PARIS (Oct. 2)
Tunisian army and police units were called out today to patrol near the former Jewish quarter in Tunis where many of Tunisia’s remaining 5,000 Jews still live. Armored cars were stationed at strategic points and helicopters hovered overhead after hundreds of angry youths tried earlier in the day to stage an anti-Israel and anti-American demonstration.
The Tunisian radio said that the would-be demonstrators ran through the city center shouting “Israeli killers” and “revenge.”
Police units were also stationed near the U.S. Information Service in the center of the city and the American Embassy in the northern suburb. Police fear more violent demonstrations tomorrow and have advised American citizens to remain indoors and avoid public places.
Anti-American feeling is running strong throughout the country because of President Reagan’s backing of Israel’s right to defend herself against terrorist attacks. President Habib Bourguiba summoned the U.S. Ambassador, Peter Sebastien, to blast America’s policy as “one-sided.”
Bourguiba, generally considered an American ally, warned Washington that he will judge America by the stand it takes in the UN Security Council debate today on the Tunisian complaint. Bourguiba, who relies on American backing in his feud with Libya, reportedly is careful to avoid an open break with Washington.
A Jewish delegation, headed by the president of the Jewish community’s executive committee, Rene Chiche, called on the Tunis provincial governor early today to express its condemnation of the raid and to ask him to convey to President Bourguiba and the government the “deep loyalty of Tunisia’s Jews.”
The Tunisian Press Agency, TAP, said Chiche declared that all of Tunisia’s Jewish communities and the Chief Rabbi condemn the raid. None of the community leaders could be reached by telephone from Paris for comment. Since the raid, most of Tunisia’s telephone links with the outside world have been cut.