Israeli media described the officials’ attendance at the event as “historic.”
Rabat – The governor of Casablanca-Anfa’s prefecture, Rachid Afirat, and the Wali of the Casablanca region, Said Ahmidouch, attended a Hanukkah celebration event on Sunday, December 22 in Casablanca.
Israeli media described the participation of the Moroccan officials as a “historic movement.”
Hanukkah, or Chanukah, is an annual Jewish religious celebration involving prayer and traditional fried dishes.
It means the festival of lights and it seeks to celebrate the “rededication of the Holy Temple.”
The participation of the Moroccan officials pleased the attendees, estimated at 800 people.
Rabbi Levi Banon said that the participation “sends a strong message of peace and tolerance.”
He also recalled Morocco’s coexistence approach under “the leadership and inspiration of King Mohammed VI.”
The Rabi added that Morocco has been a “true example for the world of what coexistence between all peoples looks like.”
Throughout his speeches, the Moroccan King has repeated his desire to establish Morocco as a land of peaceful cohabitation between different faiths.
In a speech he delivered during the visit of Pope Francis, King Mohammed V spoke about coexistence and the “exceptional rich diversity underpinning Moroccan civilization.”
“It is reflected by the mosques, churches, and synagogues which have coexisted in the cities of the Kingdom since time immemorial,” he emphasized.
International federation of Jewish communities and organizations World Jewish Congress (WJC) estimates that there are approximately 2,300 Jews still living in Morocco.
The Jewish communities are spread across mellah, or walled cities, in Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech, Meknes, Tangier, and Fez.
Morocco’s Jewish population significantly decreased following the end of World War II.
More than 200,000 Jews lived in Morocco before the war. Thousands of Jewish people emigrated to France, the US, Casablanca, and Israel.
Statistics shared by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November noted that as many as 432 Moroccan jews emigrated from Morocco to Israel over the past eight years.