A chill wind is blowing through the Arab Spring, especially in Tunisia, regarded as one of the more moderate of Arab states where 1,500 Jews still live. It is likely the new constitution will punish normalisation with Israel by law. (Israel and Tunisia had opened interests sections during the 1990s, although these offices were shut down with the outbreak of the intifada of 2000.) Supporters meeting on 10 July at the Palais des Congres in Tunis*, bedecked in anti-Israel slogans and a huge Palestinian flag, threatened to kill any Tunisian attempting normalisation with Israel, according to the JSS weblog:
“Between 600 and 800 people gathered to demonstrate their opposition to all normalisation between Tunisia and Israel, issuing death threats to any Tunisian with ties to the Jewish state. Earlier this month the Geostrategie site was reporting:
The Commission of political reform announced on Friday the adoption of a Republican pact designed to constitute the foundation of a future constitution, stipulating the refusal of all forms of normalisation with Tel Aviv. The Commission president, Yadh Ben Achour, simply announced its adoption without specifying the details. But the Arabic-speaking media got hold of a copy of the pact which categorically rejects all forms of normalisation with the ‘Zionist state’ and upholds the ‘Palestinian question’.
“But this ‘Republican pact’ does not satisfy those illiterate Tunisians blinded by hatred. At the anti-Israel meeting in the Palais des congrès in Tunis, Ahmed Kahlaoui, chairman of the “Nation against normalisation” committee, hurled death threats against all Tunisians attempting to normalise relations with Israel. “We will denounce them and publish their names”, he threatened, calling on the Tunisian authorities to “punish all forms of normalisation” – and reminiscent of the role of the Nazis in the Second World War.”
*Islamists were absent from this meeting