News24

Tunisia Islamists rule out Israel ties

2012-04-01 21:33

Tunis - The head of Tunisia's governing Islamist party has said the country cannot normalise ties with Israel, the official TAP news agency reported on Sunday.

Rached Ghannouchi said that "Tunisians' problem is with Zionism, not with Judaism", but TAP said "the president of Ennahda stressed... there can be no normalisation with Israel."

The party won the most seats in an October 23 election,

TAP said Ghannouchi told a ceremony on Saturday in the northwestern town of Beja that the only way for Palestinians to reclaim their land now occupied by Israel is through "the victory of democratic regimes in the Arab World".

He added that Tunisia's toppled leader Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was "a collaborator with the Zionists".

Ben Ali, who clung to power through strong-arm tactics and widely discredited elections "betrayed the Palestinian cause", TAP quoted Ghannouchi as saying.

A few hundred people held a rally outside the national assembly building in Tunis on Friday to protest any normalisation of ties with Israel.

After several years of warming ties, the Israeli and Tunisian authorities opened interest sections in each other's countries in 1996 but Tunis broke off all relations in 2000 after the outbreak of the second intifada.

The country had hosted the headquarters of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organisation from 1982 to 1994.

Ghannouchi greeted Gaza's Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh upon his arrival in Tunis in January.

The trip was Haniyeh's first travel abroad since Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.

Haniyeh's visit reportedly angered Palestinian representatives in Tunis who are loyal to Hamas's rival Fatah. The Fatah officials accused Ennahda of organising the sensitive diplomatic visit without without proper consultation.

Comments
  • Sipho - 2012-04-01 23:08

    well wrong said FRED, and 21st century african idiot,what LIES are you going to tell now? same thing will happen in egypt......oops,almost forgot,it already HAS happened in egypt. the same with libya!! well my friend fred, your chickens have come home to roost! you are all out of lies to tell about your beloved democracy seeking "ARAB SPRING" sad! the bigotry and hatred that you have for ANY african leader blinded you so badly that you actually supported these al-qaeda led revolts,while all along knowing that you were telling one lie after another in support of them!

      Fred - 2012-04-02 14:02

      I recommend you read the other more numerous articles on Tunisia's position regarding anti-semitism and Israel.

  • Larry - 2012-04-02 06:37

    These Arab countries like to proclaim that their problem is with Zionism and not Judaism. Why then did Tunisia pogrom and expell tens of thousands of Arab Jews from their country, at the same time stealing their land-holdings and possesions. Thanks Tunisia - these Arab Jews landed up in Israel and makes Israel the strong country it is today. In any case, Israel does not want to trade in goats and camel hair rugs. Israel has more technology start-ups than all of Europe and Asia put together. It does not need relations with some flea-infested armpit.

      Jaba - 2012-04-02 10:11

      Patrick I agree with you except for one point. Israel does have leaders that want peace(Israel wants peace – its good for business)... It is the Palestinians that have so many terror groups and other associations that no ones know who is leading who. All are too scared to make peace as to not lose support (none want to negotiate with Israel as it would make them look weak.) There is no Palestinian Madiba - there never has been one. Israel votes for a new government ever 4 years... each election is won by the governments that promise to bring peace. All Israeli governments have failed as there has never been a partner on the other side. The Palestinian leaderships are either religious fanatics or a bunch of indolent beggars who are fed by the; West, World Bank & other UN agencies. The Leaderships have become so depended on aid from either the West or Iran (Hamas) that peace would only mean one thing – They would have to start working to feed the family – and hard honest work is not on their agenda.

      Rob - 2012-04-08 09:15

      Well said Larry, couldn't have said it better

  • Jaba - 2012-04-02 10:21

    quotes from MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR "Israel's right to exist as a state in security is uncontestable." "Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality." And this one for Rached Ghannouchi of the (head of Tunisia's governing Islamist party) "When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism."

      Muhammad - 2012-04-02 11:55

      "South Africans will never see freedom until Palestinians see freedom" - Nelson Mandela

      Fred - 2012-04-02 13:58

      Mohammed, that's not a legitimate reference.

      Larry - 2012-04-02 20:39

      Palestinians are completely free to acknowledge israel's existence. They are free to be peaceful with their Jewish neighbors, in Israel and in co-called settlements in the West Bank. And so on, and so on.... The arab countries that keep Palestinian refugees in limbo and locked up in concentration camps are also free to make them citizens of the countries that have hosted them for sixty years, so that they can assimilate and be FREE to prosper and have equal rights to movement and employment. The Israeli Muslim arab citizens are FREE, and quite a contented lot. We dont hear much complaint from them, do we?

      Rob - 2012-04-08 09:22

      Jaba, well said, and to add - the Arab world hates Israel for the simple reason they are Jews, they would love for Israel to simply disappear,but that won't happen,there is no nation called Palestinians, the long and the short of it is - They ARE ARABS. - And they just hate Israel.

  • Alistair - 2012-04-02 14:25

    Once again more proof that the Palestine issue is one of ideology and not territory. The intolerance of basically every Arab state pushed their respective Jewish communities into Israel. Tunisian, Moroccan, Yemenite, Iraqi, Iranian, Lebanese, Afghan, and other Jewish communities were systematically persecuted. So, they moved to tiny Israel and helped create a democratic society which economically far outstrips any of its Arab neighbours. This is not a land issue; the issue is on of anti Jewish sentiment by Arabs. They cannot stand the success Israel has achieved. It is Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad which keeps the Palestinians from being free, not Israel.

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