Anti-Zionist-Not-Antisemite of the Day: Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed


How is this for peak anti-Zionist-not-antisemite?

Houcemmzoughi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed apologized for accusing Jews of being behind instability in the country, Conference of European Rabbis president Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said yesterday.

“The president of Tunisia a few minutes ago called up the chief rabbi of Djerba, Rabbi Haim Bitan, and apologized for his diatribe against the Jews, faulting them for unrest in the country,” Goldschmidt tweeted.

Saïed seemed to refer to “the Jews who are stealing” while discussing the political situation with Tunisian citizens, as heard in a video posted to his Facebook page on Tuesday.

However, others have said that Saïed did not refer to Jews at all, and said “those who are sitting around stealing” in Tunisian dialect.

The edited, three-minute clip features Saïed meeting with members of the public on the street in a poor neighborhood, according to the video’s caption. He wore a mask as protection against the novel coronavirus and some of his remarks were muffled.

Saïed’s office denied making any reference to religion, saying that “this issue is not raised in Tunisia.”

The statement from the president’s office said Saïed “differentiates between Judaism on the one hand, and Zionism on the other,”

Denial he meant Jews, even though he must have, given he privately apologized? Check.

Clumsy statement explaining he meant “Zionists” and not “Jews”? Check.

All this is missing is “some of my best friends are Jewish.”

Oh, wait.

and that he invited the chief rabbi of Tunisia to attend his inauguration in 2019.

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A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media