Tunisia Jewish head lauds gov't condemnation of extremists

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
April 1, 2012 15:42

 
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The leader of the Jewish community in Tunisia said on Sunday the government's condemnation of a protest last week where participants called for the murder of Jews was reassuring but added he expected it to take action.

Roger Bismuth, head of the Jewish community, said he was forced to speak out after some 7,000 salafists gathered in the main square of Tunis and shouted chants against Jews.

"The man who was preaching said 'slaughter the Jews, kill the Jews,'" he said. "This time I had to react very strongly and I did."

Bismuth said he gave over 70 interviews to different media in the wake of the demonstration. Rashid Ghannushi, the leader of Ennahda, the Islamist party which won the recent elections, responded sharply saying the new government will protect the country's 1,500 Jewish community.

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