Moroccan Muslim rebukes haters and liars

 It takes  a Moroccan Muslim, on a mission to build peace between peoples,  to rebut the lies being disseminated against Jews and Israel. For instance, the news that 30 Moroccan Jews had been sent to an IDF training camp in Israel. In fact, it was a summer camp with sporting activities, writes Amine Ayoub in the Jerusalem Post. 

Rock climbing at a summer camp in Israel

“Being raised Muslim in Morocco, I did not really get a chance to meet
many Moroccan Jews. Even though Jews and Muslims have co-existed in
Morocco for a long time, that doesn’t necessarily mean they like each
other.

We were raised with the idea that the Jews are evil,
satanic. As a kid when you did something bad you would be called a Jew.
We were programmed with Jew-hatred.

While attending a Catholic
boarding school in the United States, I had my first opportunity for an
encounter with a Jewish family. The decision to go took me longer than
it should.

I had to think twice, about whether God would be mad
at me, or whether my parents be mad at me. I finally decided to attend
that dinner; after all I was attending a Catholic high school.
Everything went great and all the propaganda that surrounded me in my
younger years appeared surely to be false.

Well, 16 years after
that dinner, I have suddenly decided to act. The hate and misery in
this world is too much and I cannot stand it anymore.

Thinking
of Israel and Zionism for a while made me look into this a little
deeper. How could a small country that we hear only evil of, and with
many enemies, have survived and even thrived the way it has? Many
countries in the region are not even close to the economic prosperity
and democracy of Israel.

I read about the Fortune 500 companies
investing in Israel, about the booming biotech and hi-tech industries
and recently about the Israeli pharma Giant Teva’s multi-billion dollar
deal with Allergan, and questioned this multitude of successes.

 (Of
course great news like this is hard to find; it does not include
killings and bloodshed.) After some hesitation I decided to send a
short video to the NGO Stand with Us showing my support for Israel and
my stance against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

As a proud Moroccan and a practicing Muslim, I employ logic and
common sense more than anything else. Bringing historical hatred and
religion into this conflict just makes things more complicated. Of
course there are political issues that should be solved by the two
interested parties with the involvement of the international community.
Israel exists and the BDS movement wants only one thing: to erase
Israel from the map. Many people don’t actually know that hurting
Israel economically is hurting the Palestinians too.

WHEN IT
comes to Morocco, the Jewish community settled here more than 2,600
years ago. When asked about the Moroccan Jews by the Nazis, the late
king Mohamed V replied that he had no Moroccan Jewish subjects, only
Moroccan ones. In the 2011 Moroccan Constitution the Hebraic culture
was mentioned as part of Morocco’s cultural diversity, from the Amazigh
in the Atlas Mountains to the Hassani in the Moroccan Sahara.

Even
tough there are no official diplomatic relations between Morocco and
Israel, according to Israeli statistics there are Moroccan visitors to
Israel in the thousands and economic exchanges in the millions of
dollars yearly.

Jews have been coexisting for years with their
fellow Moroccan Muslims, but recently as the number of Moroccan Jews
significantly decreased and pan-Arab movements have been spreading false
propaganda, many are cautious when discussing Jewry or Israel.

The latest such propaganda was about the 30 young Moroccan Jews who visited a summer camp in Israel.

All
the newspapers in Morocco have been discussing this visit lately, and
some are stating that it was an IDF training camp. Some NGOs went as
far as stating that these kids should be prosecuted as terrorists. The
way reporters are bluntly stating wrong facts is shameful and
unprofessional.

When a regular Moroccan hears such reports, what
do you expect from him? To love Israel? If we look up the camp’s
website, it is a regular youth camp that charges a fee to attend. Even
Moroccan Muslim kids can attend if they pay the fee. The young Jewish
people may have been sponsored by certain organizations, but the
program was still the same for all attendees, with sporting activities
and no military exercises.

This is just one example of the propaganda that is being spread, and voices of rebuke, such as mine, are scarce.

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