Thursday, April 21, 2016

  • Thursday, April 21, 2016
  • Elder of Ziyon
Students in Tunisia who were on the island of Djerba raised a Nazi flag during a celebration.

From Tunisia-Live:
Students at the Houmt Essouk high school on Djerba have been pictured waving a swastika flag during the annual festivities that greet each year’s baccalaureate sports exam. The Dakhla, the celebration that precedes each year’s exam, has grown in importance since the revolution, as students use the festivities to compete for prominence amongst other schools in both the scale and imagination of their celebrations.

However, distinguishing themselves from their peer group has led to controversy, with students at Kairouan last year drawing a large mural of an Islamic State, (Daesh) fighter and the group’s victims, prompting the decision earlier this year to have the Ministry of Education assume responsibility for supervising this year’s event. Yamina Thabet, president of the Tunisian Association for the Support of Minorities, firmly condemned the use of Nazi symbolism on Djerba. “This is not the first time something like this has happened,” she told Tunisia Live. “I’m ashamed of this.” Thabet attributed this latest incident to a lack of supervision by the Ministry of Education. “Each year there are incidents due to a lack of supervision. If they’re unable to do it, we’re happy to provide proposals.”

“Last year they also waved a flag with Hitler’s image on it in Jendouba,” Thabet said. She added that displays such as this should be treated with the utmost seriousness. “These images travel around the world very fast, and people don’t seem to understand that it’s a serious matter. Who knows, such kids might vote for a Nazi in the future,” she said.

Thabet welcomed the Ministry of Education’s decision to contact her organization and collaborate with them on preventing reoccurrences of the incident in Houmt Essouk, as well as their opening of an investigation into the case. Following yesterday’s display in Houmt Essouk, security forces took three baccalaureate students and the High School’s Director in for questioning. All were released after several hours.

The island of Djerba is home to the largest settlement of Tunisia’s Jewish population. The annual pilgrimage at its El Ghriba synagogue, the oldest in Africa, attracts thousands of Jews from different countries to come for their holy rites. This year it will take place between the 25 and 26 of May.

The Ministry of Education, who previously confirmed that they would assume responsibility for this year’s event, have yet to respond to Tunisia Live’s requests for comment.

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