NEW YORK (JTA) — Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi insinuated that Israel was behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Speaking Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly, Gadhafi implied that Israel may have plotted to kill Kennedy in 1963 because he allegedly wanted to launch a probe into its clandestine nuclear program.
“Jack Ruby, an Israeli, killed Lee Harvey Oswald,” the Libyan leader was quoted by the translator as saying. “Why did this Israeli kill Harvey? Ruby later died mysteriously. The whole world should know that Kennedy wanted to investigate the actions of the Israeli nuclear reactor in Dimona.”
Ruby, a local nightclub owner who was Jewish, shot Oswald, the only official suspect in the Kennedy slaying, just days after Oswald’s arrest. Despite persistent conspiracy theories, numerous investigative committees have pointed at Oswald as plotting and carrying out the murder by himself.
During his speech, Gadhafi also blamed Israel for the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre in which Lebanese militants murdered hundreds of Palestinians in a refugee camp in an area under Israeli control, as well as for the 2008 conflict in Gaza.
The firebrand leader added that the Arabs had historically been friends of the Jewish people and blasted Europe for mistreating the Jews.
“You are the ones that brought on them the Holocaust,” he said.”We gave them havens during the Spanish Inquistion. We are not enemies of the Jews. The Jews will one day need the Arabs, and then the Arabs will give them protection.”
On the topic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Gadhafi said the two-state solution was impractical geographically because Israel and Palestine “overlapped.” Instead, he called for the creation of a single democratic state in which both Jews and Arabs lived together.
“The Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat generation is over,” he said, referring to the now comatose former prime minister of Israel and the late leader of the Palestinian Authority. “Look at the Palestinian and Israeli youth; they want to live under one state.”
Meanwhile, Gadhafi was ordered to stop erecting a Bedouin-style tent in a New York suburb. Officials of Bedford ordered the Libyan workers to stop Wednesday because they do not have a work permit, The New York Post reported.
The property on which the tent was going up is owned by Donald Trump, who rents it out for tens of thousands of dollars a month, according to the newspaper. Gadhafi’s tent reportedly was wired for electricity and had a satellite television dish. Gadhafi reportedly will sleep at the Libyan mission in downtown Manhattan.
Opposition quashed Gadhafi’s plans to erect a tent in Englewood, N.J., and in Central Park. This is his first presidential visit to the United States.