Israel and Morocco sign a historic Defense Memorandum of Understanding, Nov. 24, 2021. (Ariel Hermoni, IMoD) Ariel Hermoni (IMoD)
Israel and Morocco sign a historic Defense Memorandum of Understanding1

‘Bilateral relations with Israel have been improving on all levels,’ Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita tells AJC Global Forum in Tel Aviv.

By TPS

The Abraham Accords have created a “unique” opportunity for peace in the region, and helped create unprecedented growth in his country’s trade with Israel, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said at the AJC Global Forum in Tel Aviv on Monday.

“After decades of war and hatred, there is now a unique opportunity for peace,” Bourita said. “Bilateral relations with Israel have been improving on all levels.”

Bourita noted that in the past two years, Morocco has seen more than a dozen visits by high-ranking Israeli officials, a 160% jump in trade and a fivefold increase in Israeli tourists.

In December 2020, in a three-party announcement that included the United States, Morocco re-established and upgraded its relations with Israel after a 20-year gap.

The Kingdom of Morocco takes deep pride in its Jewish heritage and support for its Jewish community and institutions, Bourita said in a video to the 1,500 attendees at the American Jewish Committee (AJC)-sponsored conference.

“Morocco has historically been a land of coexistence where all Moroccans—Muslims and Jews—lived in peace and harmony under the protection of the Moroccan monarchs,” said Bourita.

Today, the Moroccan Jewish community is estimated to be under 3,000. Bourita said the current Moroccan Jewish community is able to maintain its own “ecosystem,” including synagogues, yeshivas, and kosher food.

The kingdom’s ruler, King Mohammed VI, has also authorized the renovation of 15 synagogues and 168 Jewish cemeteries and holy sites.

Bourita expressed appreciation for Morocco’s longstanding ties with AJC, which has sent two delegations to the kingdom this year. He said AJC has helped Morocco build a vast network of meaningful friendships within the American Jewish community and has played a crucial role in advocating for “a strong and enduring Moroccan-American partnership.”

He singled out AJC’s support for Moroccan territorial integrity—highlighted in a visit by an AJC delegation to Dakhla in the Moroccan Sahara in May.

An estimated one million Israelis are either from Morocco or are of Moroccan descent.

More than 200,000 Israelis visited Morocco in 2022, as coronavirus travel restrictions came to an end.

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