Jewish pilgrimage this year to the ancient synagogue Griba on the Tunisian island of Djerba, has caused a political crisis that called on the intervention of the president to appease on the ever contentious relationship with the Jews. Tunisia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and was protected headquarters of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) between 1982 and 1994, but receives each May thousands of pilgrims visit one of the oldest Jewish temples, founded in 586 BC, especially since the fall of President Zine El Abidine Bel Ali in 2011.
The synagogue griba is visited in May during the celebrations of Pesach, 33 days after Passover, by thousands of pilgrims from Tunisia and worldwide with the head and legs covered for a Torah is considered unique. Yerba is now also a luxury vacation destination. In the first four months of 2014 Tunisia has received a million visitors, up 7.1 % from a year earlier.
The Minister of Tourism of Tunisia, Amel Karbul, was the first who linked the pilgrimage between 13 and 18 May to griba with strategic national tourism sector. One idea that has reinforced these days the president of the Jewish community on the island, Perez Trabelsi. But a group of deputies from several opposition parties have strongly questioned the facilities granted to Israeli tourists to visit the area. And the customs authorities at the port of Tunis in March prevented the landing of some Israeli cruise. The Tunisian Federation of Hotels called cease controversy.
The minister not only did not flinch but Jewish tradition associated with the launch of an all positive international tourists on peace, security and tranquility of this key country in the Maghreb post. He also asked the ministers of Interior and Foreign Affairs to take all necessary measures to ensure that Jewish tourists will not have any problems during the pilgrimage measures. But political peace did not come.
Opponents of the “normalization” of relations with Israel Tunisian political groups met Wednesday in the National Constituent Assembly to convene a motion of censure against the Minister of Tourism and the Interior Minister Ridha Sfar. At The safety accuse him of having dealt with the Constitution permits to some Israelis stepped on Tunisian soil and is met even with the Minister of Tourism, which was already criticized in his nomination because he visited Israel in the past ” for professional reasons “. Opponents have now joined by more than 80 votes of the 217 available to the Tunisian Parliament. But for a successful motion of censure must add three fifths of the chamber (131 support).
Prime Minister of Tunisia, Mehdi Yumaa, support your team in this ” false debate ” ironically to the “dynamism” of its promoters and has said: ” All Jews are welcome to pilgrims griba “.