French assemblyman denounces Tunisia's "obsessive hatred" of Israel

Meyer Habib's call to boycott follows Tunisia's decision to open an investigation on the participation of a French-Israeli tennis player to an international competition held in Tunis.

Meyer Habib (photo credit: THE NATIONALE ASSEMBLY - FRANCE)
Meyer Habib
French assemblyman Meyer Habib has called for a boycott on Tunisia following the country's decision to open an investigation into the participation of Aaron Cohen, a 17 year-old French-Israeli tennis player, in an international competition held in Tunis, I24news reported.
The investigation was launched by Tunisia's president Kais Saied, who said that Tunisia rejects the normalization of relations with Israel under any form.
Issam Chebbi, secretary-general of the Republican Party urged the president to open the investigation. “I am calling you to open an investigation on a player who holds Israeli citizenship, and who was authorized to participate to three games, within an international tournament that Tunisia organized,” he posted on Facebook, I24News said.
Chebbi added that the participation of the French-Israeli teenager comes “at a time when the Palestinian question is exposed to the most dangerous conspiracy since the Balfour Declaration, through the so-called Deal of the Century, which is based partially on Arab normalization with the Zionist enemy.”
Tunisia's tourism minister, Rene Trabelsi, condemned Habib's calls to boycott and urged him to apologize.
In a letter addressed to Trabelsi and shared on Twitter, Habib wrote in reply: "you want French people of Jewish-Tunisian origins to continue to travel in large numbers to your country, which boycotts, and even denies the very existence of the State of Israel. It is not possible."
Habib argued that, as long as Tunisia is boycotting Israel, Tunisia should be sanctioned. "We must boycott those who boycott," he said. He also added that the "obsessive hatred" of Israel of Tunisia's leaders hides a profound antisemitism and shows that the country is following Iran's footsteps.
Many French Jews of Tunisian origins such as Habib are deeply attached to their Tunisian roots and often go back to Tunisia, including for pilgrimages.