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Jews of Libya Live in State of Terror, Italian Jewish Leader Says; Ghetto is Haven

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“Libya’s Jews are today living in an atmosphere of terror, “Dr. Raffaele Cantoni, president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, reported here today. “Any rumor, any threat uttered by even a small Arab- boy, send the Jews in panic-stricken terror to the ghetto which they had abandoned during the Italian administration, but where they feel safer now, because the old Jewish quarter is easier to defend from Arab attack,” he added.

Dr. Cantoni said he had obtained confidential information concerning a statement issued in 1946 by the president of the Jewish committees of Libya expressing “full solidarity” with the aims of the Libyan Unity Party, a member organization of the Arab League. He also recalled that several days after the statement was issued, Zionist youth groups in Libya announced their affiliation with the same Arab organization.

“From confidential sources,” Dr. Cantoni declared, it has been established that “this statement (and the subsequent announcement by the Jewish youth groups) was made under the severest moral pressure, under threats, allurements and blackmail and under the increasing fear of a repetition on an even larger scale of the 1945 pogrom in which 130 Jews lost their lives.”

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