appointed a woman to be Secretary of Education. Her name is Noria bin Gabrit Rimon.
Immediately, Algerians started wondering whether she was Jewish. After all, they note, "Rimon" rhymes with...Shimon.
More fuel for the fire came from the fact that she came from a region of Algeria from which many Jews lived, after fleeing from Spain in the 15th centuries.
Salafist leader Sheikh Abdel Fattah Zrawi Himedash denounced the appointment, asking how a Jew can possibly help educate the Islamic masses of Algeria, He asked "what right and legitimacy and credibility can the Jew Noria bin Gabrit Ramon bring to the Ministry of Education and the education sector in Algeria?".
Her party denied the scurrilous accusations, saying that they wouldn't choose someone with such "questionable" background. They said that Rimon was an Arabization of the Spanish "Ramon," and that her family helped found a major mosque in Paris in the 1920s.
To its credit, some in the Algerian media pushed back, asking what difference it would make if she were actually Jewish.
A Report on the Yesha Council at AIPAC
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