New Yorker Jewish writer Jonathan Katz penned an article, entitled 1 Thing Moroccans Want All Jews To Know, at the Jewish Daily Forward on March 29, 2015. The article is based on Katz’s personal experience during his recent visit to Morocco.
Katz claims that he had visited several European countries in the past and faced antisemitism everywhere – especially in Netherlands and Sweden. In contrast he says that while visiting Morocco or Tunisia, he felt like he was visiting Israel where Jews have found freedom and security.
“From Morocco, what I would like to say is this: Tolerance is not the province of Western white people alone. I saw a greater acknowledgment for the intersection of different identities – Moroccan and Jewish, Berber and Muslim, Arab and francophone – than I have ever seen in much of the West,” Katz said.
“Yes, Morocco’s support (alongside many Jews’ support) for the Palestinian cause leaves some pro-Israel Jews queasy. But Morocco is in the midst of achieving something that many European countries have not yet started: the idea of a Jew as part and parcel of the country’s heritage,” adds Katz.
Katz says that the hatred toward Jews during the 1960s, which forced 300,000-strong Jewish community to leave Morocco is gone and the remaining 5000 Jews in Morocco face no antisemitism. I guess, Katz is not aware of a study published by Israeli historian professor Yigal Bin-Nun (Bar-Ilan University) in 2013 in which he claimed that Israeli Mossad was behind the exodus of Jews from Morocco.
Canadian documentary photographer Aaron Vincent Elkaim, whose father was a Moroccan Jew, visited his ancestral land recently. He also found a peaceful co-existence between Muslims, Jews and Christians in Morocco.
Last year, Alexandre Sterns, a Mossad agent, who was killed during shoot-out at Brussels Jewish museum was son of a Moroccan Jewish mother and Algerian Muslim father. He was raised as a Jew by his mother, who decided to bury her son in a Muslim cemetery in Morocco.
While Israeli Jews have destroyed over 600 mosques and built settlements, parks and Holocaust museums over Muslim graveyards – Moroccan government and Muslims have looked-after Jewish cementeries and synagogues during the last seven decades.
Muslims in North Africa have a long history of mercy for the Jews. It’s in 711 CE when Almoravids of Spain sent an army under the command of Berber General Tariq Ben Ziyad to liberate Jew Serf (slaves) in Spain. For the next eight centuries (711-1492) Jews in Muslim Spain created the Hebrew Golden Age.