On Tuesday, the Tunisian legislature began discussion of a bill aimed at banning the normalization of relations with the Zionist entity, as several other Arab states have done in the last year. Neighboring Algeria has also considered banning advocacy of normalization in the media.
The Committee on Rights, Freedoms and Foreign Relations in Tunisia’s Assembly of the Representatives of the People was due to take up the issue on Tuesday after a majority of the legislature’s political factions came together to demand the illegalization of extending diplomatic recognition to the Zionist entity amid the 11-day war in Gaza, according to The New Arab.
Tunis has played an interesting role in the struggle between ‘Israel’ and the Palestinians, having once hosted the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and also having limited relations with the occupation regime in the 1990s, before cancelling them after the Second Palestinian Intifada broke out in 2000.
Its strong sympathy with the Palestinian struggle was evident in the demonstrations last month as the Israeli occupation forces bombarded Gaza with airstrikes and artillery, destroying buildings and killing more than 250 people.
According to Africa News, thousands of Tunisians marched down Mohammed V Avenue in Tunis on May 19 demanding the criminalization of relations with ‘Israel’.
In 2020, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco announced normalization of ties with the Zionist entity.
When Morocco agreed to formalize their long-informal relations with ‘Israel’ in December in exchange for the US recognizing Rabat’s claims to rule the non-self-governing territory of Western Sahara, it sent shockwaves through the Maghreb. Algerian lawmakers pitched a bill that would have banned advocating normalization with Israel, with Algerian and Tunisian leaders denouncing the move.