Jews lived all over the Middle East and North Africa for thousands of years, and they lived among Arab Muslims for more than 1,000 years, but they’re almost extinct now in the Arab world. Arabs and Jews didn’t live well together, exactly, but they co-existed five times longer than the United States has existed. They weren’t always token minorities, either. Baghdad was almost a third Jewish during the first half of the 20th century. Morocco and Tunisia are the last holdouts. In Tunisia, only 1,500 remain.Totten quotes a short exchange with a Jewish restaurant owner in Tunisia. The restaurant is named Mamie Lily, in the posh Tunis suburb of La Goulette.
The issue is what it is like for a small Jewish community in an Islamist state:
Salafists haven’t threatened Lellouche or his restaurant, but mobs of them have been wrecking havoc in several parts of the country since the revolution, and they rhetorically declared war on “the Jews” a number of times.Read the whole thing.
“Last week,” Lellouche said, “they held a demonstration in Tunis on Habib Bourguiba Avenue. They called for the killing of Jews.”
“Were they referring to Israel, to you, or to both?” I said.
“This is the third time they called for the murder of Jews,” he said. “The first time, we thought they were speaking about Zionists. And the second time, we thought they were speaking about Zionists. After the third time, though, it was clear that they meant the Jews.”
As the Arab Spring catapults more Islamist groups to power in the Muslim world, perhaps it would be wise to take seriously the threats of the Muslim Brotherhood:
Technorati Tag: Israel and Tunisia and Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists.