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Antisemitism rears its head in Morocco

The country's former premier has expressed public support for Hamas terrorists and called the Jews "idiots." Other Moroccan figures made similar comments.

Jewish community members at synagogue in Agadir City, Morocco. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90.
Jewish community members at synagogue in Agadir City, Morocco. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90.

The rise of antisemitism in the aftermath of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre has alarmed Jews worldwide, including in Morocco. The local community has had to endure anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment and even hostile statements by the country’s leaders. 

For instance, the former prime minister of Morocco Abdelilah Benkirane has expressed public support for the Hamas terror organization and called the Jews “idiots.”

Speaking at a Justice and Development Party-related conference on Nov. 19, Benkirane said that while some Jews were intelligent, such as Albert Einstein, most have “short-term vision.” 

Benkirane claimed that while God initially chose the Jews, he later cursed them. “He humiliated them among the nations for 2,000 years considering how stupid they are,” he said at the gathering. Benkirane headed the Islamist Justice and Development Party, formerly the Moroccan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Similarly, Moroccan journalist Chama Darchoul, who presented herself as a proponent of normalization and visited Israel three times, said that Jews have “colonial ambitions” in the kingdom, a statement that endangers the Moroccan Jewish community. 

A Western source familiar with the matter told Israel Hayom that “in the past, Moroccan authorities acted against incitement to antisemitism. Thus, for example, a Salafi imam from Marrakesh was punished by the authorities for incitement against Jews in 2016. Among other things, he was banned from running in the elections.”

The change in Darchoul’s rhetoric is thought to stem from ties with Qatar, the source said. 

Darchoul recently claimed: “A Jew, or a Zionist to be clear, wherever he is, he becomes a part of the history and heritage. He will claim that it is his territory… For Morocco to be safe, it needs to expand Islam, to cover all religious matters.” 

In addition, Nabila Mounib, the general secretary of the Unified Socialist Party, accused a Moroccan Jew named Guy Deri, who had worked in the government for many years, of being “a Zionist infiltrator.” Later, Mounib alleged that most of the descendants of Moroccan Jews “participated in a war against our brethren in Palestine, slaughtered many of them. Is that a Jew? No, that’s a Zionist. Zionism is an extremist and dangerous ideology.”

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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