The Jews of Libya: Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement

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9781845193676: The Jews of Libya: Coexistence, Persecution, Resettlement
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This book - now in paperback - investigates the transformative period in the history of the Jews of Libya (1938-52), a period crucial to understanding Libyan Jewry's evolution into a community, playing significant roles in Israel, Italy, and in relation with Qaddhafi's Libya. Against the background of a reform-conscious Ottoman administration (1835-1911) and subsequent stirrings of modernization under Italian colonial influence (1911-43), the Jews of Libya began to experience rapid change following the application of fascist racial laws of 1938, the onset of war-related calamities, and violent expressions of Libyan pan-Arabism, culminating in mass migration to Israel in the period of 1949-1952. By focusing on key socio-economic and political dimensions of this process, the author reveals the capacity of Libyan Jewry to adapt to and integrate into new environments without losing its unique and historical traditions.

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About the Author:

Maurice M. Roumani, born in Benghazi, Libya, is a Senior Lecturer in Political Sociology and the Middle East at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel where he is also the founder and Director of the J.R. Elyachar Center for the Study of Sephardi Heritage. A graduate of Brandeis University, the University of Chicago and the University of London, he has held teaching and research positions at Harvard University.

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“In this pioneering work, examining the crucial period from the Italian racial laws of 1938 to the final Jews exodus from Libyan soil in 1967, Dr Maurice Roumani builds on the foundations laid by the scholars of the Jewish communities of the Maghreb – H.Z. Hirschberg, Shlomo Dov Goitein and Michel Abitbol – giving us for the first time a full, clear and remarkable picture of what is now a lost community, alive and flourishing only as a world-wide diaspora, with Israel as its centre. ... The extent of Dr Roumani’s scholarship illuminates the story of Libyan Jewry in its final five decades: its early Zionism, its period under Italian monarchist and then Italian Fascist rule, its torments during the war years, its literal liberation and mass emigration under the British, and its final years under Arab and Muslim rule. He gives the reader an impressive account of the workings of the Jewish community, its personalities, its strengths and its achievements. ... There is much in Dr Roumani’s final chapters that is dramatic, much that is tragic; yet the extraordinary efforts to secure the emigration of Libyan Jews is an inspiring story. In telling it, as in each phase of this book, Dr Roumani uses a wide range of archival and oral sources, many of which have never been used before. Throughout the book, he reveals a mastery of the social and political history, and a fine understanding of the lives, hopes, fears and aspirations of Libyan Jews. His book is a testimony to their suffering and their fortitude.”  —From the Foreword, Sir Martin Gilbert

“This is a significant contribution to the modern history of the smallest and, regrettably, least studied Jewish community of North Africa. It is an important case study of Jewish modernization in an Islamic land under colonial rule and national independence, and while exhibiting certain parallels with the diaspora communities in the French Maghreb, it also exhibits no-less-important differences due not only to nature of Italian rule, but to the distinct character of the Libyan Jewry itself. Maurice Roumani has given us an impeccably researched, richly documented, and keenly insightful survey of Libyan Jewry’s social and political evolution in the twentieth century. He brings to the study not merely the observations of a trained scholar with all of the requisite linguistic and methodological skills, but also the real life experience of someone who lived through the turbulent events of the period and was an actual witness to some of them. It is to Roumani’s great credit that he is able to achieve an admirable balance of overall scholarly dispassion with the intimate poignancy of personal engagement. The Jews of Libya will surely take its place alongside the pioneer studies of Renzo De Felice and Harvey Goldberg.”  —Norman A. Stillman, University of Oklahoma

“Roumani examines the modern history of Libyan Jews from ca. 1911 to ca. 1969 with chapters chronologically covering the Libyan Jews under the Italian colonialism, the British military administration, the role of international Jewish organizations in the rehabilitation and protection of minority rights between the end of British occupation and the independent Libyan state, the exodus to Israel, settlement in Israel, and the final exodus following the outbreak of hostilities in 1967. An appendix includes copies of historical documents such as newspaper articles, letters, and others pertinent to the topic. Roumani writes in a clear voice, and the book will prove valuable to students and scholars of modern Jewish history.”  —Reference & Research Book News

“Libya had a Jewish community for millennia. Within a matter of years, it collapsed. The Libyan Jewish community may not have been the Arab world's largest or most prominent, but The Jews of Libya, nevertheless, should become standard reading not only for students of Jewish history but for those professing expertise in modern Arab or North African history as well.”  —Middle East Quarterly

“Twenty-eight years ago I reviewed Harvey E. Goldberg’s The Book of Mordechai: A study of the Jews of Libya, and it is a pleasure to again review an outstanding book on the vibrant Jews of Libya. They had a rich history of over two thousand years including many good years, but then the community, within a few turbulent decades, was forced to undergo tremendous persecution, including Nazi detention and concentration camps, and anti-Semitic riots and attacks from Arab nationalists that forced them to leave their homeland. But they established successful lives in Israel and other places. Roumani has produced an outstanding detailed, sensitive, and accurate history, including social, religious, economic, political, and personal analyzes. The inclusion of over 900 footnotes, 70 photographs of people, places, events, documents, or newspaper headlines, and a good writing style make this book easily understood by both lay people and academicians. Roumani’s The Jews of Libya is highly recommended to both academicians and lay people.”  —Shofar – An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book investigates the transformative period in the history of the Jews of Libya (1938-52), a period crucial to understanding Libyan Jewry s evolution into a community playing significant roles in Israel, Italy and in relation with Qaddhafi s Libya. Against a background of a reform conscious Ottoman administration (1835-1911) and subsequent stirrings of modernisation under Italian colonial influence (1911-43), the Jews of Libya began to experience rapid change following the application of fascist racial laws of 1938, the onset of war-related calamities and violent expressions of Libyan pan-Arabism, culminating in mass migration to Israel in the period 1949-52. By focusing on key socio-economic and political dimensions of this process, the author reveals the capacity of Libyan Jewry to adapt to and integrate into new environments without losing its unique and historical traditions. Seller Inventory # AAZ9781845193676

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Book Description Sussex Academic Press, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book investigates the transformative period in the history of the Jews of Libya (1938-52), a period crucial to understanding Libyan Jewry s evolution into a community playing significant roles in Israel, Italy and in relation with Qaddhafi s Libya. Against a background of a reform conscious Ottoman administration (1835-1911) and subsequent stirrings of modernisation under Italian colonial influence (1911-43), the Jews of Libya began to experience rapid change following the application of fascist racial laws of 1938, the onset of war-related calamities and violent expressions of Libyan pan-Arabism, culminating in mass migration to Israel in the period 1949-52. By focusing on key socio-economic and political dimensions of this process, the author reveals the capacity of Libyan Jewry to adapt to and integrate into new environments without losing its unique and historical traditions. Seller Inventory # AAZ9781845193676

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