Egyptians: No pilgrimage to rabbi's tomb
Ceremonies at the tomb of Rabbi Yaakov Abu Hatzira have triggered yearly political sparring in
throughout most of the last decade, with Islamists, nationalists, and others claiming that the government by allowing the pilgrimage is pursuing an unpopular policy of normalization with the country’s former enemy. Egypt
An Islamist politician involved in organizing protests against the march meanwhile said that visiting Abu Hatzira’s gravesite in the
village of Daymouta, 180 kilometers (112 miles) north of Cairo would be a “suicide mission” for Israelis, because of popular opposition to their presence in . Egypt
“Normalization (of relations) with
is forced on the people, and the visits too come against the will of the people and despite popular rejection,” said Gamal Heshmat of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s best organized political group. Israel
Heshmat said that activists planned to stage sit-ins and other protests to block the route as soon as they hear the pilgrims are on their way.
’s daily Al-Ahram newspaper reported Tuesday that 31 parties and groups had joined this year’s campaign. Egypt
Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization based in , denounced the attempts to block the pilgrimage. In a Tuesday statement, the center’s Abraham Cooper accused the Brotherhood of trying to “curb religious freedom of Jews.” Los Angeles
“In their worldview, there is no respect for the traditions for Jews, dead or alive,” he said.