Sunday, June 12, 2011

Three-quarters of Moroccan Jews think of leaving

A street in a Jewish quarter - Morocco

Jews are already leaving Morocco - and three-quarters of the Jewish community are thinking of packing their bags in the face of rising Islamism, according to a young Jew who still lives there.

The Jew, who signs himself Zafrani, says that the remainder are too rich and well-connected to leave. It is difficult to get money out and one would have to leave all property behind and start from scratch.

Zafrani attends a Jewish Alliance school and gets on well with Muslims. A minority do want to cause problems - as in all societies, he says. Tellingly, he implies one can always bribe one's way out of trouble. 'The Moroccan will leave you alone for 50 dirhams', he writes in response to a post on the JSS weblog exploding the myth of the 'Moroccan Judeo-Muslim paradise'.

The accepted figure for the Moroccan Jewish population is 3,000 - but Zafrani has calculated there are no more than 2,500. Sixty Jewish students leave Morocco every year after taking their high school exam. Most go to the US and France, a few to Israel. That is where he wants to go: "it's our country and we are fed up with having been persecuted. We need to defend ourselves so as not to suffer what our ancestors suffered."

Read post and comments in full (French)

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