David Gerbi returned to Libya this year after 40 years in exile to help the rebel movement overthrow Muammar Qaddafi. Libyans he worked with knew he’s Jewish and did not seem to mind—they called him the “revolutionary Jew”—but when he announced he wanted to restore Tripoli’s synagogue, an angry mob threatened him while he was there praying. He has since left the country again, fearing for his safety.
It’s a depressing story, but it isn’t surprising. Anyone who believes anti-Semitism—not opposition to Israeli policies, but outright hatred of Jews—isn’t rampant in the Arab world is kidding themselves.