Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Was it a criminal mugging or an act of antisemitism? Whatever the reason, the murder of Joseph Amar, a Jew, in Casablanca on the night of the 3rd April, has panicked the Moroccan Jewish community. The story made the front page of the magazine Maroc-Hebdo.
Joseph Amar, a retired jeweller aged 68, was returning home on foot after an evening with friends when he was stabbed to death. The attacker stripped him of his wallet and left him lying in a pool of blood.
What is interesting is that the attacker could have recognised Amar as a Jew. " First indications of the police investigation are that Joseph Amar was wearing a beret, as is the Jewish tradition," wrote L Bernich, the Maroc-Hebdo reporter.
The Moroccan anti-terrorism squad swung into action, while the Israelis issued a security warning just before the Passover holiday: Morocco figured quite high up on the blacklist.
The reporter alleges somewhat acidly that the Israelis were just trying to drive a wedge between Morocccan Israelis (visiting saints' or ancestors' graves or celebrating the Maimouna) and their homeland. The Moroccan authorities, for their part, wished to hush up the whole affair. People still recall the murder of Albert Rebibo, 55, in 2003 by masked Islamists and the still unsolved murder of the businessman Baby Azencott in June 1996. There was also the murder of Rabbi Elie Aferyat, 75, in September 2003 in Meknès.
In spite of the attacker's arrest, the 2,500 Jews still living in Morocco feel anxious.
Read article in full (French)
Article on 2003 terror attacks