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April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tunis’

US President Barack Obama Calls to Congratulate Netanyahu

Friday, March 20th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama finally called Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to congratulate him — on the Likud party’s success at the polls.

According to a statement issued by the White House, the President “emphasized the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between both countries.

“The President and the Prime Minister agreed to continue consultations on a range of regional issues, including the difficult path forward to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the statement continued.

“The President reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine.

“On Iran, the President reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

Obama was preceded by Secretary of State John Kerry, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, and numerous others in congratulating Netanyahu on the historic re-election for a fourth term – the only prime minister to be so chosen since Israel’s founding father, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion.

The issue of Israel’s security is growing exponentially more serious as the days pass, with terror groups backed by Iran and global jihad organizations surrounding the Jewish State.

Aside from the clear and present danger posed by the Iranian nuclear threat to Israel’s existence, the Daesh global jihad terror group is becoming an increasing concern as well.

This past Wednesday, the European Union formally blamed the group, known also as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorist organization, and as ISIS, for a bloody attack at Tunisia’s iconic Bardo Museum in that nation’s capital. At least 19 people were killed, including 17 foreign tourists, and 20 others were wounded.

“With the attack that has struck Tunis, the Daesh terrorist organization is once again targeting the countries and peoples of the Mediterranean region,” EU foreign policy chief Mogherini said in a statement late Wednesday.

“This strengthens our determination to cooperate more closely with our partners to confront the terrorist threat.”

Israeli security personnel have been closely tracking the progress and growth of Daesh terror cells in the region, particularly in northern Israel, Gaza, Judea, Samaria and other areas within pre-1967 Israel.

A number of Arabs who have become involved with the terror group have been identified and arrested by Israeli security forces. Others who left the country and traveled abroad to fight with Daesh are being tracked.

It is for this reason — among others — that Prime Minister Netanyahu has been adamant about ending assumptions of well-meaning nations who believe they can simply force Israel back to the negotiating table with the PA to sign on to any two-state solution.

19 Dead, 20 Wounded in Terror Attack at Tunisia’s Bardo Museum

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Seven foreign tourists and a security official were among the 19 people who died Wednesday when at least five terrorists attacked the famed Bardo museum in Tunis.

In early years at the Bardo, Jewish antiquities were highlighted in the “Judaica Hall” which adjoined a museographic arrangement deployed in the great Iwan hall of the Tunisian palace, arranged by Louis Poinssot in 1932. Poinssot also reorganized the Christian department with newly-laid mosaics on its ground, and created an Islamic department in the pillared hall on the same ground floor.

As tourists gazed on the myriad wonders of the museum, however, gunmen dressed in military fatigues stormed the Bardo, killing and holding dozens of people hostage for a three hour period. Two of the terrorists were later killed by Tunisian armed forces, who freed the hostages. Three others escaped and were still at large Wednesday night local time, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. At least 20 people were wounded in the melee.

The attack was hailed on Twitter accounts aligned with Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as “ghazwat Tunis” – the “raid of Tunis.” Pro-Daesh accounts tweeted kudos to the attackers.

But no terror group had officially claimed responsibility for the attack by midnight. Thousands of Tunisian citizens have traveled abroad to fight for Daesh, however, though the group has not gained a foothold in Tunisia, an Arab nation that remains home to one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world, on the island of Djerba.

The death earlier this week of Tunisian-born Daesh field commander Ahmed Al-Rouissi, 48, may have been the trigger for Wednesday’s attack. Al-Rouissi, also known as Abu Zakariya al-Tunisi, was high on Tunisia’s “Most Wanted List” for his role in assassinating politicians there. Al-Rouissi led a cohort of Daesh fighters in Libya and was killed in clashes with Libyan soldiers near Sirte, the stronghold of the late dictator, Muammar Qaddafi.

Daesh and Libya Dawn – a second radical Islamist group – are struggling for terrorist supremacy, while both are fighting with government forces in a situation similar to that in Syria.

Tunisian Interior Ministry officials said the Tunis terror operation began at around midday local time, Wataniya TV reported. Three Polish nationals were among the wounded, according to the Polish foreign ministry.

Two Italian nationals also may have been wounded, according to one report; according to the Italian foreign ministry, 100 of that nation’s citizens were confirmed safe and rescued from a tour in the museum.

“This is a black day for Tunisia,” said Karim Ben Sa’a, a tourism official. “We are very sad for these tourists. They visit our country and it is so, so sad to see them die. Our hearts are black.”

The museum, located in the heart of the Tunisian capital, is also a strategic target in that it shares the Bardot palace complex with the nation’s parliament. Police checkpoints were set up outside the offices of the nearby UK British Council.

While the parliament was immediately evacuated during the crisis, MP Sayida Ounissi tweeted, “We are not afraid.”

The attack follows a series of anti-terror activities by the Tunisian government. Last month more than 30 suspected terrorists were arrested, including a number who had returned from fighting in Syria, and some who allegedly were planning “spectacular” attacks, officials said at the time. Counter-terror forces also reportedly foiled attacks against “vital installations” in the country, including the interior ministry and civilian sites in Tunis.

It also came a day after Tunisia announced the results of a major sting operation in which a large number of weapons were seized from radical Islamist terror organizations.

Arab Conspiracy Theory Preceded Kidnap Attempt of Jewish Boy in Djerba [video]

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Tunis’s Jewish community on the island of Djerba is worried after three Muslims tried to kidnap a 12 year old Jewish boy from within the center of the community, according to a b’Hadrei Hareidim report.

The boy told the police that a strange man tried to force him into a taxi at which point the boy began screaming.

People passing by saw the kidnapping attempt and the kidnappers then fled when they began to attract attention.

The boy’s parents have filed a report with the Tunisian police, and the community heads have requested extra protection for the holiday.

The kidnapping attempt appears to not have happened in a vacuum. The latest crazy Arab conspiracy theory may have played a central role in the attack.

Last week, the Tunisian newspaper Alshruk, began making strange claims that ISIS has been kidnapping Syrian and Iraqi children, transporting them to Turkey, and then selling them to Jews in Tel Aviv at the rate of $10,000 a child.

Al Mayadeen News, which is watched by Arabs throughout the Middle East has been getting the newspaper’s report out to the wider Arab audience. That news report was discovered by an NRG report in Israel.

Here’s the kicker of the conspiracy theory, the kidnapped Arab children are then turned into Settlers to expand the Zionist Enterprise.

If the Arabs in Tunis are being fed conspiracy stories like that from their mainstream media, there is no wonder there was a kidnapping attempt against the Jewish community of Djerba.

Djerba is one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Diaspora, going back thousands of years, from the period of the destruction of the First Temple period.

While now mostly empty of Jews, it is famous for the fact that most of its residents are Cohanim, including descendants of Ezra HaSofer, and that none of its permanent residents are Levites, due to a curse placed on any Levite that lives there.

Tunisia Leader Facing Flack Over Jewish Pilgrimage to El Ghriba

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Just one day after Tunisia’s leader urged officials not to make a fuss over normalization of ties with Israel, the country’s parliament voted to “interview” its tourism minister for deciding to allow Israelis to participate in the annual Lag B’Omer pilgrimage to El Ghriba synagogue on the island of Djerba.

The elected National Constituent Assembly (NCA) has announced it will question Tourism Minister Amel Karboul over the decision to allow Israelis to enter Tunisia.  Also to be “interviewed” will be Security Minister Sefar Ridha, according to international media reports.

“Our problem is not with our Jewish brothers who come for the pilgrimage but with the Zionist entity that occupies Palestinian territories,” said leftist Democratic Alliance head Mohammed Hamdi.

Since the country’s Jasmine Revolution in January 2011, Tunisia has struggled with a massive economic crisis.  Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa warned the parliament Tuesday it was in Tunisia’s best interest to “make the tourist season a success, because tourism is one of the activities that brings immediate cash to the country.”

Of those activities, Jomaa noted, tourism professionals have determined “the pilgrimage to Ghriba must be successful for the tourist season to be successful.” He added, “This is a tradition known to us – the pilgrimage has been taking place for years.”

The tourism industry in Tunisia employs some 400,000 people and accounts for seven percent of the GDP.  Jomaa’s decision to create a policy of tourism “transparency” means that Israelis can for the first time use their official passports to enter the country for the pilgrimage, rather than a specific Tunisian embassy-issued document.

Tunisia had “offices of interest” in Tel Aviv in 1996, and Israel had one in Tunis as well. Those ties were established just two years after the closure of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters which had existed in Tunisia for the twelve years prior.  But the fragile ties established between Tunisia and Israel were torn apart in October 2000 when the PLO succeeded in launching the second intifada in Israel – prompting Tunis to freeze ties in a protest against Israel’s efforts to quell the violence.

For years Jews have gone to Tunisia for the pilgrimage, with or without formal Israeli-Tunisian diplomatic ties. But an Al Qaeda terror attack on the synagogue in 2002 left 21 people dead, and killed the tourist event for the next decade. The Jasmine Revolution and the Arab Spring did the rest.

Tunisia Bars Jews on Cruise Ship

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Tunisia has barred Jews on a Norwegian cruise ship from leaving their cruise voyage and stepping foot in the country after theirboat docked in Tunis, according to B’nai Brith Canada.

“The cruise line has a responsibility to its passengers to advise them of this discriminatory policy in advance. Better still the cruise line should avoid ports that have such policies,” said Frank Dimant, B’nai Brith Canada’s chief executive.

Jewish passengers held on the ship said other passengers were enraged after they disembarked and only later learned that the Jews were not allowed to visit Tunisia.

National security forces have increasingly harassed and assaulted Jews, and one Muslim cleric has publicly called for “divine genocide” of Jews.

Tunisian Jews once enjoyed a compostable and safe life. Approximately 2,000 Jews still live on the Tunisian island of Djerba, home of the El Ghriba synagogue that dates back nearly 2,600 years.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tunisia-bars-jews-on-cruise-ship/2014/03/10/

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