Wide Angle

War in Gaza : The astonishing difference in mobilization between Algeria and Morocco

Since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, Algeria has been noted for its absence. Obsessed by a potential return of the Hirak marches of 2019, the Algerian government closed the streets to demonstrations of solidarity with Palestine. On the other hand, in Morocco, several thousand protesters took to the streets in Moroccan cities.

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On January 1st, Algeria officially assumed its non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, vowing to make the «Palestinian question our absolute priority», declared Ambassador Bendjamaa.

This commitment coincided with welcoming figures from Hamas and statements from Palestinian representatives in Algeria, reinforcing their official stance. This is evidenced by the meeting on January 31, between the president of the Upper House, Salah Goudjil, and Bassem Naïm, member of the Hamas political bureau. For his part, the representative of the Palestinian organization in Algeria, Youssef Hamdan, has made numerous media statements.

However, journalist Lakhdar Benchiba presents a contrasting perspective. He praises Algeria's commitment but criticizes the government's ban on demonstrations in support of Palestine, citing fears of reigniting the 2019 Hirak protests. This forces Algerians to express their solidarity through protests held in other countries, even in Morocco despite its normalized relations with Israel on December 10, 2020.

Algeria's silence

Algerian media, however, do not ignore protests or appeals signed by civil society or political parties (PJD and PPS), demanding the severing of ties with Tel Aviv and the closure of the Israeli liaison office in Rabat.

Last week, Al Adl wal Ihsane claimed having held 1,850 marches in support of Palestine, from October 7 to January 14. To this already large number, we must add the numerous rallies and sit-ins organized by other organizations in Morocco.

Algeria has been silent in the global dynamic of solidarity with Palestine, it has hardly shone in the diplomatic arena to defend the Palestinians, leaving this role to South Africa. It was Pretoria that played the role of lawyer for the Palestinians at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), laments Benchiba.

However, in his speech delivered on November 7, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune condemned «the deafening global silence» in the face of Israeli aggression. And called «all free men of the world, Arab jurists and international human rights bodies and organizations to take legal action before the International Criminal Court and international human rights organizations against the Israeli entity».

After this presidential appeal, a Polisario lawyer, Gilles Devers, was entrusted with this mission. The Algerian press even announced that 600 lawyers had joined the collective led by Devers. After a few interviews and statements from Devers to local and international media, this initiative was shelved. Since then, Tebboune's appeal has been forgotten.

Article modified on : 07/02/2024 14h07

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