Thursday, October 20, 2011
Pop! went the weasel.
All around the Libyan Bush,
The rebels chased the weasel.
The monkeys thought the weasel would win, but
Pop! went the weasel.
I thought now would be an apt time to re-post this, from last Purim:
RETURN LIBYA TO ITS RIGHTFUL RULERS!
By: Steven Plaut
Date: Wednesday, March 09 2011
The world is wringing its hands over the fate of Libya. Being a
helpful sort of guy, and what with Purim fast approaching, I know just
the proper solution.
Control of Libya should be returned at once to the natural and
rightful owners of Libya, the people who controlled it before it was
invaded and occupied by Arab military hordes.
Libya should be returned to the Jews.
Why the Jews? Well, because according to at least a few scholars, Jews
controlled Libya not only before the Khaddafi era but long before the
country was seized and occupied by the Arabs. And, according to at
least a few theories, Libya was governed by a Jewish Berber queen
known to history as Kahina.
In the spirit of Adar and Purim, let's accept those theories as
indisputable fact and proceed:
Before the birth of Muhammad, back when there were no Arabs at all in
North Africa, Libya and its surroundings were home to Byzantine
occupiers and indigenous tribes. The latter were the true natives of
The Romans called the tribes Berbers, from which they derived the
derogatory adjective "barbarian," but the Berbers called themselves
Imazighen, possibly meaning "free people" or "free and noble men."
Libya was Berber long before the Egyptians and their slaves built any
pyraminds. Cathaginians conquered the area and were evicted by other
conquerers, as were the Vandal tribes and the Byzantines.
But the natives consisted of Berbers. And Jews. The Jews
probably entered the area during the period of the Second Temple, and
Berber-Jewish ties were strengthened during the revolt against the
Romans in the Land of Israel that ended with the destruction of the
North African Jews mixed with and influenced local Berber tribes. The
French historian Marcel Simon claims that Tripoli, the same Tripoli in
which Muammar Khaddafi suppressed his own people, was under the rule
of Jewish Berbers as early as the first century of the common era.
By the time the Arab imperialist armies entered Libya after the death
of Muhammad, Berbers in Libya and North Africa belonged to Christian
tribes (usually heretical heterodox Christians), pagan tribes, and at
least one large Jewish tribe. And the Jewish tribe was led by a woman.
No glass ceilings for her. She didn't need any Reform rabbis lecturing
her about egalitarianism in Judaism.
While known in most histories as the Kahina (from the root word kohen
for priestess), her actual name is given variously as Dahiyah, Dahia,
or Dhabba. Her tribe, known as the Jerawa, was based in the Aures
Mountains in eastern Algeria and Tunisia, and its control extended
into Libya. And she was a warrior queen.
The historian Charles-Andre Julien, in his History of North Africa,
calls her the Berber Deborah. Her most dramatic victories were over
the Arab imperialist invaders. She decided to resist the illegal
occupation of her homeland by Arab colonialists and kick them out with
force. She drove the first wave of Arab invaders out of Libya
altogether, though they later returned.
After the Arab general Hassan ibn al Numan took Carthage from the
Byzantines, the Kahina's forces defeated him on the battlefield. Alas,
he later turned the tables and defeated her. Most Berber tribes were
eventually Islamized, though they retained their penchant for
embracing theological heterodoxy even as Muslims.
The medieval Arab historian Ibn Khaldun writes at length about her
military campaigns. The great historian Edward Gibbon, author of the
classic history of Rome, mentions her. She was a figure of fascination
for the American writer Washington Irving, better known for his tales
of Rip van Winkle and Ichabod Crane.
As we see, when Muammar Khaddafi's ancestors were chasing camels
around what is now Saudi Arabia, Jewish roots were well entrenched in
Libya. So would not the most logical resolution of the current
political crisis in Libya be to restore it to its proper Jewish
If the Arabs are thought to be entitled to 22 different states, why
should the Jews not have at least two - one in the Land of Israel and
one in Libya? Jewish high-tech know-how in agriculture would turn
Libya into a rain forest within a decade.
In fact, since Purim is coming and I'm in a good mood, I'll even
suggest that the Palestinians be moved to the southern part of Libya
near the Chad border and be allowed to set up their own state there.
Maybe even two states, one for Hamas and one for the PLO. They can
have a cut of Libyan oil revenue if they behave themselves there.
If a brief period of Arab rule over the Land of Israel is thought to
convey some sort of legitimate claim to parts of Israel for Arabs, why
should Jewish rule in Libya, older than the Arab conquest of
Palestine, not similarly confer natural rights of sovereignty?
The peace plan is simple. The illegal Arab colonial occupation of
Libya must end. All illegal settlements must be removed. The
legitimate Jewish rulers of Libya must be restored to power!