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An Arab Council for women strips Moroccan poet of honor for her visits to Israel

The Arab Development Council for Women and Business announced, Tuesday, that it has stripped Moroccan poet Bouchrail Echchaoui of honor, after realizing that she visited Israel.

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Moroccan poet Bouchrail Echchaoui in Lebanon at a ceremony held by the Arab Development Council for Women and Business./Ph. DR

After Lebanon-based Arab Development Council for Women and Business honored Moroccan poet Bouchrail Echachaoui in a ceremony held on Sunday, the institution that backs women’s achievements in the Arab world rowed back on its decision, citing the woman’s links with Israel.

Accused of normalization, Echchaoui was stripped of honor after the Lebanese Council issued a statement, Tuesday, referring to her visits to Israel.

«The Council decided to withdraw the honorary award granted to the aforementioned woman», wrote the body, after it was «showered with complaints», accusing Echchaoui of normalization.

Citing the reasons behind this decision, the council stressed that «it was not aware of the woman’s visits to the occupied Palestinian territories». In the same communiqué, the Women’s council recalled that the Moroccan poet was honored, after a vote that was opened.

Normalization with Israel

«The woman was chosen by Moroccans who voted for her», pointed out the Council, adding that it «supports the struggle of the Palestinian people and condemns normalization with Israeli ‘enemy’». Moreover, the Arab Development Council for Women and Business denounced the campaign launched against it because of the Moroccan poet.

For the record, the Moroccan poet was honored, March the 10th, by the Council in Lebanon, alongside several leading Arab women. Echchaoui posted on her Facebook account a video and a series of articles on the event, celebrating her honoring.

The event, however, did not go unnoticed on social media. Earlier this week, the Moroccan Observatory against Normalization denounced in a communiqué the Council’s honoring of Bouchrail Echchaoui. «It is suspicious to render homage to a person who visited the Knesset, the Israeli army, and met Zionist officials», wrote the Observatory.

In the same communiqué, which was relayed by Lebanese news outlets close to the Hezbollah movement, the Moroccan observatory urged the «Lebanese’s government and authorities to correct the mistake and expel those who support the Zionist entity».

«This woman is known for her links with Israel and she does not represent Moroccan intellectuals (…) she should not be honored on behalf of Moroccan women», the same source said.

In a second statement, the Observatory criticized the Arab Development Council for Women and Business for stating that Echchaoui «was chosen by Moroccans». Furthermore, the anti-Israel organization slammed the Moroccan writer for «not commenting on her links with Israel».

On Wednesday, Bouchrail Echchaoui did not comment on her honoring in Lebanon after she was contacted by Yabiladi. For the record, the Moroccan poet visited in January, 2017, Israel, where she attended a conference on normalization.

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