Moroccan MPs demand the passing of a bill that criminalizes normalization with Israel

A bill criminalizing normalization with the Israeli entity has emerged again as the U.S President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel. Moroccan MPs from different political parties called on Monday at the House of Representative the passing of the legislation frozen for four years.

Moroccan MPs demand the passing of a bill that criminalizes normalization with Israel
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A few days after Donald Trump announced in a speech he delivered from the White House that he intends to relocate the American embassy in Israel recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of the entity, Moroccan MPs gathered in the Parliament to condemn the decision. During a parliamentary session held on Monday in Rabat, and attended by the Palestinian ambassador to Morocco, Jamal Choubki, the MP’s called for activating a bill criminalizing normalization with the Israeli entity which was blocked for years.

MPs from the Justice and Development party, the Socialist Union of Popular Forces party, the Progress and Socialism and the Istiqlal party have all voiced their will of endorsing the bill that was first proposed in 2013.

MPs to outlaw all contact with Israelis

Speaking to Yabiladi Abdellah Bouanou, head of the PJD parliamentary group, said that the PJD «was one of the first parties to propose the bill to outlaw all contact with Israelis». According to him, the bill must be submitted again to the House of Representatives and activated as soon as possible. «We are currently coordinating with the other parliamentary groups that back the bill», stressed Bouanou.

«It is time to act on the situation and what is happening in Palestine and the Gaza strip is pushing us to validate the proposal, which I consider a practical step».

The politician insisted that «the situation in Palestine is driving everyone to support this step and activate it in the upcoming days».

On the other hand, Nourreddine Mediane, head of the Istiqlal party parliamentary group, told Yabiladi that «the bill has been proposed a long time ago», adding that the party is looking forward only «to activating it».

Meanwhile, a source from the House of Representatives that required anonymity, announced to Yabiladi that the proposal «was discussed during the joint session of the two houses of the Moroccan parliament, but nothing has been activated at the moment». The same source added that «the bill has not been submitted yet to the House of Representatives».

«I think that with the current political situation, the proposal will make its way to the House of Representatives’ discussions. Now the Parliament is hosting a meeting of the Parliament’s Presidents and they are holding talks on the same topic».

A bill frozen for four years

The bill proposed four years ago to criminalize normalization with Israel has made it again to the surface following U.S President’s decision. In fact, in the summer of 2013, the same political parties backed the two bills making it illegal to «trade with Israeli entities» and banning Israelis from entering Morocco.

The bills never passed and remained frozen despite the support it received from the abovementioned political parties.

For the record, the legislation submitted in 2013 urged to «punish any economical, political, cultural, artistic or other contact with Israel or Israelis in Israel or in Morocco with two to five years of imprisonment, a fine of approximately €10,000 to €100,000, and the possibility of the removal of the right to a pension, dismissal from work or the removal of Moroccan citizenship».

The Moroccan Observatory against Normalization with Israel

Proposed for the first time by the Moroccan Observatory against Normalization with Israel in 2013, Yabiladi spoke to the head of the Moroccan ONG, Ahmed Waihaman, who commented on the current situation and the future of the bill.

«Morocco’s new challenge is to pass the bill that was frozen for four years», he said adding : «We are aware of the pressure put on Morocco».  

He stressed that «since the bill was backed by four parliamentary groups to criminalize normalization, it has become a law and it is no longer a proposal. These teams have a majority in the parliament and that should be taken into consideration».