Dr. Ben-zaquen, Jewish Leader, Appointed Member of Moroccan Cabinet

Dr. Leon Ben-Zaquen, member of the Casablanca Jewish Community Council, was today appointed Minister of Posts and Telegraphs in the new Moroccan Government. His appointment marks the end of an internal strife within Moroccan Jewry over the naming of a Jewish representative to the first all Moslem Moroccan Cabinet.

Dr. Ben-Zaquen, who is the chief physician of the OSE institutions in Morocco, is well known in the medical world. He is an authority on lung tuberculosis. In addition to his work for the OSE, which is engaged in improving the health of the Jews in Morocco, he has been active also in other Jewish organizations. He is also the holder of a French Legion of Honor decoration for services recognized by the French Government.

The Jewish member of the Moroccan Cabinet, although in charge of posts and telegraph, will act as representative of Moroccan Jewry in the government. His appointment by Premier Bekkai is being looked upon as a new era in the life of the 240,000 native Jews of Morocco who for generations had no citizenship status in the country but were merely “proteges” of the Sultan. They had been judged in courts according to the Islamic law, which is essentially religious, and their oath was not recognized. They have also bee excluded from all posts in the Moroccan administration, and not until 1947 did they gain representation even in the French administration in Morocco.

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