Tipping Point Quick Hits (5.11.23)
A synagogue attack, Saudi-Israel speculation, and a digital Canadian dollar
Jewish Worshippers Attacked in Tunisia
Every year, thousands of Jewish visitors come to Ghriba temple on the island of Djerba. It’s a picturesque location off the southern coast of Tunisia, in north Africa. Located in the Jewish village of Hara Seghira, the synagogue is 2,500 years old. Jews from all over the world visit it because of legends that a stone or a door from the Second Temple is incorporated into the structure. (I don’t know if this is true or not.)
But more than 5,000 Jews visited Ghriba on pilgrimage in 2022. They were arriving again this year when the synagogue was attacked by a gunman, killing two Jewish pilgrims and three Tunisian police officers. The attacker was also killed by security personnel.
Apparently the Jewish worshippers were being harassed before the attack:
Israel’s Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli considered “the terrible attack in Djerba gravely” and noted that “unfortunately the incident was preceded by a tense period of shouts and harassment of the Jewish community at the site,” according to his office.
The European Jewish Congress expressed its “shock and outrage.”
“Terror attacks continue to target Jews around the world even when they are gathered in prayer, as we know from countless experiences over the years including at this very synagogue,” EJC President Ariel Muzicant said in a statement.
It’s not the first time this particular synagogue has been the subject of an attack. A truck bombing in 2002, claimed by al-Qaeda, killed more than 20 people near the entrance to the synagogue. Security has been tight in and around the synagogue ever since.
Hundreds of Jews live in Djerba, even though Tunisia is a majority-Muslim country.
You might wonder why the Jews have been subject to so much discrimination and abuse over the centuries, including the anti-Semitism today in the United States, the attacks in Israel and now this tragedy in Tunisia.
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