No Holds Barred: Down with the tyrant (and his supporters)!

For decades, the world tolerated the crazed Libyan leader for one reason: He had oil.

By
August 23, 2011 23:15
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Muammar Gaddafi 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The writer, who served for 11 years as rabbi at Oxford University, is founder of This World: The Values Network, and will shortly publish Ten Conversations You Need to Have with Yourself as well as Kosher Jesus. Follow him on Twitter @RabbiShmuley.

The 270 victims of Pan Am 103 can rest easier, now that their murderer has been toppled. And even as the world searches for Muammar Gaddafi, a day of reckoning must arrive for all the westerners who supported him.

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For decades the world tolerated the crazed and bloodthirsty Libyan leader for one reason: He had oil. And scores of people were prepared to sell their souls for money.

The most egregious violators were the British. Prime Minister David Cameron and Labor leader Ed Milliband are late to the table in pointing out Britain’s loss of morals – evidenced, they say, by the recent News of the World tabloid scandal and the riots that had London burning.

In truth, the greatest evidence of the UK’s moral bankruptcy was the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi – the man Scottish authorities assured us was at death’s door, but who ironically might outlive Gaddafi himself. Not only must he now be recaptured and brought back to jail, but all the secret deals done for his release must also see the light of day so we can know whether the sacred memory of 270 innocent victims was sold so companies like BP could benefit. We also need to know which British officials negotiated his release. Cameron himself condemned “the appalling, dodgy dealings with Libya under the last [British] government.”

No doubt Gaddafi’s sons, allegedly now in the custody of the rebels, will be prepared to spill the beans.

This bring us to Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, who the Daily Mail says went to Libya “on behalf of J.P. Morgan, an American bank which pays him a mere £2 million a year, and which has been keen to develop banking opportunities in the country.”



Will Blair and JP Morgan Chase clarify exactly what transpired between them and Gaddafi? The Daily Mail also reported that the London School of Economics awarded Saif al-Islam Gaddafi a doctorate even though there are suggestions that he cheated when submitting his thesis. Could the degree have anything to do with the £1.5m. gift the school accepted from Gaddafi’s son after his graduation, though only £300,000 has been paid? IN OUR own town of Englewood, New Jersey, where the Libyans own an official residence immediately next door to me that has been tax-exempt for nearly three decades, millions were spent to ready the derelict embassy for Gaddafi’s use in 2009. Were permits granted too readily? I have a video of the time I confronted the contractors, after they cut down my trees and removed my fence.

City official Peter Abballe – in charge of Englewood’s Department of Building and Code Enforcement – was present in the contractor’s trailer. He intervened and said the camera should be turned off. The same official was later arrested on charges of corruption, having accepted payments in another case, and was recently sentenced.

It would also be nice if our congressman from New Jersey’s Ninth District, Democrat Steve Rothman – who originally joined us in strongly opposing Gaddafi’s stay in Englewood – apologized for the advice he gave to me and other neighbors of the Libyan residence (including the Jewish day school Moriah), when he told the press, “I hope everyone will be appropriately good neighbors.”

Advocating friendly, neighborly relations with the representative of a murderous, terror-sponsoring regime is surely advice the congressman regrets.

After serving for eight years as Gaddafi’s foreign minister and then as his ambassador at the UN, Muhammad Shalgham, my next-door neighbor, did an about-face when Gaddafi seemed doomed, and denounced him at the UN Security Council. But if Shalgham is sincere in his renunciation, what is he doing sitting on millions of dollars worth of New Jersey real estate when the compound should be sold and the money given to Libya’s new government, which will need every penny to rebuild after a devastating civil war? And what of Natural Selection, the Los Angeles-based film production fund founded by Matty Beckerman, which accepted a $100m. investment from Gaddafi’s son Saadi? In February of this year, Bloomberg News reported that this money was being used to bankroll a film called The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, starring Mickey Rourke. The fund was also backing Isolation, a thriller with Susan Sarandon’s daughter, Eva Amurri.

Will we all be entertained with this blood money, or will it be returned to the Libyan people? And then there is Louis Farrakhan, the obsessively anti- Semitic head of the Nation of Islam, who condemned the US last March for taking military action against Gaddafi. At a press conference in Chicago, he said, “It is a terrible thing for me to hear my brother called all these ugly and filthy names, when I can’t recognize him as that. Even though the current tide is moving against him... how can I refuse to raise my voice in his defense?” In September 2009, when I spoke outside the UN at a Libyan dissident rally attacking Gaddafi (who was giving his rambling address to the UN General Assembly, with its allegations that the Israelis were involved in the murder of JFK), I was all but drowned out by Nation of Islam followers bused in to support Gaddafi. Will the Nation pay any price for supporting a tyrant? Will we, responsible for preserving the memory of the Lockerbie victims and the US servicemen whom Gaddafi killed, remain silent now, as his friends go mum?

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