Ariana – Tunisian President Kais Saied has countered allegations of antisemitism in his country by complaining that whereas Tunisians, including his grandfather, saved Jews during the Holocaust, Israel is killing Palestinians unopposed.
Saied made the comments earlier this week during a visit to Ariana, a city near the capital Tunis, less than a week after the slaying in a suspected terrorist attack of two Jews and two security officers by a fellow security officer, who was killed in an ensuing shootout.
Critics, including multiple Jewish groups, said the attack showed that antisemitism had infiltrated some in the army, and that the government’s handling of the affair was flawed.
“There were Nazi army tents here. The Jews hid in this apartment of my father, and the locals protected them from the Nazi army. And then they say we’re antisemitic? Our Palestinian brethren are killed daily, elderly people, young people, women. Homes are demolished but no one is saying anything about that.”
Later in the visit, Saied said: “Some distort history, twist the facts, conspire against the state, wish to destabilize our national home, and then accuse us of antisemitism. What era do they think they’re in?”