Rabat – Saad Eddine El Othmani’s government is set to adopt a decree that will suspend the tax on kosher meat consumed by the Jewish community, at the government council on Thursday, March 8, in Rabat.
Decree 2.81.180 was introduced by former Minister of the Interior Driss Basri and former Minister of Finance Abdellatif Jouahri in 1985, establishing a parafiscal tax, commonly known as the meat tax, on behalf of Moroccan Jewish community committees.
“Kosher tax amounted to 50 cents per kilogram. All taxes collected were paid monthly, to the municipalities by Moroccan Jewish communities.
In the fifties, Morocco’s Jewish community included about 250,000 people. The community declined considerably after the creation of the state of Israel and Morocco’s independence around mid-twentieth century. Today, the Moroccan Jewish community only totals a few thousand members.
While the El Othmani government tries to end the virtually non-practiced tax, Morocco’s Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) announced in January 2018 its intention to propose a bill to withdraw Moroccan citizenship from Moroccan Jewish people living in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In the end, PAM backed down from submitting the bill to the parliament, further showcasing Morocco’s controversial stance vis à vis Israel.
Since the establishment of the Israeli state in 1948, Morocco and Israel have had a complicated relationship.
Israel has long since tried to bring Morocco to its side. The country has hosted three Moroccan delegations, the latest of which was in 2016, to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries.