Tunis (Sep. 9)
Renewed attacks by Arabs against the Jews are recurring throughout Tunisia which has been in a disturbed state for the past two months.
While Premier Edouard Herriot in Paris yesterday offered assurances to the League to Combat Anti-Semitism that the authorities would take measures to prevent any recurrence of the anti-Jewish attacks, Arabs armed with knives attacked a cinema in the Jewish quarter in Tunis last night.
Native soldiers, who were stationed in the Jewish district, restored order.
Attacks upon Jews in Tunis are a daily occurrence, and the disturbances are spreading throughout the country.
Incitement against the Jews is spread through the accusation that Jews insulted the Moslem religion.
In Moknin, several Jews were wounded, some seriously.
The outbreak started following an altercation between a Jew, Pinchas Uzan and an Arab customer. An Arab mob assembled and demanded Uzan’s arrest for alleged insults to the Moslem religion.
The Arabs produced witnesses who testified that Uzan had insulted the Moslem religion, with the result that the Jew was arrested. He was released by the police later.
Subsequently Uzan travelled to an outlying Arab village where he was attacked and left lying unconscious on the roadside. A passing motorist found him and brought him to a hospital.
Three Arabs responsible for the attack were apprehended. Their arrest aroused their co-religionists and thousands of Moslems took part in a demonstration demanding their release.
When this was refused, the Arabs stormed the Jewish quarter to which the Jews had fled panic-stricken. The quarter was barricaded and an attempt at self-defense was undertaken. But the efforts of the Jews proved unavailing as they were hopelessly outnumbered.
Police from a neighboring village were summoned to the assistance of the local police. They dispersed the throng and arrested several.
Arab attempts against the Jews were also reported in other localities.
Several anti-Jewish agitators who arrived in Bengardane, Southern Tunisia, from Sfax, where anti-Jewish riots occurred in July, were expelled by the military authorities, when they called for “A war upon the Jews.”
Rumor has it that Palestine Arabs, sent by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and supported by the local Sheikh Taalbi are the principal agitators. Anti-Jewish meetings are held in mosques; inflammatory speeches are delivered against the Jews and such Palestine Arab newspapers as the “Falastin” and “Al Jamiel Arabiyah” are read before the worshippers while the charge is made that Jews are planning to seize the mosques and oppress Palestine Arabs.
Jewish circles have entered a complaint against the local authorities who, they charge, are not suppressing the vicious propaganda against the Jewish population.
To the anxious situation of the Jews in the country has been added new excitement by the refusal of the judicial authorities to release on bail, a Jewish baker, Elie Ankri, who was arrested on July 26th, on charges of having blinded a local Arab during the riots in Sfax.
Ankri is being held despite the fact that the French authorities have recommended his release and despite the fact that both the Police and government Commissioners recommended his release on bail.
The facts in the case are that Ankri protected himself when the anti-Jewish riots occurred in Sfax at the end of July and that he fired once in the air in order to frighten the attackers and attract the attention of the police.
Further investigation revealed that the Arab was blinded by disease and not because he was attacked.