RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (JTA) — A group of Brazilian tourists was arrested in Egypt for carrying pro-Israel material.
The 24 Brazilians were arrested Wednesday in Cairo by Egyptian authorities because they were allegedly carrying leaflets in Portuguese promoting Israel’s Yisrael Beiteinu Party and encouraging Brazilian Jews to immigrate to Israel.
Yisrael Beiteinu, or Israel is Our Home, is the party of Israel’s hard-line Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who onces suggested that Israel threaten to bomb Egypt’s Aswan Dam as a means of influencing Egyptian policy.
The Brazilians had just landed in Cairo on an Alitalia flight from Rome. The customs officials searched the travelers’ 38 pieces of luggage and found brochures in 10 of the suitcases. Customs informed security forces.
The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is negotiating with Egyptian officials. The tourists’ names have not been released and there has been no information about whethet they will be deported, according to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo.