Misogynist Tunisian MP Causes Uproar during Ratification of Electoral Law
Spooked by MEMRI:
Tunisian Journalist: MEMRI Will Accuse Us of Antisemitism If We Prevent Entry of Israeli Tourists
Tunisia’s surest money-maker, in the bad old Ben Ali and Bourguiba days, was tourism. And now the government is trying to revive it. Revenues from the sale of Tunisian olive oil — usually mixed in with oil from Spain, Greece, Morocco as “Mediterranean olive oil” — and from the sale of those deglet noor dates that are to be found, still oozing date syrup, and packaged with a plastic stick, in every Prisunic and Monoprix from Marseille to Montreuil, are insufficient to keep the Tunisian government afloat.
The recent refusal to allow Israelis to enter TunisiaÂ led to the cancellation of a visit by a Norwegian cruise line. And visits by Jews from Europe to the dwindling community of Jews, and the synagogue, at Djerba (where an attack by fanatical Muslims was carried out a few years ago)Â aree unlikely to revive unless the Tunisian goverrnment ends its policy of keeping Israeli passport-holders out.
So the journalist here — presumabloy prominent — feels it prudent to present the case, and she needs to do it in a way her audience will accept. She knows they will understand if she hints at a conspiracy to undermine “the image” of Tunisia, and blames thatÂ conspiracy on MEMRI.org, exaggerating its power and scope (MEMRI does not publicize the slightest anti-Jewish remark made in the Middle East by Muslims, and could not, becauseÂ there are hundreds of thousands of such remarrks made every day; it does not translate what it finds into 70 languages, but more likeÂ 7) and sheÂ does not say anything about the morality of the refusal to allow Israelis to enter Tunisia, but sticks to the harm such a refusal does to Tunisian interests because, you see, MEMRI makes it easier for the outside world to find outÂ about it.
Amal Belhaj Ali, I’ve discovered, is one of the advanced, secular,Â francisantÂ Tunisians. She’s the best you can expect. And look at the limits she must respect, andÂ what immutable hatreds she cannot discuss or denounce, but must work around.