Egyptian security forces over the weekend arrested a young Egyptian man for daring to publicly profess his love for Israel and seeking to visit the Jewish state.
A resident of the Sohag Governorate in southern Egypt, the 24-year-old man came to the attention of police officials after “declaring his love” for Israel on Facebook and personally communicating with several Israelis via the social media website.
According to Egyptian media reports, the young man has a Star of David tattoo on his arm, pictures of Israeli army generals and the Israeli flag in his computer, and keeps a Hebrew dictionary in his home.
He was also allegedly in possession of $100 USD in cash and four national ID cards all listing different occupations.
The young man is said to have admitted to personal contact with Israeli tourists while previously working as a taxi driver in the Sinai Peninsula, and to attempting to obtain a visa to enter Israel earlier last year.
Israel and Egypt have a peace treaty that is supposed to encourage tourism between the two countries. While many Israelis visit Egypt every year, there is very little reciprocal flow.
As far as anyone knows, it is not illegal for Egyptians to be supportive of Israel and visit the Jewish state, but such behavior is certainly taboo in Egyptian society.