Tunisians Protest Israeli Violence in Gaza

By Paul Rosenfeld | Nov 16 2012 Share on Linkedin Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Share on pinterest Print

Tags: avenue bourguiba ,criminalization ,Gaza ,Israeli airstrike ,normalization with Israel ,

Protesters burn a makeshift Israeli flag.

About 500 Tunisians demonstrated on Friday in downtown Tunis against the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

The protests coincided with governmental calls for action. Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abdessalem announced today that he will travel to Gaza as part of a Tunisian mission to support Hamas and increase pressure on Israel, according to the ministry’s official Facebook page.

The National Constituent Assembly also discussed today a proposed draft law that would criminalize the normalization of relations with Israel, Azed Bade, the head of the Wafa Block, told Mosaique FM. He said that 30 members have already signed the petition.

At the protest, demonstrators burned makeshift Israeli flags and shouted slogans such as the people want the liberation of Palestine, America and the Muslim Brotherhood are partners in aggression, and destroy, destroy Tel Aviv. As the protesters made their way toward the oft-reviled Ministry of the Interior, they chanted, the Ministry of the Interior is the Ministry of Terrorism.

Intermittent rain did not stop the protesters from spending nearly two hours on Habib Bourguiba Avenue before peacefully marching back to Mohamed Ali Square, the site of the headquarters for Tunisia's largest trade union (UGTT).

Additional police and military personnel were deployed along Avenue Bourguiba, especially in front of the French Embassy, but no clashes occurred.

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    So the Tunisian government openly supports Hamas…interesting…..why is that.

    No mention of the other Palestinian groups Palestine Liberation Organiztion, Fatah, Third Way, Palestinian People’s Party or the Palestinian Democratic Union. There are so many differing views about how this country that to proceed to support only one group is perhaps not the wisest move. America also supports Tunisia so maybe the government needs to tell the US it no longer wants funding from a country that supports Israel. To be fair to Obama he has not given Israel what it wants so I think it would be politic to proceed with caution.

    Listen to to the silence from many other Arab countries, Saudi for instance. Hamas pledged to liberate Gaza even though parties dont want the help of Hamas and the violence it promises. It could be argued that Hamas is putting people’s lives at risk. Even though many of the people dont support them outside of Gaza.

    Yes Israel is not the best of negotiators either but at least they have the full support of the people. Hatred gains nothing but more hatred.

      • If all Arabs and their countries support the people of Palestine why have they been left in such a mess….My point is that the article only mentions Hamas yet there are many other groups in Palestine who do not support Hamas so why does Tunisia support them…… surely better to say that the people of Tunisia support the Palestine people. If the people of Palestine are supported by ALL arabs then the question is who needs arab support….. My mention of Israel is that it would ‘appear’ that the people of Israel are behind their government while all the Palestine people do not want to live in constant war like conditions.

        • Angela,

          You mention that the people of Israel stand behind their government. Does that mean that Israel has the moral high ground? It’s not the first time in history that a democratically elected government has its people supporting it in oppressing another group of people. Take apartheid as an example. A democratically elected white government was support by its white European population in oppressing the black African population for decades. By the way apartheid South Africa’s closest supporter and ally was the state of Israel.

          The fact is that Israel is a very racist society founded on the racist Zionist ideology. By the way the majority of the world has equated Zionism with racism similar to other racist ideoligies such as Nazism and fascism. I remember in the late 80s the Ethiopian Jews in Israel were misled into dontating blood which was secretly dumped down the drain beacause the racist Israeli establishmnet considered it to be inferior. There was mass rioting after that event. I hate to think what the Palestinian indigenous population who is not even Jewish has been going through all these decades. Even today African migrants in Israel are treated in an extremely poor manner solely because of the colour of their skin. So the point that I am trying to make is that it doesn’t mean anything for the people of Israel to be behind their democratically elected government.

          Which now brings us to you other point. So if we have differences with Hamas, are we supposed to turn our backs aways in light of the Israeli barbaric aggression? Not all Arab governments are necessarily with the Palestinan cause since the majority of governments have not been chosen by the people. Many of these governments continue to have a vested interest in external powers such as the US, Europe, etc. There currently exists a disconnect between the will of the people and their authoritarian governments in the Arab world.

          What we are witnessing today is the Arab Spring countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya where the new elected governments are aligning their policies with the will of the people.

          I dont personally agree with Hamas’ policies but what is clear to me without the slightest doubt is that the continuing Palestinain misery over the last 65 years, which predates Hamas by many decades, is the result of Israeli occupation to the land of Palestine.

          I want to wrap up with a final thought if I may. The day that Israel commited their unprovoked assasination last week mainstream media outlets had broke a story earlier in the day of the Israeli government planning to topple Mahmoud Abbas’ government if he went to the UN to ask the General Assembly for an upgrade in Palestine’s status. That same day Israel commited its atrocity. Is this a coincidence?

          So the Palestinians are damned if they do and dammed if they don’t. If they go through the ligitimate means they are threatned with toppling, an if they decisde to take up arms and fight the occupation, they are massacred. What do you think they should do?

          Europe’s guilt for the atrocities that they commited in WWII has forced them to give a carte blanche to Israels own atrocities towards the indegenoius Palestinian population. The only issue here is that the Arabs and Palestinains had nothing to do with what happened in Europe and ultimately it is the Palestinians who have paid the heavy price.

          Arabs people will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Palestine, not because they are out brethern, but because it is a just cause.

          Thank you and best regards.

          • Hi Faris….No i dont at all agree with anything the Israeli people do. Anyone with a conscience could not support the heinous things that they have done to the Palestinian people. My point was that as a country they stand together. Whereas in Palestine there are many different factions who do not agree with the way forward. so I was interested why the Tunisian government would back Hamas particularly.

            I have allied the Palestinian cause to the black cause in South Africa when like now the whole world stood by and did nothing for many years….while the white occupiers put the black people through many kinds of indignity. It was not till Nelson Mandala came out of prison did things change…..Now many people called him a terrorist when he was fighting for his people but eventually he won through peace. My problem with groups like Hamas is that they are a jihad organization and seemingly dont want peace vowing to kill….

            Arabs standing shoulder to shoulder….er no there are many people of many races who have stood with the Palestinian people….many people have risked their lives to run Israeli blockades in order to deliver food stuffs and medical supplies…I know this. To make it an Arab thing is again separating humanity….when all of this is a basic human problem.

            I am not sure we are disagreeing I think its a matter of perspective and I learned from your post, as I do from all the posts. I would like the solution to be based on today, now in the present. Sometimes I think history fuels aggression as a woman of colour i know this to be true. As a people we all need to move to the future and see reconciliation of all people on a even playing field, if that makes sense.

            I hope that makes my thinking clearer and I thank you for your post.


        • Angela, Ohh Angela !!!

          How convenient or I give the benefit of the dout
          That Hammas was ” DEMOCTICALLY ELECTED ” by the poeple of Gaza …. I hate Hammas… or not, that is not a reason for me to dislike or hate all of the people of Gaza ! Eh !
          The US and Israel crued foul when Hammas was elected
          ” WHY ” ? … this only mean ” you do as we say or no peace is what Israel is saying ” …

          Question : Would you accept living under my boot and do what I tell ya ???

          I thought so

          Have a nice day

          • Sam o Sam Obama was elected does nto mean everyone likes it….my issue is with the proclaimed violence and really all i am saying is that hatred begets hatred….I have not supported that I hate anyone…i dont use the word hate. Equally i did not mention anything derogatory about the people of Gaza…..Wow your really disturbed.

          • Thanks for your post I have not lost sight of the culprit and agree that it is Israel. I have used my energy demonstrating against Israel…However I am for peace and I really wish the world would stop standing on the sidelines and find a non violent resolution sooner rather than later.

            I dont blame anyone for defending themselves…my only point is that violence attracts more violence the same with hatred….that just circulates year after year…..Look I don’t pretend to have a road map to peace its just my wish.


      • Very ” COY ” of you putting it that way … Have you ever thought that other might have a heart for the oppressed
        and simply crying for the bloodshed to stop ???

        AGAIN AND AGAIN … You seem to ” Ligitimize ” your life
        and dismiss the lives of others
        Whyne all you want
        The truth is greater than you, your God of money and might
        and any Rome that ever existed

  1. Hello Angela,

    If you noted from what I wrote, I did mention that I disagree with Hamas’ approach. In fact I don’t necessarily agree with mixing of religion with politics under any circumstances. I have no issues with any religion. They are all good at their core, it’s people who distort and interpret it to their liking.

    That said when Israel’s aggresion starts and their bombs are dropped on innocent civilians we should not lose sight of who the real culprit here and that is Israel. If it wasn’t for Israel’s occupation none of this would have happened. Even the terrorism that is waged against Israel is the result of Israel’s seven decades of terrorism that it has waged against the occupied Palestinians. When one loses all hope of resolving their legitimate cause through the international community do you blame them for resorting to violence? Israel created all the terrorism with its occupation. In fact the first terrorist organizations who resorted to violence were the Zionist gangs in Palestine in the 40s.

    Some people may say that Israel pulled out of Gaza years ago. I ask them do they really think that Israel ended its occupation or is Gaza one large prison with two million inmates? The occupation has never ended although Israel would like us to believe so. If you have the power to cut power and water of millions then the reality is you occupy them.

    Please don’t lose sight of this fact and it is better that you use your energy to condemn the real culprit here.

    All the best to you.

    • Thanks for your post I have not lost sight of the culprit and agree that it is Israel. I have used my energy is a wise way and have been arrested for demonstrating against Israel…However I am for peace and I really wish the world would stop standing on the sidelines and find a non violent resolution sooner rather than later.

      I dont blame anyone for defending themselves…my only point is that violence attracts more violence the same with hatred….that just circulates year after year…..Look I don’t pretend to have a road map to peace its just my wish.


      • Hi Angela,

        Thank you and I agree with you and hope there is a non-violent just and equitable resolution that will spare all people on the ground the pain and misery that has gone on for a long time. You are correct in that the situation will only be resolved with world intervention so that the Palestinians regain their dignity and self determination. Unfortunately as long as the US is biased towards Israel, peace will not be realized. A true honest broker is badly needed.

        The Israelis will need to get over their greed for land, rasicm, and expansionism and the Palestinians will need a Mandela like leader who will portray their just and honourable cause in a non-violent way such as to garner popular support in Europe and elsewhere. This will in turn force those governments to listen to their people and start to play the role of the honest broker.

        I wish you all the best and hope that we can continue to exchange ideas in the future on this forum.



        • Thank you for the exchanges. I will end by saying that I feel the Palestinian problem is a matter for the whole world. Regardless of class, creed, religion or race. I also believe that part of this recent attack is because Israel is angry at the US for not agreeing to help attack and attempt to wipe out Iran….Israel needs a conflict in the region so that it garners support for its anger. However even though the Israeli agenda is very clear……the people who support the Palestinian people would also be very clear about the difference in supporting the people of the country versus the political parties of ALL countries who seldom have the rights of the every day person to the fore. I dont know of a country where the politicians truly reflect the hearts of the people….except at election times that is.

          I hope that from this ongoing problem a leader emerges in the way that Mandela or Aung San Suu Kyi did….someone who is not allied to anyone but the people on the ground who can create a ground swell among the people for peace. Its horrible to think there are men and women in Gaza who, since childhood have only known dust, fear, war, loss, hatred and death through their lives….

          I look forward to exchanging views in the future also.