Djerba restaurant picketed for serving alcohol

With thanks: Nouredine

 A group of demonstrators picketed a Jewish-owned restauranton the Tunisian island of Djerba on 17 February in protest at its re-opening after five years and the renewal of its alcoholic drinks licence.

 Oscar’s Restaurant: in ‘violation of Islamic law’

The picketers were claiming that Oscar’s Restaurant, a kosher establishment at Houmet el souk, was in violation of Islamic law and its clients were disturbing local residents.

Oscar’s Jewish owner, Harry Bitten, denounced the picket as ‘religious harassment’. “These people are harming Tunisia, its tourist industry and Jewish Tunisians,” he retorted.

Elie Trabelsi, a Jewish community leader, called the picketers ‘hypocrites and racists’. He pointed out that there were more than 12 bars serving alcohol in the neighbourhood.

Bitten is backed by the Tunisian Association for the Support of Minorities. It pointed out that Oscar’s restaurant was approved by the Tunisian ministries of tourism and of the interior to sell alcohol, and called for the law to be applied.

About 1,000 Jews still live on Djerba. Tourism is Tunisia’s major industry, but it was hard hit in recent years by terrorist attacks on the Barda museum in Tunis and on the beach at Sousse.

More at Al Huffington Post Maghreb (French)

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