“Such ‘demand’ lacks credibility as we easily recall the different phases of Jewish emigration from Morocco,” the petition says.
Rabat – Over 80 Moroccan figures of various professions and faiths signed an online petition published on Monday denouncing Israel demanding compensation for lost Jewish properties since 1948. Among the signatories is political scientist Gabriel Banon, economist Raymond Benaim, anthropologist Andre Levy, director Kathy Wazana, and philosopher Ahmed Assid.
”Such a ‘demand’ lacks credibility as we easily recall the different phases of Jewish emigration from Morocco,” the petition says. “Moroccan Jewish emigration to Israel began in 1950 with a quota set by the Israeli authorities at just under 25,000 Moroccan Jews a year,” adds the petition. “Spreading these lies will only serve hatred and extremism,” concludes the petition.
Speaking with Morocco World News, Moroccan-French activist Jacob Cohen criticized Israel’s request, describing it as “cynical.”
Cohen said that it was the Israeli intelligence service, known as the Mossad, that sent Jewish Moroccans to Israel.
In 2017, the founder and chairman of the World Federation of Moroccan Jewry, Sam Ben-Shitrit, send a letter to Israeli Minister for Social Equality Gila Gamliel following a “misleading” article by Israeli newspaper Maariv. “We want to state in the clearest way that the Moroccan authorities, for centuries, never expelled the Jews nor confiscated their individual or community property.”
A group of US senators had made similar financial compensation demands to a “list of countries [that] included Morocco. I wrote them a firm letter so that they remove Morocco from this list, and to my great joy they acceded to my request,” the letter says.
According to the Times of Israel, Ben-Shitrit has acted many times as a “middleman” between Israel and Morocco.
A total of 6.6 million Jewish people live in Israel, while 8.1 million live outside Israel. 2,000-6,000 live in Morocco.