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World Conference of Jewish Organizations Appeals to Morocco

January 26, 1961
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The World Conference of Jewish Organizations–composed of the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Congress, the Canadian Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith and the Jewish Labor Committee–today issued a statement appealing to the Moroccan Government to fully restore the rights of the Jews in Morocco. The statement emphasized that “Jewish communities throughout the world, have been deeply distressed to witness the recent deterioration of the situation of the Jewish community in Morocco.”

The statement recalled that when Morocco achieved independence, its leaders repeatedly pledged their unequivocal loyalty to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and undertook to see that all the inhabitants of their country would enjoy equal rights and status before the law. “We saw at the time in the attitude of His Majesty the King, who had given repeated proof of his deep and sympathetic interest in the welfare of his Jewish subjects, a guarantee for the future,” the statement said.

Unfortunately, the statement pointed out that it is now obvious that the Jews of Morocco are passing through a period of trial. “They are deprived of the right of joining their kinsfolk who have emigrated to Israel, though this right is embodied in the Universal Declaration to which Morocco is committed, and their difficulties are compounded by the cruel decree which forbids postal communication with their families in Israel. Families are thus permanently broken and it is in these circumstances inevitable that Moroccan Jews in the exercise of fundamental human rights should attempt to join their families, even in ways which must result as recent experience has shown in grave tragedy.

“We refuse to believe that the Moroccan authorities under their present leadership have said the last word on this tragic situation,” the statement stressed. “We accordingly address a most earnest appeal to these authorities to take steps to enable the Moroccan Jewish community through the recognition of its representative institutions to make its distinctive contribution to the upbuilding of Morocco and at the same time and in accordance with inalienable human rights as recognized by the international community permit emigration of those who desire to renew their lives elsewhere.”

Dr. Nahum Goldmann is chairman of the-World Conference of Jewish Organizations; Label Katz, president of B’nai B’rith, is co-chairman; and Sir Barnett Janner, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, is vice-chairman.

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