Patrick Sebag, Tunis disco-owner and pig-farmer
If anyone is going to prove that Jews in Tunisia have a future after last week's elections - it is Patrick Sebag.
While Sebag's interests - pig-farming and distilling alcohol, among others - may be unusual to us, to the resurgent Islamists of the Ennahda party, winners of 40 percent of the vote, they will seem a red rag to a bull - breaking two Muslim taboos at once.
Yet according to an upbeat article in the Tunisian magazine Tunisie-Mag, Sebag, who owns one of Tunis' top disco-bars and a tourist village, has chosen this critical time in Tunisian politics to announce that he will be investing 250,000 dinars in G'est Hotel, a new tourist village.
Another Tunisian-Jewish property developer active in Djerba, Gabriel Kabla is about to invest 150,000 dinars.
The article triumphantly declares that despite predictions of a mass exodus when the Arab Spring erupted, Tunisia is still home to some 1,500 Jews. This is all the more remarkable as the Jews are strongly identified with the deposed Ben Ali regime.
But Jews are attempting to engage with the new political reality. Not one, but two Jews have stood in the elections - Elie Trabelsi and Gilles-Jacob Lellouche. (Neither was elected.)
The article also reveals that the leader of the Jewish community, Roger Bismuth, has had discreet talks with the Ennahda party to seek reassurances that the Jewish community has a future.
This accounts for his mealy-mouthed pronouncements to journalists, trying to put a brave face on the election results.
It would be nice to share in Tunisie-Mag's optimism, but the Ennahda party intends to impose an Islamic state governed by Shari'a law. The Jewish entrepreneurs are secure in the knowledge that they can always decamp to France if things don't work out. And Roger Bismuth would do well to remember Churchill's words, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last”.
Read article in full (French)