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Egyptian activists want Jewish festival canceled

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Egyptian activists are urging their government to cancel an annual Jewish festival in the Nile Delta.

Thousands of Israelis flock to Egypt every year to celebrate the birthday of Rabbi Yaakov Abu Ha’seira, a 19th century Moroccan holy man who is buried in the Delta village of Demito.

Local residents complain about the behavior and immodest dress of the Israeli revelers, and local farmers have been pressured to sell their land to Jewish investors who want to build hotels, according to the Gulf News.

The group of activists is working to collect 1 million signatures on a petition to force the Egyptian government to cancel the festival.

The next festival is scheduled for Jan. 14 — the rabbi’s birthday on the Hebrew calendar. 

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