Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Tunisian Jew starts petition condemning Imam
The MEMRI clip recording the inflammatory sermon of the Imam of the Rades mosque
A Tunisian Jew is aiming to gather 10,000 signatures for his petition demanding that a Tunisian Imam be prosecuted for Jew-hatred. (With thanks: JIMENA)
The petition has garnered over 1,000 signatures so far.
It declares: "For several months, Tunisians of the Jewish faith have been suffering abuse during public demonstrations and in the mosques. On 30 November, the Imam of the mosque of Rades could not hide his hatred for the Jews, saying :' O Allah, in the same way you destroyed the peoples of Aad and Tamud, destroy this gang of Jews...Let their wives become barren."
The petition goes on: "The government of Tunisia has kept silent, so we should like to know how far you support Tunisians of the Jewish faith in the knowledge that our complaints have not been followed up by the Tunisian justice system."
Some of the petition's non-Jewish Tunisian signatories qualify their support, saying they are expressing their solidarity with Jews and not with Zionists, thus echoing the famous 19th century French politician Clermont Tonerre - prepared to grant all rights to Jews as individual citizens, but nothing to Jews as a nation.
In my view, the weakness of this petition, however well-meaning, is that it perpetuates a false distinction between Jews and Zionists, or between 'good' Jews and 'bad' Jews. Tunisians must resign themselves to the fact that many if not most Jews are today Zionists, or have family who are Zionists, and that the future lies in recognising the fact that as well as being loyal citizens of their countries of birth, Jews can also have legitimate national aspirations in their ancestral homeland.
The Imam of Rades must be challenged on his dubious Koranic claims regarding Jews, which are mostly pure fantasy. Even the Koran recognises that Jews lived in Jerusalem, and built their Beit Hamikdash (same word in Arabic for Temple) there.