Libya's Gaddafi could find refuge in Israel

Monday, February 21, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Israel’s Channel 2 News last year interviewed two Israeli women of Libyan origin who claimed to be distant relatives of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The older of the two interviewees, Guita Brown, said she is Gaddafi’s second cousin (Brown’s grandmother was the sister of Gaddafi’s grandmother). The younger of the two women, Rachel Saada, granddaughter of Brown, explained in more detail:

“The story goes that Gaddafi’s grandmother, herself a Jewess, was married to a Jewish man at first. But he treated her badly, so she ran away and married a Muslim sheikh. Their child was the mother of Gaddafi.”

While Gaddafi’s grandmother converted to Islam when she married the sheikh, according to Jewish religious law (and common sense), she was ethnically still Jewish.

At this point the news anchor stated, “So, the point is that Gaddafi doesn’t just have Jewish relatives, he is Jewish!”

Rumors of Gaddafi’s Jewish background are nothing new. But with the current uprising in Libya that threatens to ultimately overthrow the dictator, as has happened in the neighboring countries of Tunisia and Egypt, Gaddafi may be looking for an exit strategy.

If the story told by Brown and Saada is true, Gaddafi is entitled to immigrate to Israel as a Jew under Israel’s Law of Return. Even if every other country on earth refused him entry, Israel would be obligated by its own laws to take Gaddafi in.

At the time of the interview, the anchor quipped, “I am sure there is some local authority in Israel that would be pleased to have a former president on its staff.”

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