Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Israel refuses entry to Moroccan parliamentarians

 With thanks: Noam

A minor diplomatic incident occurred last week between Morocco and Israel, causing great embarrassment to the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry.

Two Moroccan parliamentarians, members of an EU delegation en route to Ramallah via the Israel-controlled Allenby Bridge crossing, were denied entry.

Karim Ghellab, president of the Moroccan Lower House, condemned Israel's 'arrogance'. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs retorted that the two parliamentarians did not have the necessary visas.

To the Moroccan reply that they could not be expected to apply for a visa when there are no diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel, the MFA said that, had they applied for the visas, the Moroccans would have been granted them.

An  embarrassed Sam Ben-Shitrit, president of the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry, wrote to both Mr Ghellab and Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, expressing consternation at Israel's refusal.

The letter addressed to Mr Ghallab asks for the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry to be kept informed of planned visits so as to prevent such incidents in the future. Israel's actions appear 'ungrateful', considering that Israelis were warmly received by Mr Ghallab at the Moroccan Parliament in Rabat. Mr Ben-Shitrit also points out that Morocco has undertaken to restore the country's synagogues and Jewish cemeteries at its expense.   

For full text of letter see Noam Nir's Facebook page

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