The Divergence of Judaism and Islam. Interdependence, Modernity, and Political Turmoil

(Joyce) #1

164 · Dalit Atrakchi

isolated towns and villages in the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains, where
the appeal of a messianic delivery was very strong. Many of those who
immigrated to Israel during these years were brought from these areas,
and the Jewish presence in these towns and villages, which had existed
for hundreds of years, was almost totally ended.^11
The third wave of emigration and ̔aliya took place mainly after Mo-
rocco became independent in 1956, but had actually begun in 1954. The
Moroccan Nationalists had begun to rebel against the French authorities
in 1954, due to the exile of Sultan Muḥammad Ben-Yussuf to Madagas-
car a year earlier. This was the first time that a clear division between
pro-French elements, comprising both foreigners and native government
officials, and Moroccan Muslims appeared. It is important to note, in
this regard, the ambivalence toward the Jewish community of the entire
spectrum of the Nationalist Moroccan Movement. Although they wanted
the support and cooperation of the Jews, the Jews were identified with
Zionism and as enemies of the entire Arab world. The Jews were put in
the same category as the other aliens in Morocco, and they identified
with France. In light of the developing warm relationship between Mo-
rocco and the independent Arab countries, especially the bond between
Morocco and Egypt, and later on Morocco’s acceptance into the Arab
League, numerous Moroccan Jews felt that they no longer had a place
in the newly independent country and that it was time to leave. After
Muḥammad V (now king) issued a decree closing the offices of Cadima
(the covert name for the Jewish Agency’s Immigration Department),
which had operated openly since 1949, ̔aliya turned into illegal emigra-
tion through Misgeret (Framework). Misgeret functioned from 1956 until
1961 under the aegis of the Mossad, Israel’s secret service. Following the
death of King Muḥammad V in February 1961, the newly crowned King
Ḥasan II lifted many of the restrictions over emigration. However, Ḥasan
II, and many Moroccan politicians as well, emphasized that although
those who wished to leave the country could do so, the place of “his
Jews” was in their “natural habitat,” that is, in Morocco.^12
In the 1930s, the Independence Party of Morocco (Istiqlal) was di-
chotomized into moderates and conservatives. The conservatives, those
considered more radical, came from Spanish Morocco and were gradu-
ates of the Al-Qarawiyyin College in Fez (the most important religious
institution in Morocco). ̔Allal al-Fassi was the leader and ideologist of

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