Menu JTA Search

Moroccan Jews Ask Government to Form Representative Jewish Body

A resolution asking the Moroccan Government to organize the Jewish community in Morocco into a community separate from that of the Moslem population although enjoying the same rights as the Moslems, was adopted here today at the congress of Moroccan Jewish Communities.

The resolution was adopted following a stormy debate in which speakers pointed out that it is an error to believe that a Jewish consistory similarly to that existing in Western countries can be a success in a country with a theocratic regime. Mubarek Bekkai, Moroccan Minister of Interior who presided at the opening of the congress, left the hall immediately after the resolution was adopted apparently dissatisfied with the resolution.

The Jewish Community of Casablanca, largest in Morocco, did not participate in the congress. The Casablanca community had decided not to participate because it considered the internal political situation in Morocco as inopportune for holding such a congress. Three members of the executive of the Casablanca community who backed the holding of the congress resigned from leadership in the community. They were Marc Sabbah. vice-president; David Azoulay, secretary-general; and Max Loeb, an executive member. Meyer Ohadia, president of the Jewish community, and former Minister Dr. Leon Benzaquen had voted earlier that the congress be postponed.

The resolution proposing the establishment by the Government of an elected Jewish body to act in liaison with the central authorities and to advise the Government on all problems and administrative questions facing the Jewish community was expected to meet with disapproval on the part of the Government and with strong opposition on the part of Moslems. Jewish community organizations in Morocco have been limited hitherto to religious, welfare and education activities.

In addressing the congress. Interior Minister Bekkai said that King Hassan II of Morocco considers Moroccan Jewry as an integral part of the nation “wholly integrated” into the country. More than 250 delegates attended the congress at which it was reported that passport restrictions had been eased for individual Jews, but that Jewish families still met with difficulties in leaving the country.

NEXT STORY