صدر قرار عام 1967 بطرد الجالية اليهودية من ليبيا والسماح لكل شخص منها باصطحاب حقيبة صغيرة ومبلغ 20جنيهاً فقط.

وهنا أرى أن من مصلحة الجميع تصحيح هذه المعلومات. فقد كان الخروج بهذا المبلغ النقدي الزّهيد بناءً على قانون مراقبة النقد المعمول به في ليبيا في ذلك الوقت، والذي يمنع أي مواطن ليبي من حمل أكثر من عشرين جنيهاً ليبياً نقداً، ولم يطبق على اليهود حصراً.

ولكن يمكن تحويل أي مبلغ في الحالات التي ينص عليها القانون عن طريق «بنك ليبيا» على شكل شيكات سياحية أو اعتمادات مصرفية أو خطابات ضمان.


قرار المغادرة

أما قرار مُغادرة ليبيا على عجل فقد اتخذه زُعماء الجالية اليهوديـة، ولم تطردهم الحكومة الليبية. وجـاء في كتاب المؤرخ اليهودي رينزو دي فيليشي «يـهـود في أرض عــربية» الذي صدر في الأصل باللغة الإيطالية عام 1978 تحت عنوان: Ebri in un paese arabo ويُعد من أهم المصادر اليهودية في هذا الخصوص، في الصفحة 278 من الترجمة الإنكليزية ما يأتي:

«جاءت الخطوة الرسمية الأولى من ليللو أربيب (زعيم طائفة اليهود الليبيين وقتئذ) في اليوم السابع عشر من حزيران، فقد بعث برسالة إلى رئيس الوزراء حسين مازق طلب فيها بالسماح بالسفر لليهود الراغبين في مغادرة البلاد حتى تهدأ الأمور ويتفهّم الشعب الليبي وضعيّة اليهود الليبيين الذين كانوا وسيبقون دائما مخلصين للدولة وفي تعايش سلمي مع السكان العرب. وافقت الحكومة على ذلك بسرعة وبدأت دائرة الهجرة أعمالها في 20 حزيران وحضرت الوثائق المتعلقة بالسفر».

ولكي يكون جميع قراء «الحياة» معنا في هذا الحوار سأقدم لمحة مختصرة لموضوعه:

كانت تقطن ليبيا طائفة يهودية يقدر عددها بحوالى 40 ألفاً (طبقاً للمصادر اليهودية). بعضهم كان متجذّرا في التربة الليبية، كما ذكر المستر لوزون في كلمته المشار إليها أعلاه، من قبل الفتح الإسلامي، وبعضهم هاجر إليها من دول شمال أفريقيا الأخرى، فيما لجأ بعضهم الآخر إليها من الأندلس هربا من محاكم التفتيش الكاثوليكية.

وعاشت هذه الطائفة آمنة معزّزة مكرّمة مع بقيّة طوائف الشعب الليبي المسلمة حتى تمكنت الدعوة الصهيونية من التغلغل فى نسيجها، لتنشر بينها فكرة الهجرة إلى «أرض الميعاد»، ثم إعمارها وتأسيس الدولة اليهودية على أركانها. ونتج عن ذلك أن تلونت تصرّفات شباب الطائفة اليهودية في ليبيا بما -لا يفيد أية أقلّيّة كانت - من رعونة وتحدٍّ للمجتمع.


فتيان جماعة هرتزل الصهيونية في بنغازي خلال الاربعينات

وكان أول تصادم تشهده ليبيا بين سكانها من المسلمين واليهود في 3 تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) 1945 فيما كانت موجة من الإضرابات تجتاح العالم العربي في ذكرى وعد بلفور، ثم تكرّر الصدام عام 1948، كنتيجة للأخبار الدموية الواردة من فلسطين. وكان تحرك المسلمين عفويا وتلقائيا بلا ترتيب مبيّت ولا تخطيط واعداد مسبق استُعملت فيه الحجارة والعصيّ، وفي المقابل كان التحرك اليهودي مخطّطاً اذ جهزت له الأسلحة والذخائر، وذلك كما هو موثّق في التقارير السرية للحكومة البريطانية التي كانت تحكم ليبيا أثناء فترة الإنتداب، والتي يُفرج عنها بموجب القانون البريطاني بعد مضي 30/50 سنة من وقت حدوثها. وهي شهادة شاهد مستقل ومحايد ومسؤول ممن لا يُتهم بحب المسلمين ولا عداء اليهود، وقد سبق أن كتبنا بالتفصيل في هذا الموضوع ونشرنا تلك الوثائق على صفحات هذه الصحيفة في سلسلة وثائقية من ثلاث حلقات متوالية بين 21 أيلول (سبتمبر) 1997 و23 منه (يمكن الإطلاع على نسخة مصورة لتلك السلسلة على الرابط التالي:

وبعد صدامات 1948 «شجّعت» السّلطات البريطانية يهود ليبيا على الهجرة إلى إسرائيل بعد تصفية ممتلكاتهم ونقل أمتعتهم القليلة معهم، اذ كانت ليبيا آنذاك شبه معدومة الموارد يعاني سكانها بجميع طوائفهم من فقر مدقع وجهل ومرض من جرّاء سنوات الإستعمار الإيطالي الطويلة، والحروب الطاحنة بين قوات الحلفاء والمحور التي كانت تدور رحاها على أرضها.

وعلى رغم فقر الوطن وحال المرض والجهل المتفشيين فيه، وعدم وجود أية مؤشرات للإنفراج في حالته، تمسّك به نحو سبعة آلاف من يهوده لم يتأثروا بالدعوة الصهيونية ولا بـ «التشجيع» البريطاني على الهجرة. وموقفهم ذلك يُغني عن أية مقالات مطولة للتدليل على انتمائهم وتجذّر الوطن في قلوبهم.

ثم جاءت المفاجأة واكتُشِف البترول في ليبيا بعد الإستقلال، فانتشر الرخاء وازدهر حال الجميع، ورافق ذلك اهتمام مريب للمنظمات الصهيونية العالمية بليبيا، استخدموا فيه بخبث وجود تلك الأقلية اليهودية الصغيرة فيها. وكان على رأس تلك المنظمات وأكثرها نشاطا في هذا الصدد «الهيئة الأميركية اليهودية» التي زار رئيسها لويس كابلن ليبيا صيف 1961، ليرفع ـ على إثرها ـ زعماء الطائفة اليهودية الليبية (ليللو أربيب، وهاي جلام، وكليمنتي حبيب، وأنجلو ناحوم، وبنحاس نعيم) عريضة إلى رئيس الحكومة الليبية محمد عثمان الصيد تطالبه بالمزيد من الحقوق لليهود.

ونجحت هذه المنظمات الصهيونية العالمية في إقناع الممثل السابق لهيئة الأمم المتحدة إدريان بلت أثناء زيارته إلى ليبيا لحضور الإحتفالات بالذكرى العاشرة للإستقلال ببعض التحريات السرّية لمصلحتها. إلا أن التقرير السرّي الذي قدمه لها، والمنشور في الصفحة رقم 230 من كتاب المؤرخ اليهودي رينزو دي فيليشي السالف ذكره جاء مخيبا لآمال تلك المنظمات، اذ جاء فيه:

«إن العداء للسامية كما هو مفهوم عند الغرب لم يكن له أساس في ليبيا. إلا أن شعور الناس بالعداء ضد إسرائيل قوي جدا (...) وعلى مستوى العلاقات الشخصية لم تكن هناك مشاعر موجهة ضد اليهود، وكانت هناك لقاءات شخصية بين العرب واليهود (...)».

الملك ادريس السنوسي مستقبلاً وفداً من الجالية اليهودية في يوم الاستقلال عام 1951

وعلى رغم ذلك، مارست المنظمات اليهودية العالمية ضغوطاً مكثفة ومدروسة على الدولة الليبية الوليدة بدعاية تظهرها وكأنها معادية للسامية ـ كما ذكر دي فيليشي ـ مما دفع الحكومة الليبية للجوء الى زعماء الطائفة اليهودية فى ليبيا لإصدار بيان رسمي موجه للأمم المتحدة يكذّبون فيه الإتهامات الموجهة اليها بمعاداة السامية، إلا أنهم رفضوا تلبية طلب الحكومة.

وحتى نجعل من هذه الرسالة وثيقة يُعتدّ بها في ملف هذه القضية المهمة، نرى أن من الجدير الإشارة إلى رسالة وزير خارجية كندا إلى السفير البريطاني في طرابلس بعدما كثُرت تقارير المنظمات اليهودية إلى الحكومة الكندية عن وجود اضطهاد لليهود في ليبيا.

والرسالة مؤرخة 15 تشرين الأول (أكتوبر) 1964 ومحفوظة في مكتب أرشيف الوثائق الوطني البريطاني في الملف الرقم: (FO371 / 178894)، وثيقة رقم: ( VT1571 / 2)، طلب فيها الوزير الكندي من السفير البريطاني رودّ سارل أن يوافيه مشكورا بمعلومات واقعية عن وضعية اليهود في ليبيا. وجاء رد السفير سارل عليه في 28 تشرين الثاني (نوفمبر) 1964، وها نحن ننقل مقتطفات منه إلى قرّاء «الحياة» كما يأتي:

«لنا الشرف أن نرد على رسالتكم المؤرخة في 15/10/1964 بخصوص وضع اليهود في ليبيا:

إن عدد اليهود في ليبيا يتراوح بين 6500 و7000، والغالبية تعيش في طرابلس. وباستثناء عدد قليل ممن يشتغلون بالأعمال اليدوية كالنجارة وتحضير الأطعمة والخمور الخاصة باليهود، فإن معظمهم من التجار وأصحاب المحلات التجارية ومعتمدي الوكالات والعمولات التجارية. ولا نعدو الصواب إن قلنا إنهم يتمتعون، في الوقت الحاضر – كما هي الحال في كل ليبيا - بانتعاش اقتصادي لم تر مثله طائفتهم في تاريخها الطويل كله.

شغب مُعاد لليهود

ليس هناك تمييز رسمي ضد اليهود. لكن وضعية التوتّر بين الدول العربية وإسرائيل تؤدي بين الحين والآخر إلى ظهور بعض التهجمات في الصحف المحلية متهمة بعضهم بالعمالة للصهيونية، وينتج عن ذلك انتشار للشغب المعادي لليهود في بعض المناسبات. (...) ولكن من الإنصاف أن نذكر بأن جزءاً كبيراُ جداً من الأعمال المحلية بيد اليهود، ومن ضمنها كثير من أثمن الوكالات التجارية البريطانية.

ولهذا السبب، ولأن يهود ليبيا يعتبرون من شعوب البحر الأبيض المتوسط، ولهم تاريخهم العريق والذي يعود إلى زمن الرومان، فإن من المستبعد أن يرغب كثير منهم في الهجرة إلى كندا ما لم يكونوا تحت ضغوط قاهرة (...) وفي الحقيقة هناك 300 شخص يهودي له الحق في المطالبة بالجنسية البريطانية باعتبار أن أسلافهم ولدوا في جبل طارق خلال القرنين الثامن عشر والتاسع عشر، وبطبيعة الحال فإنه يحق لهؤلاء (الـ 300) أن يطلبوا الحصول على تأشيرة الهجرة إلى كندا وفقا للقوانين الجارية. وربما يوضح كيف يُنظر إلى موضوع الهجرة أن الطلب الوحيد الذي تعاملت معه قنصليتنا أخيرا هو المتعلق بعائلة حبيب – موضوع رسالتكم لنا بتاريخ 30 آب (أغسطس) 1963- والذي أسفر عن هجرة فرد واحد من العائلة إلى كندا على رغم تمتع باقي أفراد العائلة بالحق نفسه».

إن السؤال الذي يفرض نفسه هو كيف ولماذا يتّخذ زعماء الطائفة اليهودية هذا القرار نيابة عنها بمغادرة البلاد؟ وهو القرار الذي لم تتخذه هذه الأقلية من الطائفة عام 1948 وهي تعاني الفقر والجهل والمرض من جهة، وتتعرض لإغراءات المنظمات الصهيونية العالمية و»التشجيع» البريطاني من جهة أخري؟ مع العلم بأن ما عانته من نتائج الصدامات الدموية مع المسلمين في تلك السنة كان أضعاف ما تعرضت له في 5 حزيران 1967.

وكيف، ولماذا اتخذوا ذلك القرار والطائفة اليهودية الليبية هي أول من أثرى فور اكتشاف النفط في ليبيا، ولم يكن ذلك إلا بداية الطريق لمزيد من الثراء.

وهنا نأتي بشهادة رينزو دي فيليشي الذي وصف أحوال الطائفة اليهودية في ليبيا على الصفحة رقم 269 من الترجمة الإنكليزية لكتابه السالف الذكر بالقول: «بعد مرور أقل من ست سنوات (على اكتشاف البترول الليبي) تحوّلت وضعية الطائفة اليهودية الإقتصادية من كونها مأسويّة إلى وضع أصبح فيه نصف أعضائها من الأغنياء، كما أصبح من بينهم من يُعتبرون من الأثرياء حقا».

يكمن في جواب هذه التساؤلات السرّ في الإنقلاب الليبي ويشرح أسباب شذوذ سياسته التي حيّرت العالم لأكثر من ثلاثة عقود.

ولنتدرج في الإجابة ينبغي أن نبدأ بذكر قضية أخرى ذات ارتباط مباشر بهذه التي بين يدينا:

في بداية القرن العشرين كانت منظمات يهود العالم منقسمة على نفسها في اختيار وطن قومي لليهود. ففي وقت كان جزءُ منهم لا يقبل أي بديل عن خيار فلسطين والقدس وجبل صهيون، كان هناك جزءُ آخر مُساوٍ في الوزن والأهمية يتخوّف من هذا الخيار، ويعتقد بأنه حلم غير قابل للتحقيق، ويحاول أن يجد وطناً بديلاً عنه يسهل على اليهود إستعماره وإقناع العالم بأحقيّتهم التاريخية فيه، وتكون فيه المقاومة أقل وأسهل بعيداً عن الصراع الديني.

ووقع اختيار هذا الجزء ـ بعد رحلات استكشافية، ودراسات وبحث وتدقيق ـ على ليبيا لتكون ذلك الوطن القومي الذي يحلمون به. وكان صاحب الفكرة اليهودي البريطاني الرّحالة المشهور السير هاري جوهانستين الذي تقدّم بها إلى اسرائيل زانجويل رئيس «جمعية الأراضي اليهودية» Jewish Territorial Organisation (مقرها لندن)، فأرسلت الجمعية بعثة علمية إلى ليبيا عام 1906 برئاسة ناحوم سلاوش الأستاذ في السوربون ثم ألحقتها ببعثة أخرى عام 1908. وكانت تقارير البعثتين مشجعة جدا لليهود حتى ان اسرائيل زانجويل ذهب إلى حد القول ان برقة (اقليم في شرق ليبيا) تفضل فلسطين نفسها في تحقيق الموطن القومي لليهود.

وللمزيد حول هذا الموضوع ولمعرفة أسباب هذا التفضيل يمكن الرجوع إلى الكتاب الوثائقي «المشروع الصهيوني لتوطين اليهود في ليبيا» للأستاذ مصطفى عبد الله بعيو، والذي نشر في أذار 1975. كذلك نشرت «الحياة» في 20 أيلول 1997 مقالة مختصرة حول هذا الموضوع بعنوان «هجرة اليهود إلى فلسطين وقصة الوطن البديل»

تم الإتصال بالسلطنة العثمانية التى وافقت على طلب اليهود فى هذا الخصوص، إلا أنها اشترطت أن تقتصر الهجرة إلى ليبيا على يهود السلطنة وحددت لهم منطقة سرت (منطقة على الساحل الليبي الغربي سبق أن لجأ إليها يهود برقة بعد ثورتهم على الإمبراطورية الرومانية سنة 115م) وما حولها في وقت كانت المنظمات الصهيونية تصرّ على برقة كلّها، وقد خطّطت لنقل يهود السلطنة إلى برقة حتى يزيد عددهم في وقت قصير على عدد سكان ليبيا كلها من المسلمين بأضعاف، وكان عدد السكان في ذلك الوقت أقل من مليون نسمة، وذلك لتخلق واقعاً جغرافياً جديداً على الأرض لا تملك السلطنة إلا الإذعان إليه، ثم يُفتح بعد ذلك الباب على مصراعيه لهجرة يهود أوروبا وروسيا. وقد عرضوا تسهيلات مالية وسياسية كان الباب العالي في أمسّ الحاجة إليها لتليين موقفه بخصوص برقة بدلاً من سرت، وكانت المفاوضات تسير في اتجاه مصلحة اليهود، وعريكة السلطنة قد لانت بتأثير التسهيلات المعروضة، وعندها حدث الإنقلاب في تركيا فأطاح بالخلافة العثمانية، وكان بلا شك سيوافق على جميع الطلبات اليهودية بلا قيد ولا شرط. إلا أن تحرّك إيطاليا السريع وغزوها لليبيا سنة 1911 بدّد أحلام اليهود في استيطانها، فاجتمع الرأي وتوحّدت الكلمة على استيطان فلسطين.

رئيس الوزراء الليبي محمود المنتصر يستقبل مستر دوفدوفاني، ممثل الوكالة اليهودية عام 1951

إننا في الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي على قناعة تامّة بأن الثقة الصهيونية بالنفس – بعد استيطان فلسطين واحكام السيطرة على الرأي العام العالمي وتأكد الغلبة على العرب في كل مجال وميدان - قد جدّدت الحلم في امتلاك ليبيا وأجّج اكتشاف البترول فيها الأطماع.

وذلك يفسر تآمر المنظمات الصهيونية العالمية على المملكة الليبية واستعداءها للعالم ضدها وإحراجها على كل صعيد منذ اكتشاف البترول، ويبدو أن هذه المنظمات نجحت في استقطاب ولاء بعض زعاماتكم الذي يدلل عليه رفضهم لنجدة الحكومة بشهادة حق عندما احتاجتها منهم.


إصبع الإتهام

وأنني هنا لا أتّهمكم بأي تآمر أو خيانة ولكنني أوجه إصبع الإتهام إلى بعض زعمائكم، فإن ليبيّتكم تم التدليل عليها في خياركم الصعب عام 1948 كما أشرت سالفا.

إننا نخشى من أن نفوذ المنظمات اليهودية داخل الأجهزة الأميركية المسؤولة على سياسة الشرق الأوسط جند لتحقيق الأطماع الصهيونية في السيطرة على ليبيا سياسيا واستغلالها اقتصاديا بمجرّد أن تُسوّى القضية الفلسطينية ويصل الطرفان إلى صيغة من التفاهم تُرضي العرب وتفرض سلماً بينهم وبين اسرائيل، فكان الإنقلاب في ليبيا بمثابة الخطوة الأولى ليجهّز بضيق أفقه المناخ المطلوب لتنفيذ المخطط، فقوّض البنية التحتية في البلاد وعمّم الفوضى والإرتباك والرعب بين الشعب وأساء إلى سمعة الوطن حتى نُبذ من المجتمع الإنساني وفقد كل احترام وتعاطف من الجميع.

وبحس أميركي عميق بالتاريخ وأهميّته، ومعرفة بأن الأسرار السياسية وقتيّة، والتزاماً بسمعة أميركا، خططت تلك الأجهزة لأن يظهر تآمرها عندما يُكتشف، على أنه ردّ فعل انتقامي غاضب ضد شعب همجي نكّل بأقليّة من أهل الكتاب ضد كل المعايير الإنسانية والشريعة الإسلامية نفسها وطردهم من وطنهم ولم يسمح لأي منهم بالخروج إلا «بحقيبة صغيرة ومبلغ 20 جنيها فقط لا غير». فهذه غضبة مبرّرة لن تجد من يشجبها لمصلحة دولة أفقدها الإنقلاب الشاذ كل صدقية واحترام وصداقة يُعتدّ بها، ولا لمصلحة شعب أعاده ذلك الإنقلاب إلى الخلف أكثر من قرن في المجالات الحضارية كافة.

وحتى لا يكشف التاريخ أن أمريكا كانت تتآمر - بلا مبرر- على دولة موالية وعلى شعب صديق، تمت التضحية بكم عزيزي لوزون لخلق هذا الغطاء وتأديبكم على تفضيلكم ليبيا على أرض الميعاد عام 1948، ثم لاستعمالكم في الرجوع بالطريقة التي يرجونها، منظّمين ومدرّبين ومترابطين، وقد غسلت أدمغة الكثيرين منكم وربّت أجيال منكم على تفضيل اسرائيل وأولوية الولاء لها ولمصالحها وأُقنِعتم كما اقتنعنا نحن بأنكم أبرياء مظلومون – وهي حقيقة أُريد بها باطل- من أجل الرجوع بكم ومن خلالكم لمجتمع تعمّه الفوضى والجهل ويتخبّط في ارتباك واضح، فتكونوا طبقة عُليا في ذلك المجتمع تتمتّع من دون بقية طوائفه بالإحترام الدولي والتعاطف الإنساني، ويفضّل العالم التعامل معها ومع ذلك المجتمع اقتصاديا وسياسيا من خلالها، وتسهر أجهزة الإنقلاب على حمايتها وخدمتها بعد أن تيقّن أن بقاءه واستمراره مرتبطان باستمرار رضى تلك الطبقة وأمنها.

ولمزيد من الإيضاح يستطيع من يهمه الأمر الرّجوع إلى مقال «القذافي والدستور المعطّل»


إن العلاقات لا تبنى ولا تستمر إلا على العدل الذي قامت عليه السموات والأرض، لذلك فإنني آمل يا رافائيل أن تضمّ جاليتكم صوتها إلى صوتنا في المطالبة بتحقيق دولي في القضية لإجلاء غموضها قبل البت فيها بأي قرار، فربما تفتضح أخسّ مؤامرات القرن الماضي فتنجو طائفتكم من أن تكون «مخلب القط» الصهيوني، وتعرفون سبب غربتكم وتشردكم، وتساهمون في انقاذ استقلال الوطن من دون أن يخاطر ذلك بحقكم في العودة المشرفة.

محمد بن غلبون

رئيس الإتحاد الدستوري الليبي



1- النسخة الإنكليزية من كتاب المؤرخ اليهودي رينزو دي فيليشي:

Jews in an Arab Land: Libya, 1835-1970. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1985

2- الأرشيف الوطني البريطاني للوثائق.

3- كتاب «المشروع الصهيوني لتوطين اليهود في ليبيا» للأستاذ مصطفى عبد الله بعيو، الدار العربية للكتاب:1975.


لقراءة المقال في صحيفة الحياة أنقر على الرابط:







بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


تصحيح لبعض المعلومات الواردة فى مقالة

رفائيل لوزون حول واقعة قتل بعض أفراد عائلته فى ليبيا


اطلعت على مقالة الأستاذ رفائيل لوزون (رئيس الجالية اليهودية الليبية في المملكة المتحدة)، والتى نشرها بموقع "أخبار ليبيا" فى أول يناير من العام الجاري، تحت عنوان "أي قانون وأي شريعة تبيح إبادة أسرة يهود ليبيين بكاملها" [1].

وقد لاحظت إدراجه ـ فى مقالته المذكورة ـ لاسم الضابط الليبي المتهم بقتل أفراد عائلته في سنة 1967، وهي المرة الأولى ـ حسب حدود علمي ـ التي يتم فيها اضافة اسم هذا الضابط بصفة علنية لملف قضية يهود ليبيا الذي تم فتحه فى الأونة الآخيرة.

ومن أجل خدمة المصلحة الوطنية العامة فإنني أنتهز هذه الفرصة لأضيف لهذا الملف المفتوح معلوماتي التي حصلت عليها فى أثناء بحثي وتتبعي لأبعاد هذه القضية في منتصف التسعينات من القرن الماضي من مصادر مسئولة ومطلعة. وقد قادتني تلك المعلومات إلى اليقين بأن حكومة السيد عبد القادر البدري، التي خلفت حكومة السيد حسين مازق في ليبيا عقب أحداث يونية 1967 كانت جادّة في تتبع الوقائع الثابتة من أجل أن تأخذ العدالة مجراها فى تلك القضية الجنائية الحرجة. يدل على ذلك أن الحكومة المعنية طلبت من قيادة أركان الجيش الليبي التحقيق في دعوى القتل المشار إليها لتتخذ ـ من ثمة ـ الموقف المناسب بناءً على نتيجة التحقيق.

وبالفعل، فقد تم تشكيل لجنة من بعض كبار ضبّاط الجيش الملكي الليبي، مثَل أمامها المتهم (مصطفى القريتلي) الذي اعترف بفعلته منذ اللحظة الأولى فى التحقيق المنصوب. حيث أفاد بأنه قد أمر جنوده بإطلاق النار على أفراد العائلة المشار إليها تنفيذا لرغبته الخاصة ، ولم يتلق فى هذا الخصوص أية أوامر عليا، كما لم يقم بالتنسيق مع أيّة جهة في داخل الجيش أو خارجه، متباهيا بأنه أقدم على ذلك العمل بواعز من مشاعره ومعتقداته القومية والناصرية.

وبعد أن تحقّقت اللجنة من صدق أقوال المتهم بوسائلها المتاحة رفَعت، بضيق أفُق ومحدودية تفكير وخيانة للإمانة، تقريرها إلى رئيس الحكومة تنفي فيه الواقعة من أساسها. وقد غرّر ذلك التقرير بالحكومة وجعلها تغلق أبواب الحوار مع الجهات الدولية التي كانت تطالبها باتخاذ الموقف الإنساني المناسب والإجراءات القانونية اللازمة.

وقد عرفتُ كذلك ـ من مصادري السالف الإشارة إليها ـ أن ذريعة تلك اللجنة كانت هي نفس الذريعة التي منعت الشخصيات المسئولة فى إدارة الجيش الليبي من القبض على ضباط انقلاب القذافي عندما تصنتت المخابرات العسكريّة على اجتماعاتهم واطّلعت على مخططاتهم، ألا وهي"الغيرة على سُمعة الجيش" !!!. فأدى الأول إلى التغرير بالحكومة وأدى الثاني للإطاحة بالعرش.

ولاعتبارات أمنية، لا تخفى على أحد، فإنني سأحتفظ مؤقتاً بأسماء مصادري التي أستقيت منها هذه المعلومات.

وأخيرا فإنني أطرح على القارئ الكريم بصفة عامة، وعلى الأستاذ لوزون بصفة خاصة الاستفسار التالي:

"أليس من المريب أن يكون مرتكب هذه الجريمة ليس سوى حفيد رمضان بَيّ " ؟[2]

هذا على الرغم من أن الجيش الليبي كان يعج بمئات الضباط، المنتمين للأحزاب القومية، والمتأثرين بشخصية عبد الناصر" !


إنني أجد في ذلك تعزيزاً لتفسيري لتلك الأحداث، والذي سبق وأن فصّلته في مقال نشرته صحيفة الحياة اللندنية بتاريخ 9 يناير 2006 . [3]


محمد بن غلبون

رئيس الاتحاد الدستوري الليبي

18 فبراير 2007


[2] رمضان بَيّ (بك) هو الاسم الذي اشتهر به رمضان القريتلي في مدينة بنغازي، الذي كان من أكبر وأهم المتعاونين رسمياً مع سلطات الاحتلال الإيطالي في إقليم برقة. وقد قدّم رمضان بَيّ خدمات جليلة لكثير من الشخصيات والعائلات الليبية البرقاوية التي تعرّضت لشكوك الإستعمار الغاشم ودان له الكثير منهم بفكّ رقابهم من حبال المشانق الإيطالية بصفته حلقة وصل موثوق بها بين سلطان المستعمر والمواطنين، إلا أنه بلا شك قدّم خدمات أكبر وأهم لمستخدميه الأجانب، ويدلّ على ذلك منحه وجميع أفراد عائلته الجنسية الإيطالية ونقلهم معهم إلى إيطاليا عندما اضطرت فلول جيش الإستعمار لمغادرة البلاد في الأربعينيات من القرن الماضي.

وقد عاد بعض أفراد عائلة رمضان بيّ إلى ليبيا عقب الاستقلال، مستفيدين فى ذلك من القرار العطوف للملك ادريس (رحمه الله) بعدم فتح أية ملفات قديمة والامتناع عن نبش أحداث الماضي، وقد اختار العائدون منهم مدينة طرابلس مقراً لهم لعدم معرفة سكانها بتاريخهم. ولا زال العديد من أفراد تلك الأسرة يعيشون فى إيطاليا التى أصبحت وطنا لهم منذ رحيل تلك الأسرة عن ليبيا فى صحبة القوات الإيطالية المنهزمة، بينما يتنقل بعضهم الآخر بينها وبين طرابلس.











بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


هل حق العودة ليهود ليبيا فقط، أم أنه كذلك للفلسطينيين ؟


رسالة مفتوحة

 إلى رئيس الجالية اليهودية الليبية في المملكة المتحدة

رافائيل لوزون المحترم

29 صفر 1428  الموافق  19 مارس 2007


السلام عليكم

سبق وأن عبّرت في عدة مناسبات عن مدى الأسى الذي أشعر به لما حلّ بكم في سنة 1967 وما تبع ذلك على مدى الأربعين سنة الماضية [1]&[2] ، وهو شعور يشاركني فيه كل أصحاب الضمائر الحية في المجتمع الليبي.

وقد حرصت في السابق على أن لا يتناول حوارنا القضية الفلسطينية، وحاولت حصره في إطار القضية الليبية وحدها لعلّنا نتمكن من بناء جسر من التفاهم والثقة المتبادلة، نعبر به الهوّة السحيقة التي فصلتنا طوال هذه العقود من الزمن [3].

ولم يكن تجنّبي الخوض في القضية الفلسطينية من باب الإهمال أو الاستهانة بها، فإن لإخوتنا الفلسطينيين كذلك علينا حق، فإن ما لحق بهم –ولا يزال- من ظلم وقتل وتشريد واغتصاب لأراضيهم وممتلكاتهم، وانتهاكات لحقوقهم أمر يفوق الخيال، ولا يمكن لأي منصف أو صاحب ضمير أن يغيّبه أو يتجاهله.

أما بعد تجاوزنا لتلك المرحلة فقد آن الأوان أن نعرف رأيك الشخصي، وكذلك رأي الجالية اليهودية الليبية في حق اللاجئين الفلسطينيين في العودة إلى ديارهم المغتصبة.  ذلك الحق الواضح الذي كفله لهم قرار هيئة الأمم المتحدة، وترفض الحكومات الاسرائيلية المتعاقبة تطبيقه أو حتى مبدأ مناقشته.

إن مأساتكم المؤسفة شئنا أم أبينا مرتبطة ارتباطاً وثيقاً بمأساة الشعب الفلسطيني، ومن المجحف أن تتوقعوا تعاطف الليبيين مع مطالبكم إن لم تُبدوا تعاطفكم مع الحق الفلسطيني. هذا ليس تعليقاً لحقكم ولكن الإنصاف والنصح يقتضي هذا الموقف الأخلاقي المتوازن.

فهل نرى منكم موقفا مُنصِفاً يبرّر توقعكم لتعاطف إخوانكم الليبيين معكم؟


محمد بن غلبون

رئيس الاتحاد الدستوري الليبي

مانشستر/المملكة المتحدة

[1] مقالة بعنوان "ويهود ليبيا"، الحياة 9 مارس 1995:

[2] رسالة مفتوحة نشرت بتاريخ 28 مايو 2005 :

[3] صحيفة "الحياة"، 9 يناير 2006:








بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

توضيح ورد على زعم رفائيل لوزون لقائي به في روما

6 رمضان 1430 الموافق 27 أغسطس 2009

قبل حلول شهر رمضان المبارك بأيام قليلة كنت أراجع المواقع الليبية على الإنترنت للإطلاع على المستجدات التي قد تكون فاتتني أثناء غيابي في الأراضي المقدسة لمدة حوالى شهر انقطعت فيه عن متابعة تفاصيل الأحداث، فشدّ انتباهي محاولات رفائيل لوزون (رئيس الجالية اليهودية الليبية في بريطانيا) التذاكي على موقع "ليبيا المستقبل" لإيصال تهديد مبطن إلى النظام الليبي ضمن مساعيه الحصول على تعويضات، وذلك أثناء المقابلة الصحفية[1] التي أجراها معه مدير الموقع الأستاذ حسن الامين ونشرت بتاريخ 24 يوليو 2009.

ولم أجد فيما قرأت من تصريحات لوزون ما يهمّني أو يلزمني بالتفاعل معه، فإن إشارته إلى أنه قد تفاوض في شؤون المعارضة الليبية ضد النظام الليبي مع شخصية معارضة من مانشستر قال إنه التقاه في روما سنة 2003 ربما قد يراها البعض إشارةً إليّ، إلا أنني لست المعارض الوحيد الذي يقطن هذه المدينة التي تعتبر من أكبر معاقل المعارضين للنظام الليبي في المهجر، ويقطنها نشطاء كثيرون غيري، وعليه فإن احتمال أنه يقصد شخصاً آخر من مانشستر وارد.

إلا أنني علمت من مدير الموقع الذي أجرى المقابلة الصديق الأستاذ حسن لامين أثناء حديث هاتفي في بداية شهر رمضان المبارك لتبادل التهاني بحلول الشهر الفضيل، علمت منه أن لوزون ذكرني بالاسم في هذا الخصوص، وأن اسمي قد نشر بالفعل على الموقع لعدة ساعات قبل أن يتراجع لوزون ويطلب منه سحبه!  ورغم ذلك التراجع فقد شعرت بأنه قد وجب عليّ التصحيح وتوضيح الحقائق التالية. 

أولا  : أنني لم ألتق رفائيل لوزون في روما لا في سنة 2003 ولا في أي وقت آخر.

ثانياً  : أنني في سنة 2003 التي تم فيها اللقاء المزعوم لم أكن أعرف رفائيل لوزون ولا سمعت باسمه. 

ثالثاً  : أن معرفتي برفائيل لوزون و بصفته كرئيس للجالية اليهودية الليبية في بريطانيا ابتدأت في شهر مايو من عام 2005 عندما وجهت له رسالة مفتوحة[2] عبر المواقع الليبية رددت فيها على أولى رسائله التي نشرها على موقع "أخبار ليبيا" و "ليبيا وطننا" بتاريخ 26 و 28 مايو 2005 على التوالي، دحضت فيها الاتهامات التي وردت في رسالته وأهمها دعواه بأن الأحداث الدموية التي تعرض لها اليهود في ليبيا عامي 1945 و1948 كانت "بدون سبب"، وهو ما يتنافى مع التقارير الرسمية للحكومة البريطانية التي يفرج عنها بعد مرور 30 سنة من وقت حدوثها.  كما بينت في ذلك الرد أن مسؤولية حماية الجالية اليهودية كانت تقع على عاتق الادارة العسكرية البريطانية التي كانت تحكم ليبيا في ذلك الوقت وليس على الحكومة الليبية كما زعم.

رابعاً  : نشأت بيني وبين أسرة لوزون عقب تلك المناوشة الإعلامية علاقة إنسانية متحضرة تخللتها الزيارات الإجتماعية وصبغها الاحترام المتبادل مع احتفاظ كل طرف بمبادئه ووجهة نظره في كيفية النظر إلى قضايا مهمة كثيرة.

خامساً  : لم تحُل تلك العلاقة الإجتماعية بيني وبين التصدي لمحاولات لوزون المتكررة لكتابة التاريخ من وجهة النظر اليهودية، ولم تمنعني من تصويب أخطائه، مستنداً في جميع ردودي على مستندات ووثائق رسمية، فكان ثاني ردودي عليه متمثلاً في رسالة مفتوحة موجهة إليه بعنوان "المنظمات الصهيونية تسعى للسيطرة على ليبيا بعد تسوية القضية الفلسطينية"[3] نشرَتها صحيفة "الحياة" اللندنية على صفحة كاملة بتاريخ 9 يناير 2006، دحضتُ فيها – بما لا يدع مجالاً للشك - مزاعمه بأن الجالية اليهودية طردت من ليبيا سنة 1967، وقدمت الدليل على أنهم هم من طلب المغادرة وليس العكس.  كما بينت في تلك الرسالة خطأه في مقارنة ما تعرض له اليهود الليبيين بمعاناة الشعب الفلسطيني تحت نير حكم الاحتلال الإسرائيلي. ثم أتبعت ذلك برسالة مفتوحة ثالثة نشرت على المواقع الليبية بتاريخ 18 فبراير 2007 تحت عنوان "تصحيح لبعض المعلومات الواردة فى مقالة رفائيل لوزون حول واقعة قتل بعض أفراد عائلته فى ليبيا[4] ثم رابعة بتاريخ 19 مارس 2007 بعنوان "هل حق العودة ليهود ليبيا فقط، أم أنه كذلك للفلسطينيين ؟" [5] فقدمت من خلال تلك الردود عليه ملفاً كاملاً يحتوي على سردٍ تاريخي دقيق مدعوم بالوثائق، وتحليل منصف لقضية يهود ليبيا استفاد منه الباحثون والمهتمون بهذا الموضوع الغامض، ويمكن الرجوع لهذا الملف على موقع أرشيف الاتحاد الدستوري الليبي باتباع هذه الوصلة.

سادساً  : إن اهتمامي بقضية يهود ليبيا وبحثي الدؤوب عن أدلة ملموسة تعزز قناعتي بارتباط هذه القضية بإنهاء العهد الملكي وكارثة إحضار معمر القذافي لتدمير ليبيا، كان قد ابتدأ منذ سنة 1995 عندما نشرت مقالة قصيرة في جريدة الحياة بتاريخ 9 مارس 1995 لفتح الموضوع، أعقبتها بنشر دراسة توثيقية[6] استندت على تقارير البعثة البريطانية في ليبيا ما بين سنة 1945 و 1948 ، ومحاضر مجلس العموم البريطاني ، وتقارير صحفية غطت الأحداث الدموية التي دارت في تلك الفترة، نشرت في صحيفة الحياة على مدى ثلاثة أيام متوالية ما بين 21 إلى 23 سبتمبر 1996.

لا أعرف ما الذي دفع رفائيل لوزون للزجّ باسمي في هذا الأمر، وما إذا كان ذلك نتيجة خطأ أونسيان، أم أنها مناورة سياسية محسوبة موجهة للنظام توحي بأنه بإمكانه التنسيق والتعاون مع المعارضة للضغط على النظام. لن أهتم بالتقصّي لمعرفة المزيد، ولكن ما يهمّني الآن هو تكذيب هذا الزعم علناً ونفي أي تناول لقضايا المعارضة مع الأستاذ رفائيل لوزون.

محمد بن غلبون

رئيس الاتحاد الدستوري الليبي

مانشستر/المملكة المتحدة









نشرت هذه الرسالة على موقعي "ليبيا وطننا"  و  " ليبيا المستقبل " بتاريخ 28 أغسطس 2009








هل فعلاً غدَر "عربّ بنغازي" بـيهودهم ؟


بقلم محمد بن غلبون


هناك صورة مغلوطة عالقة في أذهان الكثيرين حول حدثٍ تاريخيٍ لمدينة بنغازي يكاد أن يتحول إلى حقيقة تاريخية ثابتة بسبب عدم تناوُلَه بالبحث والتمحيص وتوثيق الصحيح منه وفرز ما هو دون ذلك ودحضه.


فالصورة التي تعشعش في أذهان أغلب الناس هي أن مجتمع المدينة كان يضم جاليةً يهودية عريقة ضمن مكوِناته المتعددة، تعايشت بسلام وأخوّة وتراحم مع المجتمع بشكل عام في السراء والضراء، محافظةً على هويّتها ومتمتعةً بكامل خصوصياتها الدينية والاجتماعية بلا تمييز -سلبي أو إيجابي- ولا تفرقة عنصرية أو عرقية ... وأنه، فجأةً، وبلا سابق إنذار وتحت ظروف معيّنة، غدَرَ "عرب بنغازي" بهم، فانقلبوا على إخوانهم وجيرانهم اليهود في يوم 5 يونية 1967 ، واعتدوا عليهم وعلى أرواحهم وممتلكاتهم ضاربين عرض الحائط بأمانةِ نبيّهم (صلى الله عليه وسلم) وبأصول العلاقة التي ربطتهم بإخوانهم على مدى قرون عديدة منذ أن نشأت المدينة وتوسعت وتطوّرت !!!


يتوهمون هذه الصورة، ولكنها غير صحيحة بكل تأكيد، في بنغازي تحديدا ... وأنا هنا أتحدث فقط عن مدينتي بنغازي، وعن "عربّ لبلاد" كوني عاصرت ذلك الحدث وكنت شاهد عيان على أحداثه منذ بدايتها وحتى نهايتها في ذلك اليوم المشؤوم.


فهناك خلفيّة مهمّة لا يمكن إغفالها عند التعاطي مع هذا الملف الشائك والمؤلم، وينبغي استحضارها لوضع المشهد في نصابه الصحيح واستحضار الظروف والملابسات التي كانت سائدة في تلك اللحظة من الزمان.

فقد طرأ تغيير سكاني في غاية الأهمية أثّر على تركيبة المجتمع البنغازي قبل تلك الأحداث بعامين تحديداً ! ... ففي صيف سنة 1965 أعلنت الدولة الليبية عزمها على الشروع في تنفيذ "مشروع إدريس للإسكان"، وتشييد 100 ألف وحدة سكنية في مختلف أرجاء المملكة، كان نصيب مدينة بنغازي منها خمسة آلاف وحدة سكنية تم بالفعل العمل على بنائها لتوزيعها على محتاجيها من المواطنين.

وبمجرد أن أُعلن عن ذلك المشروع توافدت أعداد هائلة من سكان القُرى المحيطة بالمدينة عليها وشرعوا في بناء أكواخ من الصفيح في الأراضي الفضاء من حولها -غير آبهين بحقوق مُلاك تلك الأراضي- شكلت حزاماً محيطاً بها وأقاموا فيها بغرض الضغط على الحكومة لاعتبارهم ضمن مستحقي تلك المساكن ... فامتلأت مدينة بنغازي في فترة وجيزة بوافدين لم ينشؤوا فيها ولا يعرفون تقاليدها الموروثة جيلاً بعد جيل، ولا المواثيق -غير المكتوبة- التي تحكم العلاقات بين مكونات مجتمعها المتباينة، ولا يقدّرون خصوصية مكونات مجتمعها المتعدد والمتجانس ... وقد كان يهود المدينة بالنسبة لهم مثل بقيّة سكانها القُدامى، سواءً كانت أصولهم عواقير، أم من غرب البلاد أو جنوبها، يملكون -بدون وجه حق في نظرهم- المتاجر والسيارات، ويسكنون البيوت الأنيقة والشقق والفيلات، وكانوا ينظرون إليهم نظرة حسد ويغبطونهم على ما هم فيه من ترف.


وما أن أعطاهم راديو "صوت العرب" والمهزوم جمال عبد الناصر الذريعة حتى تجاوبوا مع تحريضه الظالم، فهاجوا وماجوا لقضاء حاجة كانت كامنة في نفوسهم، فتوجهوا نحو محلات ومتاجر ومساكن اليهود في المدينة وصبّوا جام غضبهم -وحقدهم الدفين- عليهم، وحدث ما حدث في ذلك اليوم الكئيب ...


وفي وصف ارتجالي سريع وغير مُنصِف ترسّخ في أذهان الناس أن "عرب بنغازي" غدروا بيهودهم !!!


إلا أن ذلك بعيد كلّ البُعد عن الصحة، فشهود العيان رأوا أعداداً من شخصيات المدينة وأعيانها يدافعون عن جيرانهم اليهود ضد أولئك الغوغاء، معرضين بذلك سلامتهم وأمنهم لخطر تلك القطعان الهائجة ... وعلى سبيل المثال -لا الحصر- وقف الوجيه البنغازي الحاج محمد علي الصابري (رحمه الله) مدافعا عن بيت العبادة اليهودي القريب من بيته، وذلك بحسب الشهادة الموثقة لابن جيرانهم روفائيل لوزون، وكذلك دفاع الفنان علي الشعالية (رحمه الله) أمام محل التاجر اليهودي المشهور خاني بدوسا بشارع الاستقلال، موضحاً للجماهير الهائجة أن "خاني راهو ولد بلاد كيفنا" وأن هؤلاء إخواننا وجيراننا ولا علاقة لهم بما يحدث في الحرب في فلسطين! ومن أراد القتال والدفاع عن فلسطين فليذهب إلى الجبهة ويقاتل هناك، وليس بالاعتداء على الأبرياء العُزّل .... ولكن مناشداته ونداءاته كانت تقع على آذان صمّاء وعقول عطّلها الحقد والحسد عن التفكير، بالإضافة إلى أن كلمة "ولد بلاد" لم تكن تعني شيئاً عند تلك الشريحة الزاحفة حديثاً إلى مجتمع المدينة.


صحيحٌ أن كثيراً من عرب المدينة (عيال البلاد) الذين عشقوا جمال عبد الناصر لدرجة التقديس، وتشبّعوا بخطاباته النارية وآمنوا بشعاراته الزائفة وصدّقوا وعوده الجوفاء وانتصاراته الوهمية كانوا قد خرجوا إلى الشوارع في مظاهرات غاضبة تنادي بطرد اليهود من البلاد انتقاماً لما كان يفعله الجيش الإسرائيلي بإخوانهم الفلسطينيين، إلا أن تلك الغضبة لم تتحول إلى الاعتداء بالضرب أو حرق البيوت والمتاجر، ولا السلب والنهب، بل كانت مجرّد صراخ مسعور أجوف مثل صراخ وزعيق راديو "صوت العرب".


هناك صورة واضحة في ذاكرتي من ذلك اليوم حيث كنت وصديقي عبد الحق الورفلّي (رحمه الله) واقفين نشاهد تلك الأحداث عندما عرض علينا أحد أولئك السُراق شراء مشروبات كان قد سلبها من محل "بيني" اليهودي الذي بالقرب من ظهر مبنى البريد الرئيسي، فكان جواب عبد الحق الفوري "نحطّ موس في بطني ولا نحطّ فيها بضاعة مسروقة من دكان بيني".


وأتمنى على "عيال بنغازي" اليهود الباقين على قيد الحياة أن يُدلوا بشهاداتهم في هذا الجانب من ذلك اليوم المشهود، ولا مانع عندي من دحضهم لكلامي هذا لو كانت شهادتهم بأنهم رأوا أحدا من "عيال البلاد" الذين يعرفونهم يسلب أو يحرق بيت أو محل يهودي ... وأما الفعَلَة فقد كانت وجوهاً غريبة لم يروها في حياتهم قبل ذلك اليوم الدموي ...  أتمنى ذلك من أجل تصحيح الصورة وتوثيق الحدث من أجل إيجاد أرضية صحيحة للتعايش السلمي بينهم وبين "عرب بنغازي" إن كانوا على أمل حقيقي بإمكانية العودة إلى مدينتهم.


وفي غياب الاهتمام الرسمي والنخبوي والشعبي بهذه الأحداث المهمة في تاريخ المدينة والدولة فإن ما أحاول القيام به هنا ليس تبييضاً لما حدث ذلك اليوم، بل تجميع وتقديم مادة تاريخية -موثوقة- للمؤرخين المنصفين الذين سيكتبون عنه، وذلك استئنافاً لمسعاي الذي بدأته منذ أكثر من 25 سنة عندما تصدّيت لهذا الملفّ الذي كان يكتنفه الغموض، في غياب كامل لأية معلومات صحيحة ومحايدة وموثّقة، أنتجت مناخاً ضبابياً أفرزته الإشاعات والتُهم التي كادت أن تتحول إلى أدلة إدانة. ... وذلك بتقديمي لكمّ هائلٍ من الوثائق التي تؤرخ لأحداث مفصلية في تاريخ اليهود الليبيين منذ منتصف الأربعينيات من القرن الفائت وقتما بدأت نشاطات المنظمات الصهيونية العالمية المُمَهِّدة لقيام دولة إسرائيل في فلسطين تلقي بظلالها السلبية على الجاليات اليهودية في الدول العربية (ومنها بلادنا ويهودنا)، فأدّت إلى مواجهات دموية عنيفة بينها وبين مجتمعاتها التي عاشت فيها على مدى أزمنة متعاقبة تعدّ بالقرون في بعض الحالات. وقد احتوت تلك الوثائق التي ترجمتها وقدمتها للقارئ على مستندات رسمية للحكومة البريطانية، التي كانت تحكم ليبيا أثناء أحداث 1945 & 1948 الدامية، والتي تم الإفراج عنها من أرشيف الوثائق البريطاني بعد مرور 30 أو 50 سنة عليها، وكذلك تراجم لمراجع أكاديمية وتقارير صحفية معاصرة لها، صارت فيما بعد مرجعاً أساساً للباحثين الذين تناولوا قضية يهود ليبيا وأثْروا الموضوع وزادوه توسعاً حتى عاد اليوم صفحات واضحة من صفحات التاريخ الليبي الحديث، له ما له، وعليه ما عليه....


وفي الختام تجدر الإشارة إلى أن يهود بنغازي لم يكونوا يسكنون في مناطق أو أحياء خاصة بهم (تُسمّى "حارة اليهود" في بعض الدول العربية، و "الغيتو" في الدول الأوروبية)، بل كانوا يسكنون في وسط المدينة جنباً إلى جنب مع بقية "عَرَبْها"، في شارع عمر المختار، وشارع البلدية، وزنقة الدرفيلي، وشارع المهدوي (حيث وُلِدت) ، وشارع الشويخات، وغيرها من شوارع "صرّة البلاد" بدون أي تفرقة ولا تمييز .... وهي خاصيّة تميّزت بها مدينة بنغازي ويهودها.


وتجدر الإشارة كذلك إلى أن مصطلح "عربّ بنغازي" أو "عيال البلاد" لم يكن مقتصراً على المعنى اللغوي الذي يعني العرب جنساً، بل يصف "أهل المدينة"، مهما كانت المناطق التي أتوا إليها منها قُبيل تأسيسها، أو الذين اتخذوها مأوىً لاحقاً، من شرق البلاد وغربها وجنوبها، وكذلك تشمل مَن أصولهم غير عربية، مثل اليهود، والكريتلية، والأفارقة، والبربر (الأمازيغ) وغيرهم من مكونات وخيوط نسيج المدينة الفريد والمتميّز.

محمد بن غلبون


نشر هذا المقال في موقع "ليبيا المستقبل" بتاريخ 20/08/2021


مواضيع ذات صلة:

هجرة اليهود من ليبيا كما وردت في الوثائق

هجرة اليهود الى فلسطين وقصة الوطن البديل

مقتطفات من كتاب "أنبياء في بابل : يهود في العالم العربي"


أوجه الشبه بين حالة يهود ليبيا ويهود العراق









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