Tunisia: Jewish population determined to stay despite anti-Semitic violence

Source: DW

Tunisia has declared itself a multi-faith state. But the attack on the Jewish school in Djerba shows that radical anti-Semitism has its adherents in Tunisia, too – primarily in jihadist circles.

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“It’s part of the protest against rising prices.” The laconic words of Elie Trabelsi, the head of the Jewish community on the Tunisian island of Djerba, commenting on his Facebook page about the attack on the community’s school late on Tuesday evening. Persons unknown threw incendiary material from a moving car into the reception hall of the building. Nobody was hurt; the bombs caused only a small amount of damage.

The perpetrators were clearly taking advantage of the temporary reduction in Tunisian security forces on the island. They were withdrawn from Djerba, and many other provinces, because of the protests in a number of Tunisian cities. Tunisians have been protesting for days against tax increases and price hikes.

In recent weeks, incitements to violence against Jews in Tunisia were published on social media networks. “We must harass the Djerba synagogue until it is gone,” said one post. “We must drive the Jews out of Tunisia and set fire to the synagogue in Djerba,” said another.

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