PARIS (May. 22)
There will be no anti-Jewish incidents in Tunisia similar to those which occurred in Constantine, Algeria, last week when nearly a score of Jews were wounded in attacks by Arab terrorists, Andre Barouch, Tunisian Minister for Reconstruction and the only Jew in the Tunisian Cabine told a press conference here today.
He insisted that “perfect understanding” exists among all elements of the Tunisian population and that there is no racial discrimination. For this reason, M. Barouch continued, there will be no anti-Jewish incidents. He acknowledged that for thousands of years Jews all over the world have had fears of such attacks, but that he felt the fears were unjustified as far as Tunisia was concerned.
There will be no Jewish problem in Tunisia, he asserted, as long as Jews understand that citizenship carries certain duties and sacrifices in behalf of the nation regardless of differences of religion. He sharply rejected a question which characterize him as a “representative” of the Jewish community. “I wish to clarify,” he stated, “that by virtue of the principle which guided the elaboration of the electoral law, I am not a deputy and minister as a representative of a religious community, but rather as a Tunisian citizen.”
Asked to explain the continuous departure of Tunisian Jews for Israel, M. Barouch said that the immigrants were, with few exception poor people who has been convinced by “propaganda” that they would find better living conditions in Israel. He pointed out that in a “new country like Tunisia” there are certain sacrifices which have to be made but that they should not “discourage” people.