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Jews of Moroccan Origin Launch Group

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An international organization of Jews of Moroccan origin was launched yesterday at a meeting of the leaders of Jewish communities of a dozen countries, including Israel and Morocco.

The organization will have a permanent secretariat in Paris and regional offices in countries where there are sizeable communities of Moroccan Jews who will be eligible for membership on a group or individual basis. The founding meeting was held here under the chairmanship of David Amar, president of the Moroccan Jewish community who lives in Casablanca. He chaired the World conference of Moroccan Jews held in Montreal earlier this year.

One of the first acts of the new organization was to request a meeting with king Hassan of Morocco who is in France to attend the African summit conference opening in Paris this week. A delegation is expected to call on Hassan. Only two weeks ago, the Moroccan ruler offered to meet with Israeli Premier Shimon Peres to discuss the Middle East peace process but then backed off, reportedly under pressure from the Arab League of which Hassan is currently the president.

The two-day meeting here was attended by a five-member Israeli delegation headed by Labor MK Rafi Edery and former Minister of Religious Affairs Aharon Abu-Hatzeira. Edery is a close associate of Peres.

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