The Kingdom of Morocco: The Exception within the Arab-Muslim Countries

The royal initiative to inaugurate “Bayt Dakira” (House of Memory) in the presence of rabbis and leading Jewish figures, including Royal Councilor André Azoulay, Rabbis Joseph Israel and David Pinto, singer Michel Abitan, comedian Gad Maleh and the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Audrey Azoulay, is by no means a trivial matter. On the contrary, it is full of meanings and symbols proving that, for centuries, the Kingdom of Morocco has always been reconciled with the Hebrew tributary that is an integral part of its cultural, civilization and spiritual heritage, thus forming a beautiful exception within the Arab-Muslim universe, which does not exist anywhere else, neither in the Arab Maghreb region nor in the Middle East.

The visit of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to this cultural and historical edifice conveys many messages to the Moroccan Jewish community, which is aware that Morocco remains determined to preserve its memory and to promote it properly. This is all the more evident in view of the fact that His Majesty the King pays particular attention to the preservation of the Jewish heritage and the perpetuation of the policy pursued by his ancestors, who have always regarded Jews as citizens to be placed on an equal footing with Muslims, thus ensuring the harmonious and tolerant coexistence of the two communities.

In this regard, Jews will never forget the magnificent position of HM Sultan Mohammed V who refused to hand over Moroccan Jews to the Nazi government in Vichy, despite the weak position he was in during the Protectorate. SM considered the Jews as his children in the same way as Muslims. Thus, he could in no way abandon them.

Moroccan Jews feel the same love and respect for the late HM King Hassan II, who did not hesitate to appoint the Jew Andrey Azoulay as a Royal Councilor, a position he still holds under the reign of His Majesty King Mohammed VI.

It should also be stated that, during the reign of HM Hassan II, Jews were able to enter the Moroccan Parliament, just as they held high positions in the Government and certain political parties. His Majesty has also played a decisive role in the Middle East peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, just as he has always called for dialogue between the two parties. For example, he did not hesitate to receive Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres in Morocco, ignoring the reaction of Arab leaders.

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