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Jews in Tunisia Prepare for Elections; Suffer Economic Difficulties

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Jews in Tunisia are now preparing for the organization of elections to the leadership of the Jewish communities throughout the country, according to reports reaching here today from Tunis. At present the communities are led by committees appointed by the government.

The French press reports that the economic crisis in Tunisia is growing and that Jews there, especially the middle class, are concerned less with the political developments than with the economic and social problems. The reports emphasizes that only a small number of government officials in Tunisia are biased against Jews and that the present Bourguiba regime is restraining the extremist pro-Nasser elements in their propaganda against Tunisian Jewry.

On the other hand, the reports stress that a number of government decrees have brought changes in the status of the Tunisian Jewish community. These include the ban on Zionist activities and the abolishment of the rabbinical law. Poverty among Jews is growing, especially in the lower class which is completely indifferent to political life, the reports establish.

Relations between Arabs and Jews in the small towns in Tunisia differ from place to place, according to the reports. In some towns relations are cordial while in others the two communities are far apart.

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