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Jews in Morocco Ignore Call to Boycott Referendum on Constitution

Despite the call of some Jewish leaders in this country for a boycott of Friday’s constitutional referendum, which appeared to have been approved by the country’s population by a substantial majority, Jews turned out en masse to vote at the polls, ignoring the boycott call. Many elderly, bearded Jews, and many Jewish women were seen entering the polling places, a number of them declaring they would “vote for the King.”

The referendum had been initiated by young King Hassan II. The Council of Moroccan Jewish Communities as well as the Chief Rabbinate, had urged Jews to participate in the referendum and to approve the King’s constitutional draft. However, a number of prominent Jewish personalties, including Meyer Toledano, vice-president of the Casablanca Jewish Community, issued a manifesto last week, denouncing the proposed constitution as “reactionary” and “anti-democratic,” calling for a boycott of the balloting.

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