Yediot Ahronot is reporting today that Libyan president Moammar Gadhafi wants to meet with Libyan Jews living in Rome when he travels to Italy later this week. Gadhafi, who has suggested the two sides convene on Saturday, confiscated all Jewish property in his country in 1969. There’s speculation this is a first step toward settling the exiles’ restitution claims. Which is, we guess, a decent thing for him to do—though it’d be decenter if he hadn’t requested the meeting be held on Shabbat.
Meantime, in other African-despot news, former Liberian president Charles Taylor is looking for whatever help he can get in fighting charges of war crimes at the International Criminal Court. Victoria Taylor, his wife, told the BBC that “when he got to the Hague, he really, really wanted to be a Jew, and he wanted to convert to Judaism. And that is what he’s done.” That’s something of a change for the man who once, according to The New York Times, sought ties with Pat Robertson, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and President Jimmy Carter to prove his Baptist bona fides, though Mrs. Taylor says this new turn doesn’t mean he’s rejected Christianity.