It did not take long for Tunisia's new Jewish tourism minister to have to declare that normal links with Israel are a 'sensitive' issue. Middle East Monitor reports (with thanks: Lily):
Rene Trabelsi takes the oath as tourism minister
Tunisian Tourism Minister Rene Trabelsi has described the issue of diplomatic normalization with Israel as a “sensitive matter”.
Trabelsi, a Jewish Tunisian businessman who was recently given the government’s tourism portfolio, made the remarks during an interview with Israel’s i24 television channel, parts of which were aired Tuesday on Tunisian TV.
“As… minister of tourism, I have to follow the line of my government,” he said during the interview. “I would add that Tunisia has been historically committed to peace in the Middle East.
“The Palestinian cause is close to our hearts… and we have served it well,” Trabelsi added. “But our message is to look for peace. The notion of peace is very important in Tunisian culture.”
The minister’s comments on the controversial subject triggered considerable controversy on social-media platforms, with some commenters opining that the interview itself constituted a form of normalization.
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