(photo credit: AP)
The Jewish community of Tunisia filed an official complaint with Tunisian
Interior Minister Fahrat Rajhi after several of its members were harassed by
protesters last Friday outside a synagogue in the capital, Tunis.
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a small group of people on the way to the demonstration,” Roger Bismut, the
leader of the Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post on
“Passing before the synagogues, they said the prophet is coming
back and the Jews should be careful, but they did not approach the synagogue
because it’s very well-guarded.
They remained there seven, eight minutes,
no more,” he recounted. “It’s a small thing, but I prefer to go to the interior
Rajhi responded to the complaint by publicly promising to
protect the country’s estimated 1,200 Jews from harm, Bismut said.
same time, Bismut said the incident shouldn’t be blown out of proportion and
that “in Europe and France, the UK and Germany, things like that happen several
times every day.”
He said Tunisia’s Jews felt directly involved in the
popular movement that brought about a regime change in the country last month
and inspired Egyptians to follow suit and oust president Hosni
“Contrary to what people think, we, too – Jews – are part of the
revolution,” Bismut said.
“It’s not only our last president who was a
dictator, but the one before him,” he added, predicting that “it will take some
time to fix Tunisia. The EU has helped, and the [United] States as well. I think
we’ll make it, but it will take two to three years to recover, because many
factories have been burnt down.”