Libya Contains Oldest Settlements of Jews, British Traveler Says

The oldest Jewish settlements in the world today are to be found in Italian Libya in North Africa, where the Jews settled for the first time more than 2,000 years ago, according to a study by Major Polson Newman.

The first Jewish settlers of Libya are said to have arrived from Egypt in the time of the Ptolemies. Some of the descendants of these settlers still lead the lives of Troglodites, living in caves.

In all there are about 30,000 Jews scattered throughout the province now governed by Marshal Italo Balbo. They live side by side with Arabs, Turks and Maltese in perfect harmony as traders, artisans and farmers.

What has impressed Major Newman most during his travels in Libya is the scrupulous cleanliness of Jewish quarters as compared with others.

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