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Israelis Laud Morocco’s Ex-king As Son Celebrates Birthday

King Hassan II of Morocco, who celebrated his 58th birthday on July 10, was presented with a scroll signed by 71 prominent Israelis, attesting to the role of his late father, King Muhammed V, in fighting the Nazis during World War II and saving Jewish lives in Europe and Morocco.

The information was reported to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency here by Sam Ben-Shitrit, president of Beyachad, the organization of Israelis of North African origin, in a telephone call from Casablanca.

Ben-Shitrit said this should “once and for all” end the controversy and rumors about the attitude of Muhammed towards Jews.

Ben-Shitrit said Hassan was deeply moved and thanked the signers of the document and the Israelis who presented it to him, Rafi Edri, chairman of the Labor Party’s Knesset faction, and Ben-Shitrit, “I would like to bless all Israelis of Moroccan origin,” Hassan said, according to Ben-Shitrit.

Ben-Shitrit told the JTA that Muhammed supported Gen. Charles de Gaulle’s Free French movement during the Nazi occupation of France and opposed the collaborationist Vichy regime. He was decorated by de Gaulle in 1954.

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