On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars


Rebels spreading rumor that Libyan dictator Colonel Moammar Gadhafi is … JEWISH?

A bizarre rumor is motivating at least a few of the young foreign zealots who have joined the rebellion against Libya’s strongman Moammar Gadhafi.

Col. Moammar Gadhafi on Libyan TV

NBC News correspondent Richard Engel reports from the battle zone that one in five of the rebels claims to be fighting Gadhafi because of a much-repeated report that the leader is Jewish.

Jewish?

Gadhafi is a practicing Muslim who has financed terrorism against Israel and any western power that supports the Jewish state.

Nevertheless, the rumors vary from telling to telling. One report has it that Gadhafi’s mother converted to Judaism at age 9. In another story, Gadhafi’s grandmother is Jewish but leaves her husband for an Arab sheik.

Another version, backed up by a Libyan historian, is that Gadhafi “was born out of wedlock to a Jewish woman and an Italian soldier in a village east of Tripoli,” writes Dana Kennedy, a contributing editor for American On Line. “Because of the shame surrounding the birth, the baby was given to a Catholic cardinal who in turn gave the child to the sheepherder and his wife.”

The stories all lack key details – such as the name of the cardinal.

Gadhafi’s official biography says that he was born June 7, 1942, in a tent in Sirt, the son of a poor, illiterate Bedouin shepherd and his wife.

However, the rumors – usually told with drama and emotion – are being used to recruit fighters. Claiming Gadhafi is Jewish works in this particular cultural setting. “For decades, some Arab regimes have used hatred of Israel and Jews to deflect attention from their own shortcomings,” notes Kennedy, “and have labeled their perceived enemies as secretly being Jewish when it suited their purposes.”

The ultimate insult in such circles is that an opponent is a secret Zionist – promoting the Jewish state of Israel.

Mohamed Yusuf al Magariaf, 71, a prominent Libyan dissident now based in the U.S., says that investigated Gadhafi’s past for several of his books and believes much of what the dictator has told people about his origins is a lie.

“No one knows exactly which year he was born or exactly where he was born,” says Magariaf. “Nobody knows which day or month. There are so many question marks about it. Everything the average person knows — and there isn’t much — was a story he invented.

“Tribal traditions are everything in Libya,” says Magariaf, “and everyone is always known by their cousins and uncles. In the case of Gadhafi, no one has ever mentioned that he is from his uncle’s tribe. Who are his uncles? For someone like Gadhafi to be so powerful, it would be normal for his uncles to come out and say he is our nephew. Gadhafi never mentions his uncles.”

Kennedy asked Magariaf just how legitimate the rumors might be.

“There have always been rumors in Libya about this,” Magariaf answered. “But then came two facts. In the early 1970s, the Italian newspaper Oggi published a story saying Gadhafi was born to a Jewish mother. I have no idea why or where it came from.

“In 1973, Gadhafi told two journalists who were interviewing him for a local Libyan magazine called Al Blagh that he had some cousins of Jewish background,” said Magariaf. “But Gadhafi retracted the line about his Jewish cousin and it was never published in the magazine. I interviewed one of the journalists, Ahmed Dajani, in 1980, and he confirmed all this.”

Isn’t the timing just a little suspicious? Is it possible that it’s just strategic misinformation designed to recruit rebel fighters?

“What I know comes from my own investigation,” said Magariaf. “First, I want to say that Gadhafi’s Jewish roots are a very sensitive subject. I don’t mention them because I hate Jews or because I hate Gadhafi. I hate what he has done, not the man himself. And my books are not focused on the subject of whether Gadhafi is Jewish. It’s about telling the world the truth about all his lies.”

Last year, Israel’s Channel 2 interviewed two Israeli women of Libyan origin who claimed to be Gadhafi’s Jewish relatives.

In her book Gadhafi’s Secret, journalist Mary Pace says Gadhafi actually should be considered Catholic because he was born to an Italian officer who impregnated a Libyan girl and then took the baby to Venice, where he was baptized at the age of 8 or 9 months.

Mohamed El-Jahmi, a Libyan-American activist who left Libya 30 years ago, said that the ever-changing rumors have always been strong in Libya.

“But I’d prefer not to talk about it,” El-Jahmi told Kennedy. “It doesn’t matter if Gadhafi is Jewish or not, in the long run. What’s important is that he is evil, and he needs to go. And the Arab people need to embrace Jews and Israel if the Arab world is ever going to really grow.”

WANT TO READ MORE ON BELIEFNET ABOUT LIBYA?

CLICK HERE to read about the Pope’s appeal for a ceasefire

To read about the rebel uprising, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE to read about how to pray for Libya



Advertisement
Comments read comments(4)
post a comment
MrTokarev

posted April 4, 2011 at 5:44 am


So we’re now helping to replace one insane, militant, anti-Israeli government with another? Awesome.



report abuse
 

Dennis Pence

posted April 4, 2011 at 11:48 am


Interesting – Maybe he is like Obama and wants to keep his countrymen confused about who and what he is!



report abuse
 

George B Vieto

posted April 4, 2011 at 9:37 pm


Maybe that why is the Colonel and Obama are bosom buddies. Birds of a feather do flock together.



report abuse
 

Mitch

posted April 22, 2011 at 6:33 pm


Wasn’t Hitler Jewish on his father’s side? Hhhmmm.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

President Obama fails key test for Antichrists: confesses Jesus is Lord
President Barack Obama passed a key test Monday night in case anybody is worried that he is the Antichrist. Speaking at a campaign fundraiser at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, Obama was interrupted by a man identified as David Serrano who repeatedly yelled that "Jesus is God." As Se

posted 7:53:12pm Sep. 28, 2011 | read full post »

Michael Moore: America would welcome a fat president such as Chris Christie
Asked by Joy Behar onHeadline News whether America would vote for a "fat" candidate for President, controversial film-maker Michael Moore, who has never been accused of being too skinny, responded that most of America is fat and would probably identify with an overweight Commander-in-Chief. Histo

posted 10:27:30am Sep. 28, 2011 | read full post »

ACLU, Planned Parenthood combine to fight Mississippi constitutional amendment
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have joined forces to create the pro-abortion “Mississippians for Healthy Families” with a goal of defeating a constitutional amendment limiting abortion in the Magnolia State. Christine Dhanagom of LifeSiteNews writes that "Yes on

posted 11:55:16am Sep. 27, 2011 | read full post »

Scientists tell pollsters religion and science not irreconcilable
Are there irreconcilable differences between faith and science? Not in the opinion of prominent scientists who participated in a five-year study by Rice University. Researchers there found that only a minority of scientists questioned at major research universities say that religion and scien

posted 3:13:07pm Sep. 23, 2011 | read full post »

Wikileaks: U.S. Embassy criticized Catholic influences on Poland
U.S. Embassy officials in Warsaw, Poland, under the Obama administration complained that Catholic Church doctrine is a major source of “homophobia” in the heavily Catholic country, according to diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks. The messages from the American embassy in Poland's capit

posted 3:51:00pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.