Pressure is mounting on the Moroccan king to roll back new relations with Israel, following what most in the Arab world are calling a “genocide” of Palestinians in Gaza.
Since the end of the Trump administration, Israel and Morocco have advanced quite dramatically with their “normalisation” via the Abraham Accords and Israel’s token gestures towards recognising Western Sahara as a legitimate region of Morocco. A number of deals were signed on an economic level while on a political one, Israel was about to recognise the Sahara and set up a consulate there.
And yet, even before the events of October the 7th, many Moroccans were unhappy with how the Palestinians seemed to have been sidelined at the expense of these diplomatic overtures – with more atrocious human rights violations carried out against them gaining by the day.
Many Moroccans might have thought that the October 7th operation by Hamas might have been a tipping point for the Moroccan king. But in fact, all that resulted was a delphic response which was more a diplomatic plea for the circumstances to magically improve, rather than a stern warning, even after the Jabalia massacre.
Several Moroccan pro-Palestine activists deemed Rabat’s statement “void and null” at a time when other states are actively distancing themselves from Israel.
“There is no meaning to any words without a complete cessation of all agreements and forms of normalisation with war criminals after a full month of genocide and barbaric massacres,” wrote Hassan Benajeh, a pro-Palestine activist and a renowned figure in the Islamist movement of Justice.
All over the Kingdom, hundreds of protests took to the streets on Thursday, 2 November, in solidarity with Palestine and in once another attempt to pressure Rabat to revoke the normalisation deal with Israel, following a similar move by Bahrain which removed its ambassador from Tel Aviv.
“How many dead people will it take for Morocco to acknowledge “the genocide in Gaza,” said a protester in Rabat as the crowd chanted back, “The people want the annulment of normalisation.”
Others went further and lashed out at Morocco’s policy to appease Israel.
“All these cooperation and normalisation deals, and they could not pressure aid entry to Gaza, they could not lobby a ceasefire in Gaza,” Fellouli, a protester in Rabat, said to The New Arab.
Mustapha Mouatassim, a leading figure of the pro-Palestine movement in Morocco, called on Rabat to follow the steps of Latin American states, which took “serious steps” to distance themselves from Israel amid its ongoing airstrikes on hospitals and churches in Gaza.
“We are not asking you to move your army; we are only asking for serious diplomatic steps like those taken by Latin American states,” said Moutassim, standing in front of the Moroccan parliament in Rabat as the crowd burst into chants after his speech.