Egyptians Campaign to Block Israeli Visits

[Media Line-Jerusalem Post] Egyptian members of parliament and activists are campaigning to prevent Israeli Jews from flocking to Egypt every year to visit the grave of a famous rabbi. Thousands of Israelis make annual trips to Egypt to celebrate the birthday of Rabbi Ya'akov Abu Ha'seira, a 19th-century Moroccan Jew who was considered a holy man and is buried in Demito, Egypt, north of Cairo. Locals say they suffer from the tight security measures applied throughout the festivities, and farmers who live in the area around the tomb are being pressured into selling their land so that investors can build a resort to accommodate the annual visitors. The next celebrations are scheduled for Jan. 14, coinciding with the rabbi's Hebrew birthday. Campaigners are hoping to collect a million signatures to have the Egyptian government cancel the festivities.

2008-12-12 08:00:00

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