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Morocco, Israel, and Palestine: A Unique History

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Israel, Morocco, Palestine, Ethnicity & Race, Governance, History, Human Rights, International Relations, Media & Journalism, Migration & Immigration

Since the Nakba [1] and Israel's claim of independence 60 years ago, Israel and Morocco have had an interesting relationship. Prior to the creation of an Israeli state, Morocco had a large, if not thriving, Jewish population [2]. Within a decade of Israeli independence, however, a large percentage of Morocco's Jews emigrated to Israel [3]. Today, Morocco officially has one of the best relationships with Israel of any predominantly Muslim nation, in part due to King Hassan II's efforts to promote peace [4] in the region. Yet, under the surface of diplomatic relations, much of the population staunchly supports Palestine. Here's what a few Moroccan bloggers have to say on this, the 60th anniversary of Israeli independence [5].

Hisham of Al Miraat/The Moroccan Mirror laments [6] the Palestinian situation but sees hope:

Sixty years after the Nakba the picture in Palestine is depressing, to say the least. But over the last decade or so, we've witnessed a dynamic of renaissance and awakening amongst the justice and peace camp, and the breaking down of some important taboos which served so far, helping Israel get away with its crimes against not only the Palestinian people but also against justice and History.

Many signs of hope are appearing. The shield of omerta and intellectual terrorism is cracking. More and more people are speaking out, and the cosy protection offered by the Israel lobby is fading away little by little.

He later adds:

The general thrust these days is: “Oh, come on, it's all in the past, nobody's interested any more, it didn't work, everyone knows what the Americans and Israelis are like, but stop being naive, this is the world, there's nothing to be done about it and anyway **** it, who cares?” But let me put it this way-the dead are still looking at us, waiting for us to make justice.

You better keep hope and smile for Palestine!

1498942645_da99e4620d.jpg [7]
The interior of a synagogue in Sefrou, Morocco

Abdelilah Boukili of Regular Comments Based on Issues Raised by BBC World Haveyoursay just wants [8] Israel to behave fairly:

The Middle East needs the birth of a really peaceful policy for everyone to live in peace. While Israel is counting the years since it was born, others are counting the deaths it has inflicted on the Palestinians, making the two sides look like Tom and Jerry. They can’t feel at ease without playing cat and mouse, just for the fun of it or by being serious about it.

One thing is sure. Israel is now a fact. It’s a fait accompli whether its enemies like it or not. But still it has to show more resilience towards the Palestinians as it is now in a strong position. Capitalizing on their weaknesses to go ahead with its intransigent policies will just perpetuate the current conflict.

So let’s hope that in its next birthday, Israel will have grown into a state with internationally recognised borders and the Palestinians have their free state instead of continuing to feel as Israel’s collective prisoners.

In related news, A Moro in America comments on [9] a tourism initiative between Morocco, Israel, and Spain:

A new joint tourist project by Israel, Morocco and Spain will trace the footsteps of the Rambam (Maimonedes), the 12th-century Torah scholar and philosopher.

Tzemach invited Moroccan Tourism Minister Muhammad Bushid on Monday to visit Israel to discuss cooperation and to examine the initiative to launch a regional tour based on the Rambam.

The initiative was first presented to the Moroccan Tourism Ministry during the Euromed, a convention of the tourism ministries of Europe and Mediterranean countries that was held in Paris in March. The ministries have expressed their willingness to assist in the project.

Creative Commons-licensed photo by Omer Simkha [7]