An Israeli tourist in Tehran

Sunday, May 06, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

An Israeli tourist en route from Istanbul to Mumbai, India on Friday was forced to spend an anxious night in Tehran when his Turkish Airlines flight made an emergency landing in the Iranian capital.

Identified as "Benny," the Israeli passenger at first tried to convince Iranian security that he was British.

But even though the Iranians "knew I was Israeli," Benny told Ha'aretz he was treated very well, and even given a bodyguard "for my safety."

When the passengers boarded a replacement plane the next day to continue their journey, the Iranian guards gave Benny a small ornamental box as a parting gift, and said they hoped to see him again. Benny in turn invited one of the guards to visit him in Jerusalem.

The Iranian regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared Israel a cancerous growth that will soon be removed from the Middle East. Ahmadinejad has also denied the veracity of the Nazi Holocaust, calling it a myth invented by the Jews to justify the reestablishment of the State of Israel.

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