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Morocco Eases Anti-jewish Restrictions; Names Jews to Senior Posts

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Morocco’s 130,000 Jews support King Hassan in his conflict with Algeria and in his clashes with opposition leaders inside Morocco, a prominent Jewish attorney, who arrived here today from Casablanca, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The Moroccan Jew, who is in close contact with official circles in his country, said that, in spite of latent, popular anti-Semitism in his country, the Jews support the current regime which, they fear, might be replaced by one far more extremist and more anti-Jewish.

In recent months, he said, the Moroccan Government has adopted a much more liberal attitude toward the Jews in the country. In addition to easing certain restrictions, he said, the Government has appointed a number of Jews to senior positions. Among these is Ben Sabbath, who has been named to a place on Morocco’s Supreme Court. Other Jews, he said, have been promoted to senior posts in such ministries as Commerce, Health and Industry.

The Moroccan Jew said that King Hassan II himself has personal relations with a number of Jews, among these being Dr. Leon Benzaquen, formerly a member of the Moroccan Cabinet, who is a frequent visitor to the royal palace. M. Guudirra, the King’s personal adviser, is in social contact with David Amar, the secretary-general of the Jewish Community, reported the visitor, while other Jews are in contact with royal circles.

Moroccan Jews, the lawyer reported further, are not subjected to any official persecutions. Their main grievance, he said, was against the continued abduction of young Jewish girls by rich Moslems and the fact that there was no legal redress against this practice. He said that, of Morocco’s 130,000 Jews, 80,000 live in Casablanca, while the remainder are scattered throughout the country, mainly in Rabat, Fez, Tangiers and Marrakesh.

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