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Do Moroccans of Jewish faith live in a «difficult situation» because of the coronavirus ?

Israel's parliament this week addressed the «situation» of Jews living in Morocco, saying it was ready to help them. These statements remain far from reality and are baseless, assures us this Thursday Jacky Kadouch, president of the Israelite community of Marrakech-Essaouira.

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In the Knesset, the unicameral legislature of Israel, the committee for immigration, absorption and diaspora affairs held, Tuesday, an «urgent discussion» on the situation of the Jewish community in Morocco amid the coronavirus health crisis.

According to Israeli newspaper HaKol HaYehudi, David Bitten, the committee’s chairman said that the «main donor of the Jewish community in Morocco died of the coronavirus which left Moroccan Jews in big difficulties». «We have to think about how to help them. It is a small community, with few hundred members who are unable to support themselves financially due to the health crisis», he argued.

He recalled that «throughout these years, the community has supported the State of Israel». «It is time for the state to support it now», he insisted.

An «extremely serious economic impact» of the coronavirus

David Bitten said that he intends «to ask to the government to create a special fund through which each party can make a donation to help the Jewish communities». He also promised to «provide accommodation and jobs for migrants from Morocco».

Quoted by the same newspaper, Moroccan-born Amir Peretz, who serves as Israel’s Minister of the Economy said that the committee's discussion on the situation of the Jews in Morocco «is a message for the whole Jewish world : we will try every possible way to help». «The (Jewish) community in Morocco is unique and has a great commitment to the State of Israel, with a close bond with the King and their country of residence», he said.

The same source recalls that Ariel Deporto, the director of immigration at the Jewish Agency, recalled that «in Morocco, there are only 1,500 Jews left, mostly in Casablanca, a minority in Marrakech, Agadir, Fez and Rabat», of which «16 died from the coronavirus». 

He added that King Mohammed VI «has done everything possible to take care of Jewish patients, with their evacuation and their accommodation in luxury hotels at the government's expense». However, «the confinement in the country and the closing of the borders had an extremely serious economic impact, with repercussions on the community».

In the same context, the media Israel National News even indicated that Israel was preparing for a possible process of repatriation of the Jews who still live in Morocco.

«Unfounded» comments and information

However, the Jewish community in Morocco has a different say regarding the mobilization in Israel. «News on the immigration of Moroccan Jews as well as on the difficult economic situation is unfounded», said Jacky Kadouch, the president of the Israelite community of Marrakech-Essaouira.

«Even for the Jews who died from the coronavirus, they belong to the Jewish community in Casablanca. They are ordinary people, like all other Moroccan Jews», he insisted.

«I don't understand these baseless statements. It is inconceivable to tell the Jews, whose presence in Morocco dates back to several centuries, that 16 of you died because of the coronavirus, so you must leave for Israel».

Jacky Kadouch

For the president of the Israelite community of Marrakech-Essaouira, politicians in Israel must remember that «Europeans of Jewish faith, who suffer from racism and the desecration of their places of worship, are thinking of going back to live in Morocco». «How are we going to think about leaving ?», he asked.

Jacky Kadouch added that «Morocco is a land of peace and coexistence». «We are still living there in peace and we will not listen to such calls», he said.

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