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Tunisian Jews resist Zionist pressure to make aliyah

Three months after Tunisia's first post-revolutionary elections brought the  moderate-Islamist Ennahda party to power, the country's Jewish leaders told the BBC (in comments picked up by Israel's YNet Jan. 31) that they have no intention of making aliyah.

Following the elections, Israeli Vice Premier Silvan Shalom called on Tunisian Jews to immigrate to Israel for their own safety. But the country's Jews aren't going for it.

"Me, I'm a Tunisian Jew," said Atun Khalifa, a senior figure in the community. "I know my country well and I'm against the proposition to leave because no-one here is afraid. I don't tell him [Shalom] where to go!" 

Jacob LeLouche, who ran as an independent liberal candidate in October's historic elections, said: "Where would I go—to Europe? Come on, I'm not stupid. To Israel? I'm not that stupid either."

Lelouche, who runs Tunisia's only kosher restaurant, added: "It's important that a Jewish man can stand in elections here, but it's not a problem—nobody really cares."

And it'll stay that way, insh'allah.

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