TUNIS (Sep. 14)
Former Tunisian Premier Tahar Ben Ammar, a moderate nationalist who was charged today with the formation of the first autonomous all-Tunisian government under the new home-rule agreement with France, conferred this afternoon with leaders of Tunisian Jewry. It is believed that he is reserving one seat in the Cabinet for a Jewish representative.
Both the Bey of Tunis and M. Ammar have on more than one occasion expressed their warm feelings for the Jews of Tunisia and have promised to include Jews in the government as representatives of the Jewish population. However, during the last few days they have been under strong pressure from extremists not to honor their promises to the Jews. Of the 100,000 Jews in Tunisia, about 80,000 are Tunisian by birth, the remainder have French nationality.
The Arab-language daily newspaper Azzhora has intensified its anti-Jewish propaganda during the last few days. This has resulted in increased Jewish registration for emigration to Israel. A group of 350 Jews left Tunis for Israel today. Other groups will follow next week after Rosh Hashanah.
It was recalled here today that only recently. M. Ammar, as Premier of Tunisia, spoke with emotion against Jewish emigration from the country. “The Tunisian Jews,” he assured Jewish leaders, “will have all the rights of any other Tunisian. There will be no government discrimination. No Jew will have to emigrate from autonomous Tunisia.” He emphasized that “the Tunisian Jew will have full equality–political, economic, social–in every sphere” under government control.