JAFFA, Israel – Egypt will spend $1.5 million renovating Alexandria’s old synagogue after part of the ceiling collapsed in a rainstorm a few weeks ago, the head of Egypt’s National Jewish Antiquities Authority, Muhammad Mahran, said.
Mahran stated that a comprehensive review of the building’s structural integrity will be carried out before the renovation goes ahead, with special attention given to the Torah ark.
The synagogue, located on Prophet Daniel Street in central Alexandria, is home to some original documents. It was built in 1354, demolished during Napoleon’s attempt to conquer Egypt, and rebuilt in 1850.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian lawmaker was assaulted for hosting the Israeli ambassador in his home.
A shoe was thrown at MP Tawfiq Okasha to humiliate him for rubbing shoulders last week with Israeli envoy Haim Koren. Social media users delighted in the incident. Much of Egyptian public opinion adamantly opposes normalization with Israel.
“Anyone who shakes an Israeli’s hand deserves to be beaten,” tweeted one Egyptian. “I suggest the Saudi prince should be the first” – alluding to the Saudi Minister of Information Turki al-Faisal, who shook hands with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon at a conference in Munich last week.
“Why stop at one shoe? Throw two at him,” wrote another, while a third one praised the “noble” Egyptian people for humiliating the MP.
Wiaam Wahab, a Lebanese MP for Hezbollah, was jubilant: “Congratulations to the Egyptian lawmaker. This will be the end of anyone who shakes hands with Israelis,” he tweeted.
Another Twitter user mocked Okasha: “I suppose that on his television program tonight he will talk about the bitter taste of the shoe.”
The assailant, Ahmad Kamal, said that the MP “deserves to have 90 million shoes thrown at him. That’s what the Egyptian people want.”
Both assailant and victim were taken out of the plenary session. The attacker will face disciplinary measures.