Tunisia: did protesters torch synagogue?

Reuters, AFP and other wire services reported Feb. 1 that a synagogue was set aflame by arsonists in the Tunisian city of Ghabes overnight, in a wave of nocturnal violence that also affected the capital. “I condemn this action and I believe those who did it want to create divisions between Jews and Muslims in Tunisia who have lived for decades in peace,” said local Jewish community leader Peres Trabelsi. “What especially shocked me was the fact that there was a police force not far from the synagogue when it was attacked,” he added. However, later the same day, AFP retracted the story, saying without elaboration that their sources had withdrawn the accusation.

Also Feb. 1, Tunisia’s new interior minister Farhat Rajhi ordered the arrest of his sacked predecessor Rafik Belhaj Kacem, saying some members of the security forces were in a “conspiracy” to undermine the state. He implied they had a hand in the previous night’s violence, which included an attack on the ministry building.

A UN investigative panels has arrived at a figure of 219 deaths in the Tunisian uprising, including some 70 killed in fires and repression following prison uprisings. The government had previously put the total figure at 78. (BBC News, AFP, EJP, YNet, Al-Arabiya, Feb. 1)

An indigenous Mizrahi Jewish community persists in Tunisia, as in most North African countries, although considerably dwindled since the establishment of Israel. In April 2002, North Africa’s oldest synagogue, on the Tunisian island of Djerba,was badly damaged in a deadly terrorist attack.

See our last posts on Tunisia, the new Arab uprisings and the politics of anti-Semitism.

Please leave a tip or answer the Exit Poll.

  1. There was no fire or torching
    This information is false rumor that has been denied by the TAP (Official News Agency of Tunisia). Please verify your information. Call directly the Jewish leaders in Tunisia to verify.


    1. Why, because a muslim or leftist says there wasn’t?
      Haaretz (which is about as far left /pro appeasement of jihad as you can get in Israel) IS reporting this arson took place.

  2. synogogue torched?
    It’s about time!

    this revolt is about the occupation of American opinion, World opinion, and the revision of history by Jews.

    The reason Jews are so paranoid about ‘speech’ is that THEY KNOW BEST WHAT THEY DESERVE.

    they’ve actively earned every calorie of contempt by billions of people in every host country destroyed by this flesh eating virus.

    1. See, anti-Semitism doesn’t exist
      Thank you once again for the vindication.

      Of course the above violates our Posting Policy, but it is such a heart-warming reassurance of the non-existence of anti-Semitism that we’ll leave it up anyway.

      Thank you.

  3. muslim brotherhood
    this is no doubt the work of the muslim brotherhood,a bbc news story stated that the muslimbrotherhood had stolen rifles from a police station in the egyptian city of suez,and was shooting protestors from rooftops in cairo and suez

    1. How about a link, “Anonymous”?
      Everyone is quick to make assertions in this item, without providing documentation.

      The Muslim Brotherhood may have a branch in Tunisia, but they are primarily an Egyptian group. We suspect you may actually have your countries mixed up. Please check your facts.