PARIS (Jan. 23)
“No Jews seem to have been killed or wounded in the riots” that swept several Moroccan cities over the weekend, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was informed today by Jewish organizations which have been inquiring into the fate of Jews in that country.
The organizations obtained their information from visitors returning from Morocco. They have not been able to contact their branches there because direct communications with Morocco have been suspended by the Moroccan government since the rioting began.
According to the returning visitors, there was no panic among Morocco’s 20,000 Jews but “many Jews were frightened” by the remarks made by King Hassan in a television speech last night in which he blamed the unrest in his country on “a multifaceted conspiracy perpetrated by Marxist-Leninists, Zionist agents and Khomeinists,” supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, who, the King said, were trying to sabotage the Islamic Conference being held in Casablanca.
Most reports from Morocco said the riots were triggered by the government’s announcement of higher food prices and higher school fees. They occurred in Tetuan, Casablanca and Marakesh. In Tetuan, thousands of unemployed or partly employed persons, joined by highschool students,went on a 48-hour rampage of looting and pillaging in the city’s main residential and commercial quarters. As many as 200 were reported killed or wounded by troops and police.
The reports from Tetuan yesterday gave rise to fear for the safety of the city’s 200-300 Jews (not 2,000 as inadvertently reported here yesterday). Although no Jews have been hurt, several Jewish-owned shops were among those looted.