The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has criticized the Egyptian extremist Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mohamed Morsi for preventing the country’s last regularly functioning synagogue, Alexandria’s Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue, to hold High Holiday services later this month. The Synagogue, which dates back to the nineteenth century, will not hold Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services for the first time after its rabbi was informed by Egyptian authorities they could not guarantee the safety and security of those wanting to attend the synagogue.
If the Hosni Mubarak regime was able to protect Jews worshipping in synagogue on the High Holidays, why cannot the Mohamed Morsi regime? This seems to be more an act of enmity towards Jews rather than one of concern for their security.
The Egyptian Jewish community has shrunk over the past century, especially after murderous assaults on Jews in the 1940s and official persecution during the 1950s and 1960s. As Shiraz Maher is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at Kings College, London has written, “The news that Egypt’s last synagogue, the Eliyahu Hanavi, will now be unable to hold services effectively brings an end to any remaining semblance of Jewish life in Egypt.”