(JTA) — Egyptian security services have banned a documentary about Egyptian Jews on the eve of its release.
Haitham al-Khamissi, the producer of "Jews of Egypt," said the country’s Censorship Bureau is insisting that security officials clear the film before it is released, Reuters reported.
"The authorities had already approved my film … I’m only asking for a renewal of the permission but until now I haven’t received it," said Khamissi. "They are worried about us, the people who think. The content is controversial, politically."
"After the creation of Israel in 1948, the world view of Jews changed," he added. "There were worries that any Jewish Egyptian could be an Israeli spy."
Khamissi said he screened the film in Egypt last year, but the permit only allowed a few people to see the movie. The permit he applied for this year requests the film be shown to the public, a request he says Egyptian security will not grant.
Most Egyptian Jews left the country after the Suez Crisis in 1956, when former President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled disloyal Jews.
Director Amr Ramses told the French news agency AFP that he plans to take legal action to have the film screened.