Bomber hits Tunisia resort

Updated 31 October 2013
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Bomber hits Tunisia resort

TUNIS: A man blew himself up Wednesday in front of a popular seaside hotel as authorities foiled a possibly related assault at the mausoleum of modern Tunisia’s secular founder, the Interior Ministry said. The attack was believed to be the country’s first suicide bombing.
Witnesses told Tunisian media that the suicide bomber appeared to be about to enter the Riadh Palm hotel in Sousse, about 150 km south of the capital, Tunis, when he exploded. The Interior Ministry said that no one else was injured and no property was damaged. It said the bomber was a Tunisian man wearing an explosive belt.
The city is being searched for possible accomplices, said ministry spokesman Mohammed Ali Aroui.
In the foiled attack on the mausoleum in nearby Monastir, an 18-year-old man followed a group of tourists into the mausoleum of modern Tunisia’s founder, Habib Bourguiba, carrying a backpack full of TNT. He attempted to distract security by tossing a firework before being subdued, said Hicham Gharbi, spokesman for the presidential guard, which patrols the site.
“He will be questioned to learn his motives and those who ordered the attack,” he told local radio. Bourguiba, Tunisia’s first post-independence president, was a fierce secularist and has long been hated by hard-liners.
While the ministry said both men belonged to the same extremist group, it is not certain that the attacks were coordinated or masterminded by one large organization. A shift in tactics by Tunisia’s extremists to the mass targeting of civilians would have serious implications for a country struggling with its democratic transition.


How Meir Kahane’s toxic legacy poisoned the Palestinian peace process

Updated 22 April 2019
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How Meir Kahane’s toxic legacy poisoned the Palestinian peace process

  • Brooklyn-born rabbi who demanded forced emigration of Arabs and inspired Israel’s far right is latest subject of Arab News ‘Preachers of Hate’ series
  • As a member of the Israeli parliament, Kahane proposed laws to strip Arabs of citizenship and force their emigration

JEDDAH: As Israel’s most right-wing government in living memory prepares to take office, the outlook for the Palestinian-Israeli peace process has rarely been more dismal.

After his narrow election victory this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is clinging to office by assembling a coalition of Knesset members with no interest in peace. They range from far-right ultra Zionists to overt racists. Many, in particular the Otzma Yehudit, or “Jewish Power” party, are acolytes of Meir Kahane — a Brooklyn-born rabbi who co-founded the militant Jewish Defense League in 1968,  joined the West Bank settler movement and established an extremist Israeli political party.

It is because of this toxic legacy that Kahane is the subject today of Preachers of Hate — the Arab News series that exposes extremist clerics of all religions and nationalities, places their words and deeds in context, and explains their malign influence on those who follow them.

As a member of the Knesset, Kahane proposed laws to strip Arabs of citizenship and force their emigration. 

In the end he proved too extreme even for the Israeli far right; he was disqualified from running for office, and was eventually assassinated in New York in 1990.

Kahane’s hatred lives on, however, in Israel’s continuing rejection of the Palestinian people’s entitlement to basic human dignity, far less a meaningful peace process and an independent state.

As the leading academic and Arab News columnist Yossi Mekelberg writes today: “Few people have contaminated the discourse within Israel with sheer hatred and anti-Arab bigotry as much as Meir Kahane.”

 

Also Read: Meir Kahane: A torch to fuel anti-Arab hatred