By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, July 19, 2012
ThePJD seventh congress was undisputedly the most awaited political event this month. The congress summoned not only the PJD members and proponents but also a number of the party’s sworn enemies like Salahedddine Mezouar, the Secretary gGeneral of the Party of Authenticity and Modernity, or PAM, in addition to the other Moroccan political figures.
Nevertheless, the congress surprise was undoubtedly the attendance of the leader of the Palestinian organization Hamas and the head of its Syrian branch of Khaled Meshaal.
The PJD’s seventh congressional session, organized last Saturday in Moulay Abdellah compound in Rabat was attended by 3,300 congressmen and women . Women represented 17 percent of the participants whereas men represented 42 percent. The congress received also more than 350 guests from Morocco and 100 guests from more than 20 countries.
In his address to the participants, Khaled Meshaal congratulated the Moroccan regime for the wisdom it displayed in response to the uprising. He described the Moroccan spring as a “leading experience” that had spared the country the spiral of violence and unnecessary bloodshed.
It is no secret that inviting a political icon like Khaled Meshaal whose life is constantly under threat, is not an easy matter for the congressional organizers. Indeed, Meshaal made his appearance in congress under heightened security surrounded by his highly trained bodyguards.
Khaled Meshaal was invited by the PJD Secretary General Abdelilah Benkirane. According to the Moroccan daily Akhbar al Yawm, Moroccan authorities were rather dubious about Meshaal’s visit, especially that the Israeli intelligence service Mossad has been targeting the number one man in Hamas for a long time.
Meshaal was the target of an assassination attempt carried out by the Mossad on September 25, 1997, when two Mossad agents injected a fast acting poison into Meshaal’ left ear. Soon afterwards, Meshaal bodyguards arrested the Mossad agents.
Subsequent to the negotiations with Israel, Meshaal was given the antidote. The two Mossad agents were released in exchange of the release of Shaykh Yasin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, and a number of other prisoners held in Israel.
To avoid any unpleasant incident, the Moroccan security apparatus coordinated with Palestinian security to provide a close protection to the Palestinian leader during his visit to Morocco.
The presence of Meshaal is another evidence of the ideological proximity between the PJD and Hamas, since both organizations belong to Islamist activism influenced by the Muslim brothers in Egypt.
Benkirane showed once again that he is a seasoned politician when it comes to crisis management. He could exclude tactfully his opponents in the party from the membership of the PJD national council to prevent any dissonance in the future especially that the PJD is leading the coalition government.
Benkirane did all he could to keep the internal opposition within his party at bay. Thus, he can face the public opinion and the opposition parties with more audacity and confidence.