But are there any takers?
Seeing that the ”Arab Spring” was nothing more than an ”Islamic fundamentalist springboard”, I can sympathize with Tunisian Jews not readily accepting the invitation to return to Tunisia.
Jews Welcomed Back to Oldest Synagogue in Tunisia for First Time Since “Arab Spring”
The oldest synagogue in Tunisia opened its doors Sunday to visitors for the first time since protests broke out in the country in 2011. Jewish pilgrims visited Ghriba, Africa’s oldest synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, where security was high to prevent any violence.
The protests in 2011 eventually led to the ouster of the country’s leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and inspired similar movements in countries throughout the region. But it also proved problematic for the Jewish community in Tunisia, and security concerns prevented the use of Ghriba.
This year the pilgrimage, which started Friday, took place in a festival-like atmosphere with a final procession attended by Tourism Minister Jamel Ghamra and Tunisia’s Grand Rabbi Haim Bitan.
According to legend, the synagogue was founded in 586 BC by Jews fleeing the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem.
“There’s an impressive security presence which is a positive step that sends a message to the Jews in the world and says Tunisia protects them, although the county’s leadership is Muslim,” Perez Trabelsi, head of the Jewish community in Djerba, was quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 as saying. “Jews in the world should see the effort of the government and understand that they can come back here now and in the coming years.”