Thursday, 29 February 2024 08:25

Conference : "Jewish Moroccans, a thwarted destiny"

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

A documentary on Jewish-Muslim relations in Morocco, entitled "Jewish Moroccans thwarted destiny" was screened and followed by a discussion led by Mr.Yehuda Lancry, diplomat and writer, Mr. Younes LAGHRARI, producer and director, Mr. Faouzi Skali and anthropologist. The debate was  moderated by Sonia Sarah Lipsyc, sociologist and director of the Center for Contemporary Jewish Studies of the Unified Sephardic Community of Quebec.

The documentary  presented  several testimonies of Moroccans of Jewish confession who were born and raised in Morocco and Moroccan historians and academicians.

Some of them pointed out that before 1967,  Jews and Muslims shared in the same house the kitchen and their daily dishes as brothers. "We lived together in good neighborhood and made business together with confidence," said Mr.Amir Peretz.

The Moroccan writer of Jewish confession Nicole El Grissy testifies "my mother made me wear a caftan during the throne day. Our habits were  Moroccan even in the smallest details".

A serenity that will change after the 6 days war : "relations began changing, after 1967, with the exclusion of Jews," said Simon Levy.

But according to Michel Abitbol, "there was a political discourse whose message is that life is no longer possible in the land of Islam when, in fact, the Jewish economy had never been so well since the independence of Morocco.

Today Morocco is aware with this important component of its identity, the "Hebrew tributary" recognized by the preamble of the new Constitution. A big step in the history of Judaism in Morocco under His Majesty Mohammed VI.

Then, a Debate took place: 

Mr. Yehuda Lancry, said the title of the documentary talks about Moroccan-jews, not which shows the rooting and integration of the Jewish community in Morocco."

A connection also felt by Moroccans Muslims who still remember with nostalgia the years shared with their Jewish neighbors: "Jews were the soul of the medina told us a former neighbor in the city of Casablanca."

On the question of why the departure of the Jews of Morocco, Mr. Lancry tells his personal story: "we saw the Moroccan cities empty of Moroccan Jews » and he said he was sad.

"A pain that would eclipse by availing the cultural side that united all Moroccans whether Jewish or Muslim," said Mr. Youness LAGHRARI. "The Festival of Sacred Music in Fez was established after the Gulf war to perpetuate this Jewish-Andalusian Arab heritage that we shared ".

"We have challenged all the common cultural heritage in response to any division that has occurred because of the difference of political positions and it is an initiative that has been warmly welcomed by the people of Fez".

As for Faouzi Skalli, "the Hebrew culture in the Constitution of Morocco is the expression that this inheritance is not only Jewish but belongs to all the Moroccans, who take more and more knowledge of it".


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