Tuesday, December 03, 2013

The buck stops with the Moroccan king

 King Mohamed Vl and Princess Lalla Salma:only he can veto the bill

A bill to criminalise relations between Morocco and Israel, introduced in July, 'stands no chance' of passing, says a Jewish community leader. But, according to this article in Morocco World News, it seems that, as the bill is assured of a parliamentary majority, only the king's veto can torpedo it. The US-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which monitors antisemitism, has been applying pressure on King Mohamed Vl to ensure that he does. (With thanks: Michelle)

Casablanca: A global Jewish human rights organization addressed a letter to king Mohamed VI urging him stop a draft law that seeks to criminalize normalized relations with Israel.

The draft law aims to strengthen the legal arsenal against “trade”, “financial”, “banking” and “insurance operations” with Israel. 

A restriction would also be placed on “the participation of Moroccans, both those residing in the Kingdom or in Israel, in activities held in the Jewish state. 

According to the draft law, which was presented by five parliamentary groups, the presence of Israelis in Morocco would be strictly prohibited, and would be deemed an “offense” punishable by “two to five years of imprisonment and a fine between MAD 100,000 and MAD 1 million.”

Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, sent the letter to King Mohammed VI during his visit to the United States.
In his letter, Dr. Shimon raised alarm about risks posed by the law on Morocco’s image as a country of tolerance best known for its warm ties with Jewish community around the world: “in your absence, various groups in your Parliament plan to damage Morocco’s reputation for tolerance, its standing as a Western ally and its long history of warm ties with the Moroccan Jewish Diaspora in the United States, Europe and Israel.”

The SWC’s director went on to explain the content of  the draft law when he said, "Your Majesty, behind your back, a number of political parties aim to ram through Parliament a law, entitled ‘Criminalizing Normalization with the Israeli Entity.’ The law intends to prohibit all participation in activities of Moroccan citizens and residents in which Israelis or Israeli organizations are involved, with punishments of 2 to 5 years imprisonment plus fines of 10,000 to 100,000 euros. The relations to be penalized are listed as ‘economic, political, cultural, artistic or other contacts."

He also indicated the impact the draft bill could have, if approved, on the Moroccan economy and it image at the global level: “this law would not only endanger the Jews remaining in Morocco, it would set a precedent for the exclusion of other minorities, thereby wrecking Your Majesty’s 2011 newly enacted human rights based Constitution. Indeed, it may also deter foreign investment prospects, both current and future”.

Dr. Shimon Samuels argued that “the proposal includes ‘a declaration of diplomatic war’ against all countries that have citizens holding Israeli nationality, as well as against all Moroccans with family ties in Israel, in violation of anti-discrimination provisions of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), where Morocco holds an observer status.”

He concluded by urging the king to interfere in order to stop the draft law and ensure that“this unconstitutional and damaging draft law remains a draft.”

Meanwhile, the controversial bill continues to raise concern in Israel. Joel Rubinfeld, co-chairman of the European Jewish Parliament condemns the draft law because it “threatens the opening of Morocco to Israel,” adding that “we must not allow radicalism to take over us.Jewish News One, an English news channel deemed the proposed bill as “anti-Semitic”.

On the other hand, Jacky Kadoch, president of the Jewish community in Marrakech-Essaouira insisted that the said bill does not have the slightest chance of being passed in the House of Representatives, believing that “the king will never approve of this law.”

Read article in full

Times of Israel

Moroccans bid to criminalise links with Israel


Anonymous said...

He should take his father as example. That king one day said: with our intelligence and the genius of the JEwish people we shall do great things.
Unfortunately he died during a very minor operation. had he turned to Israel for that, he would still be with us!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering, how large the Moroccan Jewish Diaspora is, both in Israel and globally.

Sylvia said...

I couldn't find the original source for that. This was originally published back in April I think and this is the second try to throw the ball with exactly the same wording.

This time around seems to have originated in pro-Iranian sites.

Bataween said...

In reply to anonymous, the Moroccan diaspora numbers a million or thereabouts. Only 2,500 left in morocco itself.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bataween: thanks. Given the way the Palestinian claim includes 3rd and 4th generations in its global estimate of "refugees", I'd really like to see more made of the size of the diaspora of middle eastern Jews in total, as well as the property claims.

Lynne T aka Anonymous

bataween said...

Dear Anonymous
(Glad you have 'come out' as Lynne T)

Reckon the Sephardi diaspora numbers a good three million (maybe 3 and a half) although we will never know for sure