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The Divergence of Judaism and IslamInterdependence, Modernity, and Political Turmoil$
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Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813037516

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813037516.001.0001

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Zionism and Judeo-Islamic Relations in the Middle East: Libya's Ideological and Political Position

Zionism and Judeo-Islamic Relations in the Middle East: Libya's Ideological and Political Position

Chapter:
(p.306) 16 Zionism and Judeo-Islamic Relations in the Middle East: Libya's Ideological and Political Position
Source:
The Divergence of Judaism and Islam
Author(s):

Yehudit Ronen

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813037516.003.0016

Debate over the Arab–Israeli conflict and its resolution is by no means monopolized by the Palestinians and Israel's neighboring states, but has, over the years, extended to Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Iran, Turkey, and Libya. This chapter focuses on the revolutionary regime of Muammar Qadhafi, which overthrew Libya's monarchy in September 1969, and on the post-1969 revolutionary period of the inter-Arab arena and Israel. For almost two decades, Qadhafi attacked “world Zionism” and denied Israel's right to exist. In the 1990s, however, his perceptions and rhetoric evolved to some degree, and in 1993, Qadhafi encouraged Libyan Jews who had left their homeland in the 1950s and 1960s to return, promising to indemnify them for properties expropriated in the past. Although nothing emerged from these declarations, Qadhafi's less-radical attitude toward Jews, Israel, and Zionism became evident in the post-Cold War era. The weakened position of the Russian ally, the determination to end Libya's international isolation, the desire to mend fences with the United States, and the influence of Saif al-Islam—Qadhafi's dynamic and well-educated son—all explain his new strategy. Yet as soon as relations with the U.S. improved and Libya was no longer isolated, the Libyan regime no longer showed moderation toward Israel. The 2011 upheavals and the apparent overthrow of the Qadhafi regime may or may not play to Israel's advantage under the leadership of the rebels.

Keywords:   Libya, Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi, Zionism, Israel, Isratin, Saif al-Islam

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