Jews appeal to king against eviction

 An elderly Jewish couple in Casablanca has appealed to King Mohammed V1 to stop ‘Mafioso’ gangs from  threatening to evict them from their home of 50 years. This is not a problem exclusive to Jews. Muslims too have been targeted by these gangs, reports Yabiladi. Here is a rough translation from French:


“With a quivering voice, Shalom Abdelhak reveals his identity in a video posted on YouTube. A Jewish man of over eighty, visibly weakened by illness he is seeking the intervention of King Mohammed VI in his case. In Moroccan dialect, he says he and his wife are victims of a “group” that  is threatening to evict them from their apartment in Casablanca.

“Shalom has been renting his home for over 46 years. Throughout this period, he said he has had no problem with the owners of the building. He also says he regularly pays his rent. It’s the same story with his wife, Viessmann Messody, who is also sick. The latter fears that they will forced to live on the street at their age.

Shalom’s case is not unique. The video shows the testimony of another woman, also Jewish, who has lived in the building for 50 years. The problem started in 2012 when “Mafioso,” she claimed, posed as the “owner” of the premises. Since then, “we are experiencing a living hell,” she says.

  She accuses chamkaras”  of being behind these threats. They target empty apartments, trying to remove windows, doors and even marble and mosaic to show the authorities that the building is at risk of falling into disrepair:  then they order its demolition.

Shalom says: ” we are very old and we have nowhere else to go. This is where we were born. “

Read article in full (French)


  • Those tenants are in their right.

    They leased those appartments years ago under a lease contract called "pas-de-porte" (key), whereby they paid a large initial sum of money and each month thereafter a fixed monthly rent.

    That arrangement was widespread precisely because it offered security. The owner of the building couldn't just throw the tenants out if they paid the rent regularly.

    The initial sum of money was meant to cover depreciation and rising costs, while the rent was raised every once in a while according to a determined scale,yet it does not keep up with to-day's market prices.

    Under this type of contract, the tenant can sell his "pas-de-porte" to another tenant and get an agreed upon sum of money.
    The owner can get three times as much rent from a new tenant.

    If the old tenant is being forced out because the building needs repair, there is no new tenant to sell it to and he lost his money.

    If they have to rent a new appartment in Casablanca, their entire income will probably not cover today's rent. And in the case of those Jews, their street is close to synagogues community center and Jewish institutions and there is little chances they find a good place to rent in that area.

    What those owners do is get young hoodlums to harass tenants so they'll break the contract and leave on their own. It happens a lot to small businesses as well.

  • I would not jump to conclusions on this one… It would be interesting to know what is the market value of the flat in question and how much they actually pay. When there is no free market such behaviours are bound to happen…


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