There have long been rumors that former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had Jewish roots, and a former senior official in his government appeared to confirm these rumors.
Nuri al-Mismari, who served as a personal aide to Qaddafi, told the Arabic-language Al-Hayat newspaper that the Libyan dictator tried to silence anyone who knew the incriminating information about his Jewish roots.
In an interview with the newspaper published Monday, al-Mismari said that already in the 1980s, Qaddafi ordered to kill three people who allegedly held documents proving that his mother was Jewish. He claimed that the three were the Libyan ambassador to Italy, Rome's military attaché and another senior officer.
He also spoke in the interview about Qaddafi’s attitude towards the Palestinian Authority (PA), noting that Qaddafi looked down upon former PA Chairman Yasser Arafat and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, and saw them as weak figures.
“He accused Abbas of trading away the Palestinians' rights,” said al-Mismari, who added that the Arab personality Qaddafi liked more than anyone was Ahmed Jibril, secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “They were good friends,” he testified.
Last March, Arutz Sheva with Gita Boaron, who claimed that the former Libyan dictator is indeed Jewish and that she is a distant cousin.
Boaron said that Qaddafi’s grandmother “was Jewish, became Muslim and married the town sheikh. She had children and he’s her grandson so he’s considered Jewish because his mother was born to a Jewish mother.”
While he may or may not have had Jewish roots, Qaddafi took care to destroy Jewish symbols that remained in Libya during his rule, such as turning synagogues into mosques and destroying the ancient Jewish cemetery in Tripoli.
In Al-Mismari’s interview with Al-Hayat he said that Qaddafi, who was always portrayed as a formidable ruler, was in fact a coward and a very emotional man, who would ask his security guards to locate the exits of any building in which he arrived.
Al-Mismari revealed that Qaddafi took tranquilizers “to feel brave and strong,” and that when he would get angry he would “throw papers on the floor and force his aides to pick them up.” Once, he said, Qaddafi got angry at him and had him jailed. “No one could meet him in these situations,” he testified.