Moroccans divided over COP 28 Summit

Moroccan activists calling for a boycott of COP 28 emphasize the distrust many in the country have towards world leaders. 

The boycott of the climate summit in Dubai by pro-Palestinian activists sparked controversy as many questioned the effectiveness of such activism, arguing that engagement with the international community was key, reports The New Arab and agencies, December 6. 

BDS Morocco, those driving the efforts for a shun of the UN event, argued, “Climate summits like COP28 provide a platform for corporate greenwashing, silencing grassroots voices,” 

The summit, which takes place on a yearly basis, started on November 30 and will end on December 12. Israel’s far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won’t be in attendance however President Isaac Herzog was at the summit. Palestinian head Mahmoud Abbas will also be giving the event a miss.  

BDS Morocco told Maghrebi, “Our daily contact with the average person on the street have shown that people are very much aware of the untenable and incredibly hypocritical position of the Moroccan government, at a time when popular support for the plight of the Palestinian and their armed resistance couldn’t be higher”.

BDS is a worldwide movement that calls for the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israeli goods and services as well as brands that are seen supporting or are complicit in Israeli war crimes. 

Notably, revolutionary physicist Stephen Hawking was a supporter of the movement until his death in 2018 as well as Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters. The British rocker is known for his outspoken criticisms of the Israeli state and has previously been the target of Zionist groups. 

READ: Morocco’s Islamic party calls for a total boycott of Israel

BDS Morocco have said that there were numerous reasons for a call to boycott but highlighted the fact that over 20 Israeli representatives as well as companies involved in the illegal Israeli settlements were present in Dubai.  

As support for the Palestinian cause is shooting up in Morocco since October 7, BDS Morocco is gaining traction and having a significant impact.  

A Moroccan activist named Omar had planned to jet off the Emirati capital before taking a backseat saying, “You can’t talk about saving the planet while you are hosting on board a war criminal who is currently committing genocide,” . 

Over 16,000 Palestinians have been massacred in the besieged Gaza by trigger-happy Israeli forces and dozens have been killed and wrongfully arrested in the West Bank since the start of October. 

Sami Hamdi, an analyst who specialises in the MENA region, recently wrote on X, formerly Twitter, “How many Gazans have to die before Morocco breaks off its relations with Israel?!” . 

READ: Starbucks’ Morocco franchise denies claims it’s pulling out

Morocco has had ties with the Middle Eastern state since the signing of the Abraham Accords back in 2020. There is speculation that the agreement could be in tatters given the kingdom’s increasingly vociferous anti-Israel sentiment. 

Moroccan activist Mohammed, who attended COP 28, question the efficacy of boycotts as a long-term solution. 

“Boycotting could be a short-term solution.  If you’d asked me about an alternative to such passive politics (boycott), it is active politics,” .  

Another attendee named Sara said, “Occupying space and using our privilege as attendees to make the voices of Palestinians heard is one of our duties as environmentalists,” . 

Moroccans have been angered at what they perceive to be a lack of action taken by world leaders with regards to the Gaza bloodshed. The discontent can be seen in various protests that have taken place in the country’s cities over the past two months. 

The New Arab/ TNA


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