Tunisia's president-elect: Normalization with Israel is treason

In TV debate before presidential election, two final contenders denounce idea of ties with Israel, say normalization should be illegal.

Elad Benari, Canada,

Kais Saied
Kais Saied
Reuters

Tunisia’s Watania TV on Saturday aired a debate between the two final contenders in the country’s presidential race, with the issues of Israel coming up in the debate.

Candidate Kais Saied said that the problem is not with the Jews and that Tunisians, including his father, protected Jews from the Nazis. He also said that anybody who normalizes relations with Israel, with which he said Tunisia is in a state of war, should be tried for treason.

His opponent, Nabil Karoui, said that Tunisia should support Palestinian Arabs and the Palestinian Authority in whatever position they take regarding Israel. When pressed by the hosts whether there should be a clause in the constitution that would criminalize dealings and normalization with Israel, he answered in the affirmative.

The debate was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

On Sunday, it was announced that Saied had won the presidency with more than 75% of the votes.

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.

In 2017, Tunisia banned the film "Wonder Woman" which stars Israeli actress Gal Gadot, because Gadot had defended Israel's counterterorism Operation Protective Edge on Facebook.

Last year, a Tunisian legislator ripped up an Israeli flag during a parliament session to push his demands for a law criminalizing relations with Israel.

On the flip side, the head of the Liberal Tunisian Party has opined that his country should normalize ties with Israel, saying that doing so was in its best interest.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Sukkot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)




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