By Majid Morceli
By Majid Morceli
San Francisco – Japan and China’s relationship is strikingly similar to the one between Morocco and Algeria. However, on Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan and China have taken a major step towards reconciling their differences, adding that moving forward there should be frequent dialogue between them.
He added that for the sake of the Asia-Pacific region, the responsibility falls on both countries to work toward a “mutually beneficial” relationship based on strategic interests.
“Japan and China, we need each other,” ” we are, in a way, inseparably bound together,” he said.
If you replace the words ‘Japan’ and ‘China’ with ‘Morocco’ and ‘Algeria’ and the ‘Asia-Pacific region’ with ‘Maghreb’, you would think that these words were coming from either President Bouteflika or King Mohammed VI. Sadly, that’s not the case.
The relationship between Morocco and Algeria has become so pathetic that the Algerian media is now telling its people that the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) decision to disqualify Morocco from the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) 2015 is a punishment for Morocco due to its stance on the ‘Western Sahara.’
And as if the Sahara excuse was not enough, the Algerian media is also telling its people that Morocco hates Africans, unlike Algeria, which “cares about the wellbeing of Africa.”
Another imbecile reason the Algerian media using is that Morocco does not want to risk having Algerian fans raising Polisario flags during games, as was the case during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But this nonsense was not enough, so they say they are sure that Algeria will win CAN 2015, and Morocco’s refusal to go on with the games is not the spread of Ebola, but is actually Morocco’s fear of humiliation when – not if – the Algerian national team wins CAN 2015.
We in Morocco are used to this rubbish, but what is astonishing is that Algerian citizens, for the most part, are conscious that their regime and the media are bluffing, but they don’t see this as an insult on their intelligence. Even worse, they don’t see that the strategy used by their leaders is failing and will only hurt Algeria in the long run.
Algeria’s vision is blurred by hate and vendetta. They cannot comprehend that Morocco and Algeria sooner or later will need each other, the same way China and Japan, or France and Germany need each other. We are bound by geography, and if any of us suffers, the other will feel pain as well. For instance, the killing of a French tourist by Algerian terrorists had ramifications beyond Algeria’s borders, when many French citizens and others canceled their planned trips not only to Algeria, but also to Morocco and Tunisia.
Sadly, Algerians in general are short sighted. They believe that with their oil, they won’t have much to worry about, and a Maghreb union would be more of a burden than a benefit. They refuse to believe that a country without natural resources, such as Morocco or even Tunisia, could be beneficial to Algeria. Imagine if the Europeans in the mid-1980s would have had the same mentality and came to the conclusion that Spain is a poor country, and therefore should never be allowed to join the European Union.
On the surface, the Algerian media is elated that Morocco has been disqualified from CAN 2015. But what it will never tell you is that Algerian fans are extremely disappointed and outraged by what just happened. Algerians were going to be treated like anyone else in Morocco, and they know that. It is no secret that Algerians love Moroccan hospitality, cuisine, and its tourist infrastructure. When they visit Morocco, they see how nice Moroccans are to them. They cannot believe that the people that their media and regime have been demonizing for decades are actually good, decent people. The accompanying video clip is just an example of how Algerian fans were treated in 2011 when they came to support their team’s match against Morocco. Let’s remind the Algerian media that their team was the favorite to go to the next round, and I don’t have to remind them that Morocco humiliated them with score of 4-0.
As I write this article, I read: “Mali reports 2 new Ebola deaths in capital”. Let’s hope that Ebola does not sneak into Algeria from Mali. We in Morocco do not want to see Algeria harmed. The only thing we ask from the Algerian regime and media is this: Be brave and follow in the footsteps of the Chinese and the Japanese. If you want to be a leader in the region, you can do it by simply being the honest broker,\ and not the troublemaker.
You will not reach your goal of being leader on Morocco’s back. The king of Morocco could not have been more clear and bold when he said, “Morocco will remain in its Sahara, and the Sahara will remain part of Morocco, until the end of time”. This statement will hopefully help the Algerians understand that we are in it to the end, no matter the sacrifice.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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