Tunisian Jew starts petition condemning Imam

The MEMRI clip recording the inflammatory sermon of the Imam of the Rades mosque

A Tunisian Jew is aiming to gather 10,000 signatures for his petition demanding that a Tunisian Imam be prosecuted for Jew-hatred. (With thanks: JIMENA)

 The petition has garnered over 1,000 signatures so far.

It declares:

“For several months, Tunisians of the Jewish faith have been suffering abuse during public demonstrations and in the mosques. On 30 November, the Imam of the mosque of Rades could not hide his hatred for the Jews, saying :’ O Allah, in the same way you destroyed the peoples of Aad and Tamud, destroy this gang of Jews…Let their wives become barren.”

The petition goes on: “The government of Tunisia has kept silent, so we should like to know how far you support Tunisians of the Jewish faith in the knowledge that our complaints have not been followed up by the Tunisian justice system.”

 Some of the petition’s non-Jewish Tunisian signatories qualify their support, saying they are expressing their solidarity with Jews and not with Zionists, thus echoing the famous 19th century French politician Clermont Tonerre – prepared to grant all rights to Jews as individual citizens, but nothing to Jews as a nation.

In my view, the weakness of this petition, however well-meaning, is that it perpetuates a false distinction between Jews and Zionists, or between ‘good’ Jews and ‘bad’ Jews. Tunisians must resign themselves to the fact that many if not most Jews are today Zionists, or have family who are Zionists, and that the future lies in recognising the fact that as well as being loyal citizens of their countries of birth, Jews can also have legitimate national aspirations in their ancestral homeland.

The Imam of Rades must be challenged on his dubious Koranic claims regarding Jews, which are mostly pure fantasy. Even the Koran recognises that Jews lived in Jerusalem, and built their Beit Hamikdash (same word in Arabic for Temple) there.


  • @bataween – sure, I was just responding to Tony G's point. It may be that some of the people adding that rider about not supporting Zionism are frightened of consequences of supporting the petition, which is understandable. But his point is a silly one, I think, because to support the petition does not in fact commit one to a position on Zionism either way – they do not have to say 'they support another form of racism (sic)'.

  • Sarah AB –
    No point distinguishing between Jews and Zionists. The imam didn't bother distinguishing between the two – they terms are interchangeable. it doesn't matter what Jews believe, in any case they will be condemned and abused in any case, or a pretext found to pillory a Jew for being a Zionist.
    Any one who supports a two-state solution is a Zionist, ie approves of self-determination for the Jewish people.This shouldn't be a controversial position to take if you want peace.

  • If I was signing a petition against anti-Muslim bigotry I wouldn't feel the need to add 'but I don't approve of Islamism'. (I am not making a direct comparison between Islamism and Zionism, I should add.)

  • TG, traditional Arab/Muslim society was always oppressive for non-Muslims. Moreover, in most Muslim-ruled lands, Jews were oppressed even more than the Christian subjects. Today European/Western Judeophobes are uniting with Arab Judeophobes. Yes, the West and the Muslims have something in common.
    I would go further and say that traditional Muslim/Arab society comprises a social system that befits a society of occupation. Consider the dhimma, the special taxes on dhimmis, all the discriminations and oppressions of the dhimma, the constant war footing of Muslim society, etc etc.

    Now as to contemporary Arab states, why are they called Arab, even when they have large non-Arab minorities? Such as Kurds, Blacks in Sudan, Berbers in North Africa. Is it racist to call the state Arab when much of the population are not Arab? Doesn't it give Arabs an unfair advantage in these countries?

  • Greenstein
    Ever the racist who dismisses Islamist antisemitism as irrelevant .
    This is who his nasty little organisation links to .


    That's after distancing itself from Bruce Levys London BDS cess pool – as if ! Reckon the PSC will just have to start a new version . Third time lucky .

    As for Greenstein , a drab little Nabbach who resembles Atzmon more each day – only without the musical talent . Feh !

  • Greenstein is irrelevant. He's a poll rigger, a creditcard fraudster, a Communist and an atheist (despite being a rabbi's son).

  • Regarding the petition – Whatever they do, they should be careful not to involve the international community. Dhimma laws might have been reinstated without the population even knowing it.

  • Yekkes

    "Whereas 100% of Jews have been "transferred" from most Arab countries"

    SHH! mere mention of THAT racism is islamophobic! Don't complicate his/her little world.

  • Tony Greenstein,

    This site is about Jews from Arab and Muslim countries, Sephardic Jews for the most part. In their tradition, Zionism was a movement of liberation very much akin to the mid-20th century legitimate movements of independence that created many independent and new countries in the Middle East and North Africa. That movement ended in 1948 with the independence of Israel. In fact, what most of us called "Zionists" growing up were what we would call today "Shaliah 'aliya", 'alya activist".

    Now, if by Zionism you mean "the centrality of Israel" in Judaism, to Jews, then yes, this has existed since Jews lost their political independence and it is a religious injunction. In that sense, it is a false distinction. It is by thee way a concept understood by Muslims until the end of the 19th century. Just like the centrality of Mecca to Muslims or the centrality of Rome to Catholics.

    "institutionally racist with its JNF"
    Tribalist perhaps. But racist?

    "unrecognized Arab villages"
    Try building a house in Central Park without a permit and without land ownership for wife number three … The municipality will be angry, yes. But racist?

    "its demographic fears"
    Stupid, those fears, I agree. But racist?

    "its judaization"
    Judaization means "conversion to Judaism" at least according to the sense it is given in the 1494 Decree of expulsion. Are you sure that's what they do?
    Christianization of half the world is not racist. Islamization of 57 countries and counting is not racist. But Jews moving to a neighborhood is racist.

    "opinion polls that show up to 70% of Israeli Jews would prefer that Israel's Arabs were transferred." Link? Sounds like something Haaretz house pollster would cook up.

  • Well hello tony , now that you have found my blog perhaps you would care to note the Arab Muslim racism it documents. This type of racism still ended up driiving out the non-Zionist Iraqi Jews from a country they lived in for2700 years, and the six or is it four who remain are too terrified to say they are Jewish. So the Arabs never seriously made the distinction between Jews ans zionists. As Martin Luther king once said,when people talk of zionists the y mean Jews.

  • It is not a false distinction to say that there is a difference between Zionists and Jews. It is a fact and it is certainly not a weakness of the petition.

    Are you seriously saying that Tunisian Jews should petition against an anti-Semitic preacher and then say they support another form of racism? And don't pretend that Israel, the manifestation of Zionism, isn't institutionally racist with its JNF, its 'unrecognised' Arab villages, its 'demographic fears', its Judaisation and opinion polls that show up to 70% of Israeli Jews would prefer that Israel's Arabs were transferred.


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