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Begin Receives First Jewish Tourists from Egypt

The first group of Egyptian Jews to visit Israel was warmly received by Premier Menachem Begin over the weekend. He invited them to “stay forever.” Many were accompanied by their non-Jewish spouses.

Begin embraced the leaders of the group, Raphael Bilboul and Yitzhak de Picciotto. He recalled that when he visited Alexandria last spring he had promised “that you will all visit us and that I would discuss the matter with President (Anwar) Sadat Well, I have kept my word and when I talked about it to Sadat, he said, sure, why not? “Begin said. He added, “I hope you enjoy your stay here but if you wish you can stay forever.”

The Premier introduced the visitors to Eliahu Ben-Elissar, Israel’s Ambassador-designate to Cairo. “In a few weeks you can come to him and present your wishes,” he said. Ben-Elissar will take up his post on February 26. The group spent Sunday touring the country.

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