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Morocco : After Tanjazz, anti-normalization activists target the Istiqlal party

Controversy erupted last week in Tangier after an Israeli singer, who is also a reserve militant at the Israeli air force, was invited to Tanjazz festival. Anti-normalization with Israel groups and activists were angered by the step, and a few days later, they targeted the Istiqlal political party. The same groups remained silent during festivals like Hiloula of Rabbi Haim Pinto in Essaouira.

Protesters in Morocco compare Israel to apartheid./Ph. : EPA
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Anti-normalization with Israel groups have been active these days in Morocco. Last week and during the 18th edition of Tanjazz festival in Tangier, boycott groups and activists have been leading a campaign against an Israeli singer. They have organized sit-ins and released several social media statements opposing the presence of Noam Vazana, who is considered as a reserve soldier at the Israeli air force.

For the record, all Israelis who have completed military service are assigned to the Israeli Defense Forces’ military reserve force to provide reinforcements during emergencies and as a matter of routine course.

A different reaction

While dozens of demonstrators denounced the participation of Noam Vazana in Tanjazz, several Jews went to Essaouira, to attend the Hiloula of Rabbi Haim Pinto festival held from the 14th to the 17th of September annually. 

The religious «Moussem», a notorious word for festival in Morocco, is like any other Hiloulas which are supervised and protected by the Moroccan authorities. Local official media outlets give them a special coverage and the representatives from the Ministry of Interior, including governors make sure to attend annual event. 

While in Tangiers activists’ reactions were fierce, it is hard to understand why they are silent when it comes to Essaouira, knowing that all those Israelis who took part to Hiloula have already completed military service.

On the other hand, anti-normalization with Israel groups have accused the Istiqlal political party, led by Hamid Chabat, of collaborating, during the organization of a congress scheduled for the 29th of September, with a security company that works with the Israeli army in the West Bank settlements. 

Responding to accusations, the party released a communiqué today indicating that following the campaign led against their collaboration with the above-mentioned company, it decided to put an end to it. According to Alyaoum 24, which published a photo of the party’s statement, Istiqlal has investigated the operations of the company and made sure that they would stop their collaboration. 

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