Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

19 Kislev 5768 - November 29, 2007 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Algeria Still Does Not Allow Entry of Jews Expelled With the French

By Arnon Yaffeh, Paris

Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem denounced the inclusion of singer Enrico Macias in the French President's entourage during the official visit to Algeria scheduled to take place in December. "I was unable to determine the composition of President Sarkozy's entourage, but Macias the Jew is still unwanted in Algeria," Belkhadem said last week. Journalists closely aligned with Islam and conservative figures in the ruling party, FLN, called him a Zionist, though he is popular among the masses in Algeria.

Later, Enrico Macias said he had finally renounced the idea of coming to Algeria on the advice of President Sarkozy who wants to avoid any incident or misunderstanding during his upcoming state visit to Algeria.

Macias was specially appointed as a consultant on the Union of Mediterranean States Sarkozy is planning to set up in order to justify bringing him into the government. The conservatives in power hold a grudge against the Jews. Following the campaign against bringing Macias along, most journalists attributed to the Jews the massacre in Constantine, the city he was expelled from 45 years ago.

Just of handful of Jews from Algeria have been able to receive entry visas. Today the only remnant of the Jewish community is neglected Jewish cemeteries. Botei knesses have been converted to mosques or warehouses.

Based on his previous visit to Algeria Sarkozy concluded that the government has changed its attitude towards Jews and Israel. According to writer Yasmina Reza, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika told him, "I belong to the generation that strove to destroy Israel. We failed. I admire your stance toward Israel, but you forget about the Palestinians."

In Paris Sarkozy continues to nurture his relations with the Jews and to struggle against those opposed to change. During a special ceremony held at the Elysees, he awarded a Legion of Honor to Consistoire President Joel Mergui. (The Consistoire is the central committee for French Jewry.) "We're working together so that the Jewish community will be able to live in peace and security throughout France," Sarkozy told Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie and Paris Police Chief Michel Gaudin, who were specially invited to the ceremony. "Together we'll ensure that French Jews are able to practice their religion and uphold their tradition," said Sarkozy. "I will work toward this end and I will not tolerate any form of antisemitism. As president my actions for the sake of the Jews have not changed and will not change. I will be close to them in the places where the [Jewish] community exists."


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