Israel’s Minister of Economy Amir Peretz greeted Moroccans using the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, Darija, in a video Israeli outlet i24 News published on Sunday.
“As-Salamu Alaykum (Islamic greeting), my name is Amir Peretz, a minister in the Israeli government, and I am very happy about [the resumption of] diplomatic relations between Morocco and Israel,” he said.
“I was born in Morocco, in Boujad (near Beni Mellal), and I feel like my dream has come true,” he continued.
Peretz expressed his excitement about the resumption of diplomatic relations between his country of origin and his country of residence.
“I wish my parents were still with us on this blessed day,” he said. “I hope that this peace will spread all over the world. I wish you good health and I hope you always remain well.”
Born in Morocco in 1952, Amir Peretz is one of many Israeli ministers with Moroccan origins.
The Israeli government currently includes 10 members with at least one parent from Morocco.
Israeli Minister of Transportation Miri Regev, born to a Moroccan father and Spanish mother, also expressed her happiness about the resumption of official Morocco-Israel relations.
“Generations of Jews from Morocco have dreamed of peace with the country in which they were born and where their cultural roots are ingrained … Tonight, we light a great light in tribute to our grandparents,” Regev wrote on Twitter.
Celebrations began soon after US President Donald Trump announced on December 10 that Morocco and Israel will reestablish relations.
The number of people with Moroccan origins residing in Israel is estimated to be at least one million, nearly one-eighth of the country’s total population.