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Tunisia’s first Jewish minister in decades sparks protest

Opponents of businessman Rene Trabelsi’s appointment cite his repeated visits to Israel, and the fact that he brings Jews to Tunisia's historic El Ghriba synagogue.

René Trabelsi. Credit: Television Tunisiénne 1.
René Trabelsi. Credit: Television Tunisiénne 1.

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed’s decision to appoint a Jewish businessman to the post of tourism minister has been met with protest in the North African country.

Opponents of Rene Trabelsi’s appointment accuse him of supporting Israel.

One of those contesting the move is Tunisian political analyst, who argued that Trabelsi was “the owner of travel agencies and airlines, which runs counter to his role as minister, and he makes repeat visits to Israel and brings Jews from there to visit the El Ghriba synagogue.”

Trabelsi’s appointment is historic in that he is the first Jew to be appointed minister in the country since the 1950s.

Born on the island of Djerba, Trabelsi is the son of one of the heads of Tunisia’s Jewish community.

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