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

(Joyce) #1

170 · Dalit Atrakchi

and explicitly expressing their support of all struggles against Israel,
sweeping support for an immediate and final solution to the Palestinian
problem (especially that of the refugees), and symbolically aiding the
countries at war with Israel by sending some supplies and a few small
units of soldiers to help.
In the course of time it became clear that much of what was said was
only chaff blowing in the wind. The declarations were not practically val-
idated to any significant degree, and not only did independent Morocco
not participate in the struggle against Israel and the “Zionist entity,” but,
since the 1960s, it also maintained one form or another of contacts with
Israel. At first these were clandestine intelligence connections, but later
they became partly open, and since the late 1970s there have been almost
totally open connections. It is now known that King Ḥasan II had an
“open communication channel” with various Jewish organizations, espe-
cially in France, Canada, and the United States. In 1976, a Jewish-Muslim
organization was established in France by Moroccan intellectuals; its
aim was to stabilize the relationship and coexistence between Moroc-
can Muslims and Jews. This organization received the king’s (unofficial)
patronage and approval (the mere fact that it was activated with consent
shows that it had approval). Finally, it is known that Morocco served as
the bridgehead for secret diplomatic activities in the 1970s, in order to
expand communication channels between the Israeli and Egyptian lead-
ers. This mediation subsequently led to the visit of the president of Egypt,
Anwar al-Sadat, to Israel in November 1977. Morocco thus takes part in
inter-Arab activities, but does not completely disqualify and reject Israel,
and, moreover, its leadership provides for the possibility of communica-
tion between the Arab countries and the “Zionist entity.”


  1. Robert Assaraf, Yehudey Marrōqō: Tequfat Hamelekh Mohammad V (Jews of
    Morocco: The Era of Mohammad V) (Tel Aviv: Yediot Aharonot, 1997), 19–80;
    Michel Abitbol, Yehudey Ṣfon Afriqa Hayom (The Jews of North Africa Today)
    (Jerusalem: Institute for Contemporary Jewry, 1981), 9–10; Yaron Tsur, Qehila
    Qru ̔a: Yehudei Marrōqō ve-ha’le ̓umiyut, 1943–1954 (A Torn Community: The
    Jews of Morocco and Nationalism, 1943–1954) (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 2001), 5–13.

  2. This legal status of Jews was awarded to all those of the monotheistic
    religions by the rulers of the Islamic states by reason of their being Ahl al-Kitab
    (People of the Book). They were allowed to practice their religion under special

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