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Regime Change, Anti-Jewish Violence, and Emigration in Libya and Yemen

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses a historical comparison of the Jewish communities of Libya and Yemen. The Ottoman reconquests of Libya and Yemen both stemmed from concern over European expansion. The Qaramanli dynasty, which ruled Tripoli under the nominal sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire, was in financial crisis after borrowing large sums from European merchants. Mordekhay Ha-Kohen's comments indicate the tense state of Libyan Muslim-Jewish relations. Economically, Yaḥyā's reign witnessed no improvement. Of course, greater security made commercial activity more viable, but there was no fundamental economic transformation. Disturbances in Sanaa, during a period of political uncertainty may have been a test of Ahmad's resolve. Contemporary theorists of collective violence have by and large moved away from what Senechal de la Roche has called "the ghost of Gustave Le Bon". The chapter discusses polemic discourses on Middle Eastern Jewry and Jewish emigration from the Arab world.

Keywords: Anti-Jewish violence; Jewish communities; Libya; Libyan Muslim-Jewish relations; Mordekhay Ha-Kohen; Ottoman; Qaramanli dynasty; Sanaa; Yemen



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