Jewish community participates in Tunisia elections

October 23, 2011 12:18


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Members of Tunisia's small Jewish community participated in the country's first election since the fall of autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali 10 months ago, in a popular uprising that set off protest movements around the Arab world.

“We’re very, very happy,” said Roger Bismuth, the community’s president.  “I was almost crying with emotion because I never expected people to behave so well. They were queuing up around the block. It’s unbelievable.”

Asked if he was concerned over the expected success of the Islamic party, Bismuth said it was too early to comment on the vote’s outcome.

“Right now I’m not worried,” he said.” I’m hoping that things will go well. It’s a big question, and that is our problem. There have been speeches that some people have made and people have not liked but I think it’s too early to give any impression.”

There are some 1,500 Jews living in Tunisia.

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