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Office of La Voix Juive Newspaper at Tunis, Tunisia

16, Avenue de Paris
Tunis, Tunisia


The former address of “La Voix Juive” newspaper (1944), now home to a clothing shop and ice cream shop while the rest of the building appears to be a housing complex. [1]

Description

La Voix Juive
Jewish print publications in Tunisia increased towards the end of the nineteenth century which prompted the creation of Zionist publications. The creation of Zionist journals and publications in Tunisia helped the Zionist agenda and information to rapidly spread amongst Tunisian Jews. [2] The Zionist Federation of Tunisia (Fr. Fédération sioniste de Tunisie) was established in October 1920. [3] In the same year, Henri Maarek established periodical publications of La Voix Juive. [4] The Jewish Voice was a Zionist journal that printed bimonthly written publications in Tunisia. Like many of the Jewish newspapers in Tunisia, la Voix Juive was published in French (other newspapers and Journals published in Judeo-Arabic and French). [5] From its Tunisian establishment in 1920 to 1924, La Voix Juive aimed for “Jewish information and education.” [6] On July 10, 1922, a publication titled “A Tunisian United Jewish Appeal,” urged Jews of Tunisia to contribute to ‘Keren Hayesod’ – a fund created for the restoration of Eretz Israel.
“You have in your hearts to contribute to the reconstruction of Eretz Israel, as much out of Jewish solidarity as out of humanitarianism.” [7]
The halt of La Voix Juive publications in 1924 was expected since many newspapers of the time were short-lived, however, it’s end-run coincided with emerging internal problems amongst the federation, including the death of one of the federation members. [8] Archived documents dating 1944 suggest that La Voix Juive resumed publications, and collaborations with other countries like Morocco. [9] Along with La Voix Juive (1920-1924) and Le Réveil Juif (1924 – 1935), other Tunisian Zionist newspapers were Les Cahiers du Bétar (1930’s), La Gazette d’Israël (1938-51). [10]

Zionism in Tunisia
Given the geographic size of Tunisia, the spread of Zionism was rapid in comparison to other North African countries. The Jewish elite population of Tunisia was larger and had a stronger education background, thus, developed a different, modern understanding of Zionism. [11] Alfred Valensi, president of the first Tunisian Zionist Federation had stated that Zionism was a democratic movement, aiming to develop a modern Jewish society, “…foreseen by the Hebrew Prophets… given scientific formulation by Jew Karl Marx.” [12] His understanding formed part of the different branches of Zionism that developed in Tunisia. 

Tunis, Tunisia

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