„Cracked tombstones litter the cemetery behind Djerba’s Great Synagogue, but it was not vandals who broke them. Hundreds of Jewish families have moved away from this Tunisian island community in the past five decades, digging up their relatives’ remains to take with them and leaving only the slabs of marble behind. (…) This flight of the dead foreshadows a bleak future for the Jews of Djerba, who trace their arrival on this North African island to more than two millennia ago, after the sacking of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC. They were once the traditional, observant branch of a vibrant Jewish community that numbered 100,000 across Tunisia.
But the 1,100 Jews in Djerba are nearly all that are left after most others fled persecution between the 40s and 60s. Most of the community has moved to Israel, where as Jews they are entitled to automatic citizenship, but their exodus could also bring an end to one of the last Jewish societies in the Arab world. (…) For Yigal Palmor, spokesman of the Jewish Agency, a quasi-governmental organisation that promotes immigration to Israel, it’s this uncertainty, both economic and political, that makes moving to Israel more attractive. ‚There is very little future for any Jewish community in any Arab country unless things change dramatically. Even if they are tolerated, I don’t believe they have a real future there,‘ he says.“
(Daniella Cheslow: „Tunisia’s last Jewish community dream of a move to Israel ‚en masse‘“)