Tunisia Jewish leader meets interim PM over safety concerns

(JTA) — Tunisia’s Jewish community is concerned for its security in the wake of anti-Jewish protests outside of the capital’s main synagogue, a community leader said.

The head of the Tunisian Jewish community, Roger Bismuth, met over the weekend with the country’s interim prime minister, Mohammed Ghanoucci, and requested better security for the country’s 1,500 Jews, the French news agency AFP reported.

On Feb. 11, dozens of Muslim demonstrators gathered in front of the main synagogue in the capital, Tunis, and chanted anti-Jewish epithets.

Last month, amid the political upheaval and violence in the African nation that toppled President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian military deployed forces specifically charged with protecting the Jewish community on the southern island of Djerba and elsewhere. The interim government reportedly is working to stabilize the country.

Among the Jews in Tunisia, 1,100 are living in Djerba and the rest in Tunis.
 

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