Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bibi asked to prevent erosion of Moroccan heritage

Portraits of hospital founder Haim Benchimol and his wife Donna grace the walls of the Jewish old people's home in Tangiers (Courtesy Diarna)

Following the unexpected demolition of the Benchimol hospital in Tangiers, the Israeli ministry responsible for Jewish property claims in Arab lands has asked Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, to ensure that there is no further erosion of Jewish heritage in Morocco, Arutz Sheva reports (with thanks: Noam):

Moroccan Jews fear the local cemetery might be next on the chopping block, after a former Jewish hospital in Tangiers, Morocco was abruptly razed by authorities.

Bulldozers arrived at the Benchimol (Ben-Shimol) Hospital very late Friday night in the midst of the Passover holiday, and by morning the buildings were leveled. “It’s by order of the governor,” the wreckers told the guard, who had no way to stop them. The hospital, which was built in 1889, has been abandoned for about a decade. Though it was known as the Jewish hospital, members of all religions were treated there.

Dr. Leah Ness, Deputy Minister for Pensioner Affairs, has turned to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to ensure that no further action will be taken against the dwindling Jewish community in Morocco. The Ministry of Pensioner Affairs oversees the recovery of stolen Jewish property left in Arab countries.

The two-square kilometer (500 acres) hospital complex was built by Chaim Benchimol, a translator for the French Consulate in Tangiers and a member of the Jewish Community Board. According to various reports, the land is owned by the Benchimol family, while the hospital itself was owned by the Jewish Community.

Read article in full

Ynet News reprint of Shalomlife post

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