An Israeli family is claiming Colonel Muammar Gaddafi as their relative, as well as saying they believe the deposed Libyan leader is Jewish.
According to Gita Boron, who lives in the northern resort town of Netanya, she and Gaddafi share a great-grandmother. She told Israeli television that Gaddafi's grandmother "fled her Jewish husband for a Muslim sheikh. Her daughter was the colonel’s mother, making him Jewish under rabbinic law."
Boron hopes that Gaddafi will enter the Jewish state and become a Israeli citizen as any Jew can under the country's law.
Perdazur Benattita, the founder of a organization that promotes Libyan-Jewish culture in Israel, gave some credence to Boron's claims, telling The Economist, "Jews from Tripoli remember he attended a Jewish wedding in the 1960s, long before he became leader."
A large number of Israeli citizens of Libyan descent have settled in Netanya, where Boron lives. They have renamed a town square Qaddafi Plaza in hopes of his arrival.
During Quaddafi's reign, he took steps to drive non-Muslims, including Jews, out of Libya and then seized their property. However, he also told the New York Times in 2009 that the Jewish people "want and deserve their homeland."
Some believe there are no Jews currently left in Libya.