Middle East Monitor / December 14, 2020
As Arab rulers continue to rush towards Israel and cosy up to its leaders, the occupation state continues to usurp the Arab land of Palestine. Following the UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, King Mohammed VI of Morocco is jumping on the normalisation bandwagon driven by Donald Trump, who wants to get as many Arab states on board as a gift to the Zionists before he leaves the White House next month.
Morocco was where the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was launched after the arson attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque in 1969. That’s when the principles of defending the honour and dignity of Muslims represented by Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque were established. When, in 1975, Al-Quds Committee was formed it was decided to give the chair to the then King of Morocco, Hassan II. After his death in 1999 this was passed to his son, the current monarch; the same King Mohammed VI who has agreed to normalise relations with the Israeli occupier and usurper of Jerusalem. How ironic. The Israelis, remember, are working hard to Judaise Jerusalem and demolish Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to build a temple in its place.
Mohammed VI did not, though, open the door to normalisation in Morocco. That dubious honour goes to his father, who had a secret doorway to the Israelis. During his reign (1961-1999), he had close relations with the occupation state, including security cooperation, although both sides denied it. However, when Moroccan dissident Mehdi Ben Barka asked Israeli agents to help him get rid of Hassan II, for example, Israel’s Mossad spy agency informed the King and helped him to find Ben Barka in Paris. The French helped Morocco to kidnap him; he was tortured to death, and Mossad disposed of the body, which was never found. Hassan rewarded Mossad by allowing Moroccan Jews to migrate to Israel and the agency to establish a base in Morocco. In return, Israel provided weapons to Morocco and trained the army in how to use them. Israel also provided Morocco with surveillance technology and helped organise the Moroccan intelligence agency.
The most dangerous example of Moroccan collaboration was King Hassan’s betrayal of the Arab rulers during their 1966 summit in Casablanca, where each country presented what it had in terms of soldiers and weapons for a possible confrontation with Israel. Some Mossad agents flew in to Morocco so that they could eavesdrop and record the summit, but King Hassan was afraid that he would be exposed. He promised that he would record it himself and send the tape to Mossad, which he did without delay.
The former head of Israeli Military Intelligence, Major General Shlomo Gazit, told the Times of Israel in 2016: “These recordings, which were truly an extraordinary intelligence achievement, further showed us that, on the one hand, the Arab states were heading toward a conflict that we must prepare for. On the other hand, their rambling about Arab unity and having a united front against Israel didn’t reflect real unanimity among them.” He also noted that, “The information in those recordings gave the Israeli army’s top brass the feeling that we were going to win a war against Egypt.”
After such great service to the Zionists, it was natural for Hassan to become the channel of communication with the Arab world. Secret meetings between Israeli and Egyptian officials took place in Morocco before the signing of the Camp David Accords, for which Israel persuaded the US to provide military aid to the Kingdom.
Such secret relations between Israel and Morocco have continued under his successor, King Mohammed VI. He asked the Israelis to help him persuade the US to recognise his country’s sovereignty over Western Sahara. The leader of the Jewish community in Morocco, Serge Berdugo, acted as a mediator and met with American Jewish leaders and Israeli officials. Such recognition is being given in return for Morocco formally normalising relations with Israel. Thus the mask of deception has fallen off, revealing Morocco’s ugly face.
The late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) summed it up succinctly when he wrote:
The Arabs obeyed their Romans,
The Arabs have sold their souls,
The Arabs are lost.
The mask has fallen off the mask;
Off the mask fell the mask.
You have no brothers, brother, and no friends.
It is worth noting that Morocco is the only Arab country in which you find Jewish communities in many cities. Historically, the country has provided refuge to Jews on two major occasions. The first was after their forced displacement from Andalusia when the Christians conquered Muslim Spain. Then during World War Two, King Muhammad V rejected the discriminatory laws imposed against Moroccan Jews by the fascist Vichy French government, and gave them sanctuary.
The disloyal rulers of the normalisation countries have sold Palestine and Jerusalem, the site of Prophet Muhammad’s miraculous night journey and Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in the Islamic world, at the lowest price.
However, what is reassuring is the fact that the Arab peoples reject normalisation and it is destined to fail. Palestine will remain alive and present in the Arab conscience, as it is in the conscience of every free person in the world.
Amira Abdo el-Fetouh regularly contributes to Middle East Monitor