Tunisia Marks Annual Jewish Pilgrimage as an Achievement

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The annual Jewish pilgrimage to the Tunisian island of Djerba should be maintained as a symbol of the North African nation’s openness to the world, Tunisia’s tourism minister said Tuesday..

Elyes Fakhfakh’s remarks come at a time of uncertainty for Tunisia’s small Jewish minority, which has been alarmed by the rise of ultraconservative Islamist groups spouting anti-Semitic rhetoric since the country’s longtime dictator was overthrown in January 2011.

Jews have been living in Djerba since 500 B.C. and the synagogue there is believed to be one of the oldest on the African continent. The Jewish community in Tunisia itself numbered 100,000 in the 1960s, but most left following the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The tourism minister told journalists on the sidelines of a Mediterranean tourism conference that the pilgrimage, set this year for May 9, should be protected.

Read More: @ haaretz.com

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Posted by on Wednesday, April 18th, 2012. Filed under Jewish News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.