Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Tunisia synagogue looted

A few days ago I noted a Wikileaks cable talking about how Tunisian anti-semitism was well-hidden under the rule of Ben Ali, where he took special precautions to protect the Jewish community. I wondered whether that protection would continue after his fall.

The JC provides the answer:

A synagogue in the Tunisian city of Sfax has been vandalised.

According to CRIF, the representative body of French Jewry, Synagogue Beth-El was ransacked towards the end of last month while Tunisian Muslims were marking the month of Ramadan. It is believed the synagogue has not been guarded since the Arab Spring revolutionaries overthrew the government of President Zein el-Abbadin Bin Ali.

Witnesses told CRIF that windows were broken, marble plaques marking supporters of the synagogue were smashed and the contents of cabinets including collection boxes and silver Judaica items were stolen.

In addition, several household appliances including the air conditioner unit are missing from the apartment adjoining the synagogue.
CRIF adds that there has been a shortage of police because of the chaotic security situation. However, the synagogue was looted on a Ramadan night opposite a popular coffee house, so it is unlikely that no one saw it. CRIF details the vandalism - marble plaques, stained glass windows, silver candlesticks.