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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
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Tunisian Jew Stabbed in Djerba

The victim's Jewish identity was not mentioned in the report by the Interior Ministry.
The interior of the El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, Tunisia, in 2009.

The interior of the El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba, Tunisia, in 2009.
Photo Credit: Hegor / Wikimedia Commons

Hours before the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, the Festival of Freedom, a local Jewish merchant was stabbed Monday on the island of Djerba.

The victim, Morris Bachiri, is a resident of El Hara El Kabiri. He was allegedly attacked with a sharp object by 38-year-old Lasaad Tounis, according to the Tunisian Interior Ministry, which reported the incident in a terse statement on its Facebook page. News of the report was carried in a post on Tuesday by the French-language website African Manager.

The attack was described as a “simple assault, nothing more and nothing less,” and Bachiri’s Jewish identity was not mentioned in the report.

The ministry added that Bachiri was released from a hospital shortly following the attack, which took place barely a month after a group of Israelis were stopped from disembarking  with other tourists at a Tunisian port.

Last month the government allocated $6,300 for renovation of the synagogue in what critics called an attempt at damage control in the wake of the Israeli tourist debacle. The Norwegian Cruise Line on which the Israelis were traveling has since scrapped Tunisia from its list of destinations to protest the country’s refusal to allow Israelis to disembark at port.

The annual Jewish pilgrimage for the Hilula of Ghriba, which involves a festive procession to the ancient Synagogue of El Ghriba on the island of Djerba, is meanwhile expected to take place next month – on the holiday of Lag B’Omer.

For decades thousands Jews from around the world used to gather in Djerba to participate in the procession to El Ghriba, considered the oldest existing synagogue in Africa. But the numbers have dwindled to barely 500 attending the event last year. In 2002 the Al Qaeda terrorist organization bombed the synagogue during the pilgrimage, killing 21 and wounding many more.

More than a year ago, Israeli officials expressed serious concern for the safety of the Jewish community in Tunisia, warning that any political instability in the country could negatively affect Tunisian Jews.

Since that time, the Islamist Ennahda government ended its tenure in January with the approval of a new constitution by the country’s national assembly.  A caretaker cabinet was also appointed to rule until new elections are held later this year. The arrangement was made in order to end a crisis between Ennahda and its secular opposition – but it is unclear how the current arrangement has affected the political status of the country’s Jewish community.

Ennahda was the more moderate of the Islamist parties.  Salafi Muslim extremists have for years been expressing their strong support for the Hamas terrorist organization; in January 2012 they welcomed Gaza-based de facto Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh to their shores with open arms.

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


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9 Responses to “Tunisian Jew Stabbed in Djerba”

  1. So terrible, I was there in 2004 fot lag bomer

  2. That’s terrible… Some people…

  3. I am sick of this; certain groups out to get the Jewish ppl, this is ”NOT” going to happen again, Jewish people going down like lambs to the slaughter! If as an Arab, White Supremacist , or any other group , you can’t stand that the Jewish ppl are Gods chosen ppl , then you need to bow down to the one and only true GOD , and stop being the devils servants!

  4. To all Muslims-”Never Again, you ass wipes”.They celebrate the religion of piss and revere a pedophile killer.What more can we expect?

  5. Anonymous says:

    "The religion of peace"

  6. Avis Johnson says:

    Terrible story! But beautiful pic

  7. No, Lorrain, this has nothing to do with a religious feud. this is, nor more and not less, the attempt to wipe out Israel from the face of the earth, so a new Muslim empire can flourish. Arafat said perfectly wel a long time ago: “Since Israel cannot be defeated militarily, the technique is torob hunks of its territory, so at the end Israel is physically diminished and all the Arab countries can attack and get rid of Israel onece and for all”. This is struggle for power. Islam versus the Rest of the World, and much of that world is hypocritical enough to comply with Arab intentions, not because they believe in Islam or the righteousness of the so-called palestinian cause, but because of the oil, the huge economical possibilities of trade with this smi-illiterate countries and, to all that, add a big dash of hatred for the Jews.

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