Israel National News (Link) - Chana Ya’ar (February 23, 2011)
Protesters demanding the ouster of their new unity government in Tunisia are also now calling for ‘Death to the Jews.’
A local source who spoke exclusively with Israel National News on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution warned this week “the situation is not getting better for the Jews,”
Tunisians took to the streets Sunday demanding the ouster of the country’s prime minister, Mohammed Ghanoucci, whom they denounced as part of the former regime, toppled three weeks ago. The demonstration followed by one day the resignation of four members of the country’s nascent unity government formed in the wake of the ex-ruler’s ouster.
What was not reported in the media, however, is the fact that in Sunday’s demonstration many of the hundreds of protesters were screaming as they marched, “Death to the Jews!”
“This is a new phenomenon,” said the source. “Until now, we have not heard this. Perhaps the people were thinking it, but we have not heard it. Now they feel free to say what they wish, what is in their hearts.”
Members of the Jewish community are meanwhile staying out of sight, the source said. “Jews are very afraid, and trying not to show themselves.”
Two days earlier, on Friday, a smaller group of dozens of Islamists held an anti-Jewish rally outside the country’s main synagogue shouting, “Jews wait, the army of Mohammed is coming back. “We’ll redo the battle of Khaibar!” – a reference to the slaughter of Jews in what is now Saudi Arabia at the hands the founder of Islam.
Jewish community leader Roger Bismuth subsequently met with Ghanoucci to request increased security in light of the new threat. Officials in the Tunisian Interior Ministry said the government would “spare no effort to safeguard” civic rights and freedoms, including respect for peaceful co-existence.
Kosher hotels might provide the safety valve necessary to keep the Jewish community out of harm’s way, the source observed.
As Tunisia struggles to reboot its economy, it is working to re-establish its former credibility as a haven for tourists in the wake of mass cancellations by tour operators this month.
The kosher hotels are filled to capacity for most Jewish holidays. With Passover barely two months away, the Jewish community is hoping the need for tourism will outweigh the anti-Semitic thirst of the Islamist mob.
“The interim government appears to be doing all it can to get this under control and calm people down,” the source said. “No Jew has been touched.” †