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Cairo-born Israeli lampoons call for Egyptian Jews to return

(JTA) -– A Cairo-born Israeli grabbed headlines in leading Arab media with a letter mocking a top Egyptian official’s call for the return of Egypt’s Jews from Israel.

Azi Nagar’s letter, which received coverage in Al-Hayat and Aharam, ridicules the call made last week by Essam al Erian, an adviser to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and deputy chairman of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party.

“I basically asked al Erian a few questions about my impending return,” Nagar told JTA, “like whether he would compensate me for my family’s house which the government confiscated when we left for Israel or whether I would have to join the destitute homeless and jobless who live in Cairo’s cemeteries.”

In a televised speech last week, al Erian urged Jews to leave Israel in order to “make room for the Palestinians” and said Israel will cease to exist in the next decade.

Nagar, an activist for Israeli Labor who heads the Israeli Association for the Promotion of Compensation for Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands, sent a letter to Morsi in July to congratulate him on becoming president. Morsi did not reply, Nagar said.

Ada Aharoni, past chairwoman of the World Congress of the Jews from Egypt, told JTA that Nagar “does not represent the community of Jews from Egypt.” She added that her organization “saw no point in engaging in dialogue with extremists like Morsi.”

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