Watch: Tunisians claim Holocaust was a 'myth and a lie'

Tunisians protest at opening of Holocaust exhibition at National Library in Tunis, claim Holocaust never happened.

Elad Benari,

Flag of Tunisia
Flag of Tunisia

Tunisians protested at the opening of a Holocaust exhibition at the National Library in Tunis recently, tearing down posters and chanting slogans such as "Free Palestine, out with the Zionists."

A report on the protest appeared on Meem Magazine Online, an Arab women's magazine, on December 15, and was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

Tunisian University Professor Habib Kazdaghli, the exhibition's organizer, said that the purpose of the exhibition was to "make our children love history" and that it had been organized months before U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration on Jerusalem.

Hamida Bessaad, a National Library researcher, blasted the exhibition, saying the organizer "wants our little children to get to know the history of the Jews and learn about their Holocaust," but that "the children of Palestine have been going through a Holocaust since 1948."

Civil society activist Kawthar Chebbi called the Holocaust a "decades-old myth" and a lie, and political activist Omar Al-Majri said that the Holocaust had been "perpetrated by the Zionist movement in collaboration with the Nazis."

In 1996, Tunisia and Israel opened interest sections in each other's country, but Tunis froze relations in 2000 in protest against Israel's response to the Second Intifada.

In 2014, Tunisia's tourism minister faced criticism from parliamentarians over a trip to Israel she took in 2006 to take part in a UN training program for Palestinian Arab youths.

She, along with another minister, also faced censure later that year after being accused of promoting "normalization" with Israel. Those motions were withdrawn.

Two months ago, a new study was presented at a conference at the Bar-Ilan University which revealed that the number of Tunisian Jews who perished in the Holocaust is tens of percentage points higher than previously thought, and stands at close to 700 people.