Tunisian scouts’ movement bars French Jews attending interfaith event

Organisers of an interfaith meeting in Tunisia among members of the Scout Movement disinvited French Jewish delegates following pressure by BDS.

The two delegates of the International Forum of Jewish Scouts were excluded from the meeting held last week at the resort town of Hammamet for members of the youth movement from around the world. Titled “Interfaith Dialogue Ambassadors,” the event brought together 150 participants from 24 countries.

But the French Jews who traveled there to participate in the event were asked to leave, Francis Kalifat, the president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities – the country’s EJC affiliate – wrote in an open letter of complaint to Abdelaziz Rassaa, Tunisia’s ambassador to France.

The treatment of the two Jewish delegates at an event that “purports to bring closer people of various religions,” he wrote, “seriously tarnishes the image of tolerance and openness that Tunisia wishes to transmit.”

The organisers’ decision to bar the Jewish delegates, who are not Israeli citizens, follows protests online by anti-Israel groups.

TACBI, the local branch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on Nov. 6 published a statement about it.

“The Tunisian Campaign for Cultural and Academic Boycott of Israel has learned that the Tunisian Scouts have invited an international Zionist organization, ‘The International Forum of Jewish Scouts,’” to the event, they wrote. TACBI “strongly condemns the disguised normalisation operation carried out by the Tunisian Scouts,” the group added.

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