Tunisian court upholds ban on candid camera show about Israel


A Tunisian court on Thursday upheld a ban by a lower court on a controversial television show featuring Tunisian celebrities who were secretly filmed agreeing to deal with Israel.

Tunisia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel. Anti-Israel sentiment has been on the rise in the North African country since December, when U.S. President Donald Trump recognised the contested holy city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The appeals court in the capital, Tunis, rejected a challenge filed by private television station Tuinsna against a ban issued by a court on Monday taking the candid camera-like show "Shalom" off air. The lawsuit was filed by Tunisia's nationalist Popular Current party, which accused the show of promoting normal ties with Israel. The show is based on tricking Tunisian public figures into meeting with people posing as Israeli officials, who allegedly offer them money and political support in return for co-operation with Israel.

Several episodes were broadcast in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when viewing rates usually peak, triggering controversy in Tunisia. A list of Tunisian politicians and businessmen who allegedly voiced a willingness to co-operate with Israel on the show went online, sparking a furore in the country. The Tunisian parliament has yet to debate a draft bill submitted by opposition parties criminalising normalised ties with Israel.    (dpa)

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