First indeed Morocco
was a country, even also an Empire, who resisted - with its army of black slaves and some european renegades - against the Ottoman Empire and never became part of it contrary to Algiers Tunis and the rest of North Africa, agree with that as it is precised
but second, such comment about Morocco is obviously totally wrong rewriting the Moroccan History to ignore antijudaism antisemitism and progroms throughout the interesting but complicated History of Morocco, the Historian Michel Abitbol, also Israeli-Moroccan and born in Casablanca like him, would not share a such conclusion
-zed inferiorised Jews were segregated in mellhas
and suffered slaughters by muslims for centuries and until the 20th century who saw an huge migration of this community who passed from 300 000 to only 3000, the reason why this man was citizen in Israël like the majority of the Moroccan Jews, and at a lesser extent in France like Michel Abitbol or Canada
Authors who have been interested in the study of relations between Muslims and Jews in the land of Islam have all noticed that, in countries located in the far East and in the far West of the Muslim world, discriminatory measures were applied even more rigorously than anywhere else, this will be the case in Morocco which became muslim since 712
in 1894, in his book on anti-Semitism and its causes, Bernard Lazare pointed out in a note concerning Morocco and Iran the calamitous condition of the Jews in these countries. This is confirmed by Bernard Lewis, Jews in the Land of Islam, 1984: “We can even say that the further a state was from the heart of Islamic civilization, the more repressive it was. The situation of non-Muslims was generally better in Egypt and Turquie or Iraq than in North Africa or Central Asia. The status of dhimmis was seen as vile and contemptible. The best proof, perhaps, is that the dhimmi represented in the eyes of Muslims the archetype of the inferior and the oppressed. […] Let us also note that it was in the 19th and 20th centuries, when the dhimmis wanted to free themselves from the constraints that weighed on them, that the most violent and deadly confrontations broke out. […] In their relations with Muslims, Jews were not equal before the law. »
The Muslim state institutionalized the social inferiority of dhimmis and organized social segregation between Muslims and dhimmis. In this way, social exclusion is enshrined in the law of the Muslim country and constitutes a major political argument which encourages abuse of power and leaves the door open to arbitrariness. In Morocco, from the top of the social ladder to the bottom, social discrimination was a daily reality for Jews. The persecution was as much religious as it was social.
But, above all, what characterizes the situation of Jews in Morocco is arbitrariness. Impunity is guaranteed by the Dhimma Law. A Muslim cannot be convicted for the murder of a dhimmi; the blood price for a dhimmi is much lower than that of a Muslim. Violence falls on them for the most futile reasons. Death could also befall them in incomprehensible ways. Killing a dhimmi to steal it was never punished. Rapes of young women were the dread of families and did not fail to occur during riots by rebel tribes against the Sultan's government. Not to mention the theft of young children to convert them and raise them in Islam.
In Morocco, the equation Jew = dhimmi is, in fact, the only relevant one since there is no longer Christians dhimmi. The dhimmis in Morocco are the archetype of the oppressed and the excluded. Justice is a register that is unknown to them. All of this is attested in Jewish and non-Jewish historical sources. The letters sent by the directors of the Alliance Israelite Universelle are deposited in the archives of the Library and can be consulted. They come from direct witnesses of the events which shook the Jewish communities in Morocco from 1862 to 1912. The sack of the mellah of Casablanca in 1907, that of Fez in 1912 following the French Protectorate. Massacres, fires, rapes, thefts, kidnappings, nothing is missing. The vulnerability of Jewish dhimmis is such that even Charles de Foucauld who did not like them, described their condition at the end of the 19th century in terms which give a very precise idea: “The Israelites who, in the eyes of Muslims, are not men…”
We must face the facts, Morocco, a country of Islam, applies the laws of dhimma with the greatest severity: social discrimination is a political fact constituting the condition of Jews in these countries. It is a political argument that is aggravated by cruelty and systematic arbitrariness. Jews had no political rights. They had, on the other hand, many duties and constraints. Poverty and humiliation are their lot because they did not believe in Islam.
And it is worth emphasizing the fact that, paradoxically, anti-Judaism is not the real problem there; Jews are dhimmis, that is to say they can practice their religion even in a discreet and non-aggressive tone. They are protected by the clauses of a pact which ensures their lives are saved in exchange for numerous social and fiscal constraints. While social segregation turns out to be a form of domination and conquest by means other than weapons. Social death and fiscal crushing are weapons of a different nature than the sword, but they are very effective. Indeed, in his historical essay, Eisenbeth reports information taken from a work by M. de Chénier, French consul in Morocco in the 18th century; he gives a precise estimate of the impact of social discrimination and persecution on the Jewish demography in Morocco after the expulsion from Spain: at the beginning of the 16th century, there were 30 000 Jewish families in Morocco. In the 18th century, only the twelfth remained
The social isolation of dhimmis in Morocco was watertight. Muslim and Jewish residents led parallel lives there. They didn't really meet. Since all the attributes or criteria of discrimination are present: social exclusion, shameful condition, humiliation and contempt, overtaxation, unpunished crimes and murders and permanent arbitrariness, theft, rape of young women and boys, kidnapping of children and women , insults of all kinds, it is then appropriate to speak about them according to the categories of definition of anti-Semitism. Consequently, it is useless to hide under the category of religion and the fanaticism of certain zealots to explain (without justifying) that These are not anti-Semitic phenomena. All areas of the state are involved in this institutionalized exclusion. Tribal nationalism and contempt added to the mix.
This will clarify the debate and perhaps prevent us from continuing to cloud the discourse with religious arguments or by evoking a totally illusory Jewish-Moroccan symbiosis, which historical facts deny. Hence the importance of defining and understanding why the Jews of Morocco were unable to look into their own history, unaware that they too had been caught in the turmoil of anti-Semitism and not being able to distance themselves to reflect and testify
Albert Memmi criticizes historians who have exclusively supported the thesis of anti-Judaism to qualify the phenomena linked to dhimma, of having contributed to maintaining the “myth of a Jewish-Arab understanding” as a political argument. According to him, four complicities came together to promote the propagation of this myth after the independence of the Maghreb. Apart from the complicity of the European left and Arab propaganda, he sees that of Western Jewish historians and that of Jews from North Africa themselves
“In fact, Jewish history was written by Western Jews, there has been no great Easterner Jewish historian. And this is the absurd distinction made by Isaac (whom I respect a lot) between “real” and “false” anti-Semitism, the “real” being that produced by Christianity and the other being called “anti-Judaism”. No, it is not only Christianity that causes anti-Semitism, but the fact that the Jew is a minority; and unfortunately by making anti-Semitism a Christian creation, Isaac minimized the tragedy of the Jews in Arab countries, and contributed to distorting minds.
Fourth complicity, finally: it is ours, it is this more or less unconscious complicity of the uprooted Eastern Jews who tend to embellish the past, and who, in their regret for North Africa, minimize or completely erase the memory of persecutions. »
We still need to question a strange phenomenon that occurred after Morocco regained its political sovereignty and independence in 1956. While they had just been recognized as Moroccan citizens, Jews left this country en masse. Nearly 90% of them emigrated to Israel between 1961 and 1974. Only a minority settled in Canada and France.
They did not retain the words of Mohamed V in his Speech from the Throne of November 18, 1955 in which he solemnly reaffirmed his desire to see the new Morocco “access a regime of democracy eliminating all racial distinction
It is true that these words of welcome and hope came after the trauma caused by the riots in Petit-Jean (today Sidi-Kacem) in which five Jews from Meknes had just been savagely massacred and burned by the population. Muslim in a state of turmoil on the eve of the anniversary of the deposition of Mohamed V by the French colonialist power. After this massacre, Aliyah to Israel broke records. In addition, Mohamed V died on February 26, 1961 and departures resumed until there were almost no Jews left in Morocco.
and it is quite astonishing that the myth of the Jewish-Moroccan understanding is refuted by the testimony of a Moroccan Arab, Saïd Ghallab, published in Les Temps Modernes in 1965
" We grew up. My childhood friends remained anti-Jewish. They veil their virulent anti-Semitism by arguing that the State of Israel is the creation of Western imperialism. […] But you just have to open your eyes to see that the swastikas cover the walls and to listen to understand how deeply hatred of the Jew is rooted in hearts, even in a very backward peasant class, which is unaware of this what does Israel mean, therefore that there is a Jewish-Arab 'political conflict'. On the contrary, everything happens as if the Jew were this hereditary enemy that must be eliminated, a thorn in the soles of the feet that must be pulled out, an evil that must be destroyed. »
extracts taken from Ruth Tolédano Attias's article Antisemitism in Morocco