Algerian news outlet Ennahar TV has used an anti-Semitic discourse to attack Moroccan football player Hakim Ziyech.
In a report published on Friday, January 29, Ennahar TV shared a photo showing Ziyech with his teammates at Chelsea FC paying tribute to Holocaust victims. The Algerian channel then went on to call Ziyech’s participation in the Holocaust memorial “a scandal.”
The picture, initially shared by Israel’s official Arabic Twitter account on January 28, shows Ziyech and two of his teammates carrying a banner with the inscription “We Remember,” in tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. The banner included the logo of Chelsea FC and the World Jewish Congress.
The initiative, which coincided with the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, celebrated every year on January 27, appears to have triggered the anti-Semitic discourse of the Algerian news outlet.
Ennahar TV’s report, using words such as “scandal,” seems to be an attempt to use Ziyech’s photo to promote the narrative that Morocco has sided with Israel and “turned its back” on the Palestinian cause.
Large parts of the populations in some Muslim countries, such as Algeria, do not believe that the Holocaust ever took place. Others continue to claim that the number of Holocaust victims, estimated at six million, has been largely inflated.
Their underlying is that the Holocaust is a “hoax” that Jews created to garner global empathy and push forward the Zionist agenda for the establishment of a Jewish state.
In Morocco, however, the story has been largely different. Contrary to Algerian media’s portrayal of the Kingdom as a “traitor,” Morocco has always publicly manifested its religious tolerance toward Jews, notably welcoming and protecting Jews with Moroccan roots.
Jewish communities have lived in Morocco for over two millennia. In the 20th century, the Jewish population in the country exceeded 200,000 men and women who peacefully coexisted with Muslims.
During World War II, Sultan Mohammed V of Morocco made remarkable efforts to protect Jews from the waves of anti-Semitism that ravaged Europe.
The Moroccan monarch opposed Nazi-controlled France from enacting discriminatory laws.
He is remembered for his famous statement that prevented the deportation of Moroccan Jews to extermination camps in Europe: “There are no Jewish citizens, there are no Muslim citizens. They are all Moroccans.”
The recent report about Ziyech is one of many articles that Algerian media have published to attack Morocco, especially after the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Rabat and Tel Aviv.
While the reports accuse Morocco of “betraying” the Palestinian cause, the country has repeatedly reiterated its on “constant and clear” support for the Palestinian cause.
In recent conversations with both Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, King Mohamed VI was adamant about Morocco’s “unwavering” commitment to the Palestinian cause.
Morocco, the King insisted, supports a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that preserves the Islamic aspects of the identity of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and ensures peaceful coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis.