The Conference of European Rabbis (CER) has heaped praise on Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, describing him as a peace-maker and a promoter of cultural diversity and inter-religious dialogue.
CER was reacting to the recent news of a diplomatic rapprochement between Morocco and Israel. The group argued that the resumption of ties between the two countries speaks of King Mohammed VI’s openness to dialogue and his commitment to promoting peace and stability in the Middle East.
The organization’s statement especially highlighted the Moroccan monarch’s “political courage,” as well as his “permanent action for peace and prosperity in the Middle East.”
The statement explained that King Mohammed VI “has always promoted dialogue between Jews and Muslims.”. It added, “The history of the Jews of Morocco is a unique and special history” in the Arab world.
CER also pointed to Morocco’s long history of protecting its Jewish communities. It particularly told the story of the historically good relations between Morocco’s Jewish communities and successive Moroccan monarchs. These relations allowed generations of Moroccan Jews to thrive and have notable political influence on the kingdom’s affairs.
In recent years, many Moroccan Jews residing abroad — including in Israel — have travelled to Morocco to explore the remnants of the country’s Jewish culture and history.
With the recent resumption of ties between Morocco and Israel, the North African country is expecting a marked increase in the number of Isreali or Jewish tourists planning to visit in the coming months.
Morocco’s Minister of Tourism Nadia Fettah Alaoui recently estimated that the number of Israeli tourists is likely to rise from 15,000 per year to 200,000.
For CER, Morocco’s positive image among Moroccan Jews and Israelis at large stems from both the country’s history of combating anti-semitism and its reputation as a bastion of interfaith dialogue, cultural diversity, and religious tolerance.
“Although the majority of Jews no longer live in Morocco today, Morocco is still present in their hearts and memories,” the CER statement said.
It concluded by acknowledging Morocco’s recent policy reform to teach Jewish history and culture in Moroccan schools. CER stated that “it is only through the education of the younger generations that we can fight against all forms of racism and antisemitism.”
CER’s comments come in the aftermath of US President Donal Trump’s announcement of a US-brokered “historic” agreement between Israel and Morocco.
Under the deal, Morocco agreed to resume diplomatic ties with Israel in exchange for bolder, more pronounced US support for its sovereignty over Western Sahara.
The deal has since polarized opinion in Morocco, across the Arab world, and in the broader international community. Some have decried the agreement as a “betrayal of the Palestinian cause.”
In response, the Moroccan government insists that its position on Palestine remains “unchanged.”
Rabat has explained that, rather than relinquishing its “principled” and “constant” commitment to the Palestinian cause, it hopes to “fully play” its role in the new, emerging configurations of Middle Eastern geopolitics to more effectively advocate for Palestinian interests.