In a report that may indicate Egyptian authorities believe the IDF-commando-turned-hairdresser from the 2008 Hollywood film You Don't Mess With Zohan is more fact than fiction, Egypt's official state paper Al Ahram reported Israeli citizen Ofir Harari, recently accused by Egypt of spying for Israel, was involved in a scheme to cause mass infertility in Egypt via hair products.
Harari, accused by Egypt of being an agent of the Mossad, is set be tried in absentia on charges of "spying for a foreign country with the purpose of harming Egyptian national interests," news agency MENA reported.
Cairo alleges, in addition to Harari, that Jordanian national Ibrahim abu-Zaid, a telecoms engineer, reportedly involved in the affair as well, was arrested in Egypt.
"According to the public prosecutor's office's investigation," Al Ahram reported. "'Mossad agent Ofir Harari' instructed Jordanian Ibrahim abu-Zaid to set up a company in Egypt which would exclusively import an Israeli hair product, for both men and women, which causes infertility. This in order to completely destroy Egyptian reproduction abilities."
It is not uncommon for Arab leaders to concoct anti-Israel blood libels as a means of diverting attention from their own government's domestic failings. These have included alleged Mossad attack sharks and "highly trained" IAF surveillance vultures.
The infertility plot libel itself is a time-honored theme demonstrating little originality. PLO officials in Israel, as well as Syrian officials, have accused Israel of similarly improbable nefarious plots in the past.
On June 12, Egypt arrested American-Israeli Ilan Grapel on suspicion of spying for Israel. Israel denied the charges. The charges against Grapel have been mocked by many in Egypt as being unadulterated propaganda.
Egypt's string of espionage allegations come at a sensitive time as Israel is attempting to understand where Egypt's new temporary regime is headed and there are loud voices in Egypt calling for the signing of the gas export deal with Israel to be added to the criminal charges against former ruler Mubarak.
Analysts in both in Israel and in Egypt suggest Egyptian allegations stem from a wish to appease Egyptian demonstrators protesting against close relations between Jerusalem and Cairo during the Mubarak era.
Also on Wednesday, Dubai's police commander called for a Gulf version of Interpol to counter Israel's 'dangerous influence' and said Egypt's trial of former President Hosni Mubarak was an 'Israeli plot.'