North African country's Jewish community suffering from wave of anti-Semitic attacks, including shattered gravestones, fiery protests and verbal violence. Israel urges world to intervene in crisis
The Israeli Foreign Ministry has instructed Israel's representatives abroad to ask the international community to pressure Tunisian government officials to safeguard the North African country's Jewish community, heritage and property.
The order was issued following fears for Tunisia's 2,000 Jews due to the hostile anti-Israel atmosphere in the country and anti-Semitic statements made by religious clerics.
Some 80 gravestones have been desecrated and plundered in Tunisia's Jewish cemeteries over the past month. Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali condemned the desecration of the cemetery in the city of Sousse, noting that security forces were working to prevent additional attacks on Jewish tombs.
"There appears to be an increase in anti-Semitic statements among local religious clerics and cases of public incitement against Jews," says a report written by Gideon Bachar, head of the Foreign Ministry's Department for Combating Anti-Semitism.
"For example, when Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh's visited Tunisia in 2012, he was greeted by masses chanting, 'Kill the Jews.' Additional incidents included the torching of a Jewish synagogue, a demonstration outside the main synagogue in the city of Tunis, and the use of Israeli flags as a rag at the entrance to the toilet at the Tunis-Carthage Airport."
"There are times in the course of history when the actions of ordinary citizens spark movements for change because they speak to a longing for freedom that has been building up for years. In America, think of the defiance of those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King, or the dignity of Rosa Parks as she sat courageously in her seat." - Barack Obama (May 19, 2011)
"It has been less than two years since a vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire to protest the oppressive corruption in his country, and sparked what became known as the Arab Spring. Since then, the world has been captivated by the transformation that has taken place, and the United States has supported the forces of change." - Barack Obama before the UN General Assembly (September 25, 2012)
Yes. Yes. Yes. I know. It's not Obama's fault and nothing that he does, or doesn't do, matters if it has negative consequences. He's a great president and the very best friend that the Jewish people have ever had in the history of the world.
Just because Barack Obama supports a deeply hate-filled and genocidally anti-Semitic political movement is no reason for Jewish people to disagree with his policies. Of course, I understand that Obama's Jewish supporters will tell us that he doesn't support this movement despite the fact that he, himself, claims otherwise. Look just because he supports the "Arab Spring" and the "Arab Spring" is the rise of political Islam it doesn't mean that he supports political Islam, only the "Arab Spring."
The "Arab Spring" is a good thing. Forget all those news reports that we've been hearing over the last few years of riots and rapes and murders and general chaos and blood-shed and shrieking calls for the genocide of the Jews. The "Arab Spring" is more like Rosa Parks sitting courageously on her bus or, maybe, like "those patriots in Boston who refused to pay taxes to a King."
It must be true.
Barack Obama told me so.