Moroccan Government Blames ‘zionist Organizations’ for Ship Disaster

The Moroccan Government charged yesterday in Rabat that “Zionist organizations” were driving Moroccan Jews to Israel “under any conditions” and that the organizations were responsible for the January 11sea disaster in which 43 Moroccan Jewish men, women and children fleeing to Israel perished off the coast of Morocco.

Information Minister Ahmed Aloui, in his Government’s first official statement on-the anti-Jewish developments in Morocco, said that the “criminal campaign by Zionist organizations” had created a Jewish problem in Morocco “by stirring up a flight psychosis.”

Defending the Moroccan Government’s refusal to permit emigration to Israel, he said Morocco could not allow its citizens to settle on lands that “rightfully belong to the Arabs of Palestine, ” Denying charges of discrimination, he admitted that Moroccan Jews planning to travel abroad must undergo thorough investigation and that they are refused passports unless they prove they do not intend to go to Israel. He added that Jews traveling abroad for valid business reasons could get passports.

The Minister denied reports of wholesale arrests of Moroccan Jews during the recent visit to Casablanca of President Nasser of the United Arab Republic but he admitted that police had detained for identification checks “a number” of Jews “suspected of having prepared demonstrations against Nasser.” Moroccan Jewish leaders have described this charge as nonsense,

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