Cairo Jews forced to cancel Chanukah celebrations

Anger on the Egyptian street over Israel’s war on Hamas has put off the tiny community from celebrating the holiday.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Cairo’s tiny Jewish community will not publicly mark Chanukah this year in the synagogue due to the current ugly anti-Israel mood in Egypt, Kan News reported Sunday.

An unnamed member of the community told the Israeli network, “No one is stopping us from celebrating. The point is that the mood in Cairo is very bad because of the war.”

“All of our work” to develop positive relationships with the regime, the source said, “went down the drain. We have to start from scratch.”

Even while Cairo has kept its diplomatic relations with Israel intact since the 1979 peace treaty was signed, the government-compliant media has been free to incite against the Jewish state for all these years, and most ordinary citizens are hostile to Israel. Every time the IDF runs large counter-terror operations in the Gaza Strip or Judea and Samaria, the anger level rises and the few Jews left in the country feel the heat.

In the current war, set off by the Hamas invasion of Israel on October 7 in which its fighters massacred 1,200 people, Jerusalem announced that it would utterly destroy the terrorist organization, and has demolished large parts of the enclave to find and liquidate combatants who hide their military sites in and under civilian homes, schools, mosques and hospitals.

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Egyptians are furious over the destruction and death toll, believing Hamas when it says over 17,000 have died at Israel’s hands to date and even claims that most of the victims are women and children.

The terrorist organization has not shown evidence proving its numbers, nor does it clarify that some 7,000 of the dead are combatants shooting at the IDF forces, and that many of its fighters are formally minors.

Two Israelis and a local guide were murdered in Alexandria the day after the war began by an Egyptian police officer who opened fire on a tourist bus. A third Israeli was moderately wounded in the attack.

The public was divided over the killing, with some, like human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Masry posting to X, “Criminal Zionists are not welcome in Egypt…the peace treaty is [nonsense].”

Israel imposed a global travel warning for its citizens in November, urging them to weigh the necessity of traveling, and to hide signs of their Jewishness in places where antisemitism has shot up. Last week, the National Security Council increased the threat assessment level to many countries, saying that Iran and allied terrorist groups are actively planning to hit Jewish targets around the world.