New Tunisia President Urges Return of Country's Jewish Population

Moncef Marzouk tells chief Tunisian rabbi that Jews are full citizens; Tunisia ousted longtime dictator Ben Ali in first of Arab Spring revolution.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

Tunisia's newly elected president has called for the country's Jewish population to return.

The state news agency reported Monday that President Moncef Marzouk had told the country's Grand Rabbi Haim Bittan that Tunisia's Jews are full citizens.

Tunisia's President Moncef Marzouki (C) addressing Tunisians during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the Tunisian Revolution in Sidi Bouzid December 17, 2011. Credit: Reuters

Tunisia presently has a Jewish population of 1,500, but in the 1960s there were 100,000. Most left following the 1967 war between Israel and Arab countries and also due to government policy.

Marzouki also met with the top Christian and Muslim figures on Monday. He was elected last week.

Tunisians overthrew their longtime dictator President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January, with an Islamist party taking the most votes in the subsequent election.

The Islamists have formed a new government with two left wing parties.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op