Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jews question Egyptian cutback - report

 Detail from an Egyptian synagogue

Blowback in Egypt Independent from reports of Egypt's decision to cut off funding from Egypt's tiny Jewish community: the community has written a letter to the Shura Council. It is apparently also demanding the appointment of an 'Arab' rabbi. It is not clear where this rabbi would come from - certainly not from inside a community of some 20 elderly Jewish women.

Egypt’s Jewish community on Tuesday demanded that the Shura Council explain itself regarding the alleged halt of government financial support to Egyptian Jews.

Anadolu Turkish news agency quoted on Wednesday an official from the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs who said that the government has revoked annual grants of LE100,000 (US$14,000) allocated to the Jewish community by former President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak had secretly granted the funds starting in 1988.

A letter submitted to the Shura Council on Tuesday inquired about the credibility of a report that the state would annul the funds, which were a classified component of the Ministry’s budget.

The letter was discussed during a meeting of the council’s Human Rights Committee. Mohamed Al-Azab, a committee member, said that the Jewish community had called for the funds to be an explicit part of the country’s budget. They had also called on the government to facilitate the appointment of an Arab rabbi (sic)  to help community members perform religious rites.

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