SOAS Centre for Jewish Studies
EVENING LECTURE PROGRAMME
THE FINAL EXODUS OF THE LIBYAN JEWS IN 1967
Professor MAURICE ROUMANI (BGU)
Wednesday 21 October 2015 – 5.30pm
Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London, Russell Square, WC1H 0XG.
The Libyan Jewish community, which went back 2,500 years, has ceased to exist. Its decline began in the 1940s with the application of Italy’s Racial Laws, Libyan Jews’ internment in concentration camps, and pogroms under the British administration. This led the large majority of Libyan Jews to emigrate to Israel after its establishment. The community’s situation continued to deteriorate after Libya’s independence in 1952. The country’s fierce nationalism expressed itself in anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish policies. The Arab League’s boycott of Israel damaged Libyan Jews economically. In the 1960s, the Libyan government restricted the Jews’ civil and religious liberties. The situation culminated in violent outbursts against the community at the time of the Six Day War, resulting in the murder of two families of 17 persons and leading to airlifting the remaining of the community to Italy.
Professor Maurice M. Roumani, born in Benghazi, Libya, teaches Political Sociology and the Middle East and is the founder of the J.R. Elyachar Center for the Study of Sephardi Heritage at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. His most recent book is The Jews of Libya: Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement (Sussex, 2008).
This event is free and there is no need to book