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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Jews in Morocco 10: Morocco and racist anti-Muslim Zionist Israeli wars 1948-1970

Numbers - schooling conditions - overcrowded Jewish quarters with trachoma - protected Jews - anti-Jewish laws because of Jewish wars and expulsions in Palestine

Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in Morocco, vol.12,
                col. 327-328, map of Jewish communities in Morocco (in
                slim letters not existing any more, in boldface type
                existing in 1971)
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col. 327-328, map of Jewish communities in Morocco
(in slim letters not existing any more, in boldface type existing in 1971)

from: Morocco; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 12

presented by Michael Palomino (2008)


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<Contemporary Period.

In 1948 about 238,000 Jews lived in French Morocco, 15,000 in Spanish Morocco, and 12,000 in the international zone of Tangier. The 1951 census in French Morocco indicated 199,156 Jews and, together with the Jewish population of Spanish Morocco, the total number of Moroccan Jews then reached about 222,000. The first census conducted in united Morocco in 1960 recorded 159,806 Jews, while in 1962 an estimated 130,000 Jews lived in the whole of Morocco, decreasing to 85,000 in 1964, and about 22,000 in 1968.

The two censuses of 1951 and 1960 give valuable evidence of the demography of the Jewish population in Morocco. In 1951 over a third of the Jews lived in small towns and villages, but in 1961, as a result of the mass exodus to Israel, only about a quarter of them still lived there. the continued aliyah after 1960 reduced this number even further, so that the majority of Jews in the country in the late 1960s were concentrated in the major cities. Census data show that among the emigrants there were more young people than old; this is confirmed by the census conducted in Israel in 1961.> (col. 342)


Table. Jews in Morocco 19th century-1968
Year
number of Jews
remark
source
19th century
200,000-400,000
"variously evaluated" Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 340
1939
225,000xxxxxx
"estimated"
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342
1948
238,000xxxxxx French Morocco
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342

15,000xxxxxx Spanish Morocco
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342

12,000xxxxxx international zone of Tangier
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342

265,000xxxxxx total
calculation
1951
199,156xxxxxx French Morocco
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342

222,000xxxxxx French and Spanish Morocco
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342
1960
159,806xxxxxx "recorded"
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342
1962
130,000xxxxxx "estimated"
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342
1964
85,000xxxxxx
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342
1968
22,000xxxxxx
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971:
Morocco, vol. 12, col. 342
Table by Michael Palomino; from: Morocco; In: Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 12

[since 1945: Schooling conditions for the dispersed Jews in Morocco]

Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in
              Morocco, vol.12, col.332: school break in 1955: Recreation
              period at the August Beumier School, Mogador, 1955
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col.332: school break in 1955: Recreation period
at the August Beumier School, Mogador, 1955

The dispersal of Moroccan Jews throughout scores of towns, townlets, and villages, which sometimes contained only a few dozen families, made it difficult to provide Jewish *education for all who wanted it, and up to the time of the mass exodus there were places in which there were no Jewish educational institutions. This is one of the reasons for the high percentage of illiteracy among Moroccan Jewry, even in 1960. In a sample of 2% of the overall Jewish (col. 342)

population aged five and over taken in Morocco in 1960, 43.2% were illiterate (i.e., could not read Arabic or French, for those who knew only Hebrew letters were counted as illiterate). However, the 10-14-age group had an illiteracy rate of only 18.1%, whereas the age group 60 years and older had a rate of 76.3%. The 52 schools of the Alliance Israélite Universelle had 21,823 pupils in 1948, and in 1956 28,702 pupils attended its 82 institutions. The number of its pupils subsequently dropped to 9,000 in 1965, of whom about 1,000 were non-Jewish.

[[...]]

Apart from the Alliance Israélite Universelle institutions, there were also schools run by Ozar ha-Torah, Em ha-Banim, and, from 1950, by the Lubavicher hasidic movement.

[[...]]

[1953: restrictions to the Jewish Alliance Israélite Universelle schools step by step]

Talmud torah schools and hadarim [[schoolrooms]] continued to exist, despite the fact that the opening of new hadarim was forbidden in 1953. The lack of a sufficient number of schools, along with the emigration of many educated Jews to France, resulted in a low number of university graduates in Morocco. In 1954 there were only 239 Jewish university students, of whom 151 studied abroad.

Photos from Mr. Shulman of 1953

The photos can be found today in Jerusalem, Israel Museum Photo Collection, Department of Ethnography

Encyclopaedia Judaica:
                      Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col. 334, Jews in Agoin:
                      Jews outside the mellah [[Moroccan Jewish
                      quarter]] of Agoin in the Atlas Mountains. Photo:
                      Shulman, 1953
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col. 334, Jews in Agoin: Jews outside the mellah [[Moroccan Jewish quarter]] of Agoin in the Atlas Mountains. Photo: Shulman, 1953
Encyclopaedia Judaica:
                      Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col.335: Marrakesh copper
                      craftsman. Photo: Shulman, 1953
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col.335: Marrakesh copper craftsman. Photo: Shulman, 1953


Encyclopaedia Judaica:
                      Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col.338: Carpet weaving
                      in Damnate. Photo: Shulman, 1953
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col.338: Carpet weaving in Damnate. Photo: Shulman, 1953
Encyclopaedia Judaica:
                      Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col.340: Marrakesh Jewish
                      woman in festive dress. Photo: Shulman, 1953
Encyclopaedia Judaica: Jews in Morocco, vol.12, col.340: Marrakesh Jewish woman in festive dress. Photo: Shulman, 1953

[[...]]

In October 1960, the Moroccan government nationalized a fourth of the schools run by the Alliance Israélite Universelle, turning them into government schools, to which hundreds of non-Jewish pupils were accepted.

[[...]]

According to government statistics in 1964, of the 75,000 Jews who remained in the country there were only 60 physicians, 15 dentists, 50 pharmacists, and 44 lawyers. However, in proportion to the Muslim population, the Jews were better educated, for in that year the whole country contained only 232 lawyers.

[Overcrowded Jewish quarters - trachoma cases - Herzl Israel immigration policy]

Despite the fact that a few wealthy Jews lived in Morocco, most Moroccan Jews were considered to be poor. Many of them were peddlers or artisans or lived on social assistance. Since Jews lived in poverty and poor sanitary conditions in crowded homes of the mellah [[Jewish quarter]], where eight to ten people sometimes dwelt in one room, many Moroccan Jews suffered from diseases, especially trachoma. In fact, among the pupils attending Alliance Israélite Universelle (col. 343) institutions in Casablanca 30% suffered from trachoma, and the Alliance Israélite Universelle had to open a special school for them.

This was also one of the reasons for the Israel government's adoption of a policy of health selectivity toward Moroccan immigrants. The Jewish Agency for Israel and *OSE worked in cooperation with many local doctors to treat Moroccan Jews before entry to Israel.

[Legal status]

In the mid-20th century the legal status of Moroccan Jewry improved. With the exception of a few Casablanca Jews, they did not have the right to vote in local elections. Disputes between Jews and non-Jews had to be settled in Muslim courts, which judged according to Muslim law. Jews were not allowed to elect their own representatives on the Jewish community councils, the members being appointed by the authorities.

[June 1948: pogroms after Herzl Israel's independence]

After the independence of [[Herzl Free Mason CIA]] Israel (1948) the Jews in Morocco, as in the East, suffered from severe attacks by the population. In June 1948, 43 Jews were murdered and 155 injured at Jérada (Djérada) and Oujda, after nationalists incited the population. However, the government brought scores o guilty to trial, sentencing two of them to death and others to imprisonment.

[[Herzl Free Mason Israel was collaborating with the CIA. The Herzl program of the book "The Jewish State" stated clearly that the Arabs could be driven away as the natives in the "USA" had been driven away. And the borderline of a "Greater Israel" is indicated in First Mose chapter 15 phrase 18 on the Euphrates River. So the Arab world which had impoverished in the Middle East by the European steered Suez Canal since 1869 had to see what was to do about the Herzl Israel problem. Pogroms are not the right means, and a religion cannot establish a state against another religion. Human rights would be good, but Zionists don't want human rights, and secret services like CIA don't like human rights either because secret services are not wanted when there would be peace...]]

[1953: pogroms - Jewish emigration movement before independence of Morocco]

Despite this, there were more pogroms at Oujda, and four Jews were killed (October 1953). On the eve of Moroccan independence in 1954, attacks on Jews were recorded in Casablanca, Rabat, and Petitjean, and a number of Jews were murdered. Much Jewish property was looted in various places throughout the country, and the Alliance Israélite Universelle schools at Boujad, Mazagan, and elsewhere were set on fire. Emigration increased. While between 1948 and 1953 about 30,000 Jews went to Israel, emigration figures in 1954-55 rose to 37,000 since the Jews feared that when Morocco gained her independence their situation would become worse.

[since March 1956: independence - improved Jewish life in Morocco - citizenship and Jews in the government]

However, when Sultan Muhammad V (1953-61) returned from exile and Morocco gained its independence in March 1956, the situation of the Jews improved. For the first time in their history they became citizens with equal rights. In 1956 the king even appointed Leon *Ben Zaqen minister of posts, and other Jews began to gain important positions in the government administration as officials and in courts of law as judges. Jews were also appointed to the advisory council, the first being David Benazareff, shortly after his appointment to the presidency of the Casablanca community council.

[since May 1956: obstacles for Jews in Morocco - emigration movements]

But on May 13, 1956, an order was issued forbidding Jews to leave for Israel, and in Juen 1956 the offices of the akadimah organization, which dealt with emigration, were closed. The 20 or so Israelis then living in Morocco were deported. After long negotiations with the representative of the World Jewish Congress, the government permitted the emigration of the 6,325 Jews in the Mazagan camp who were ready to leave for Israel. In fact, the government did not prevent individual Jews from leaving, and sometimes turned a blind eye to mass emigration.

However, vigilance on the Moroccan frontiers increased in July 1957, after pressure from the opposition parties, and obstacles began to be placed in the way of those Jews requesting permission to travel legally for a short visit abroad. From that time on they had to show proof that they were able to support themselves abroad.  Afterward (1958-59), a number of Jews were tried and sentenced for smuggling their currency, or even for possessing an obsolete calendar issued by the Jewish National Fund.

In 1958 when a new government was formed, Ben Zaqen was not included, and a number of Jewish officials were dismissed. In 1959 all Zionist activity was forbidden in Morocco , and many Jewish organizations were forced to close their doors. That year, swastikas were daubed in Casablanca and Rabat. As a result of this situation and despite the illegal exit, about 47,000 Jews went from Morocco to Israel (col. 344)

between 1956 and 1960. The process of leaving illegally involved great hardship, and there was even the case of the sinking of a small boat with 43 emigrants (1961).

[[There could be that the extremist Zionists have provoked the swastikas and other circumstances to the Jews would leave to Israel. The state of Israel needed Sephardi Jews for the "lower jobs". Reports are given in TV about this, but its not mentioned in the Encyclopaedia Judaica]].

[since 1961: Morocco under Hassan II - new Jewish rights - anti-Jewish party journals]

After the sudden death of the king Muhammad and the accession to the throne of his son, Hassan II (1961), there was a change for the better in the government's relations with the Jews. Hassan's first step was to make emigration to Israel legal. He also ensured the security and equality of the Jews and gave important state appointments to Jews. Among others, Salomon Bensabat was appointed a High Court judge, Albert Sasson became dean of the science faculty of the University of Rabat, while in 1963 Meyer Obadiah was appointed as a member of the Naitonal Assembly, and David Amar was appointed senator. When Obadiah went to France in 1967, he was succeeded by Jacob Banon.

However, during this period anti-Jewish propaganda increased in Morocco, organized mainly by the Istiqlal Party, led by 'Allal al-Fasi, who at the time also served as minister of Islamic affairs. The party journal and the rest of the Moroccan press, with the exception of newspapers supported by the government party, published much incendiary material against Jews, and in 1965 the al-Istiqlal newspaper published extracts from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Between 1961 and 1963, and especially in 1962, many young Jewish girls were kidnapped and forced to embrace Islam.

[1967: Six-Day war and the repercussions - emigration also of the Jewish upper class]

The condition of the Jews worsened upon the outbreak of the Six-Day War (June 1967), after incitement by the Istiqlal [[party]]. The party encouraged Muslims to enforce an economic boycott of the Jews, but King Hassan adopted a firm policy so that Jews were not seriously harmed, and the economic boycott was abolished.

Mass emigration of Jews from Morocco continued, especially after June 1967. The emigrants now included wealthy and educated Jews, who no longer believed in the possibility of a peaceful life in Morocco. Among the emigrants were lawyers, engineers, and doctors.

[Effects of the emigration since 1948: incomplete synagogue service - dissolution of Jewish institutions]

The mass exodus caused the closing of most Jewish institutions, yeshivot [[religious Torah schools]], schools, and many synagogues. The community in the 1960s lacked rabbis, dayyanim [[religious judges]], and even readers of the Law in synagogue.

The charitable organizations that functioned throughout Morocco were liquidated; Jewish newspapers were closed. One of these, La Voix des Communautés [[Community voice]], published in Rabat, closed in 1956, but reappeared from February 1961 until November 1963; it was the organ of the Conseil des Communautés Israélites du Maroc [[Israeli Community Council of Morocco]]. The conseil [[council]], founded by a dahir (royal decree) in May 1945, represented all Moroccan Jewry and was comprised of members of the community committees of the principal towns. Internal rivalries between leaders of Casablanca Jewry resulted in the dissolution of the council in 1962.

[Rabbinical courts since 1956]

When Morocco gained its independence, a royal decree of January 1956 abolished rabbinical courts and turned them into state courts of law, with the exception of the Supreme Rabbinical Tribune in Rabat, which was abolished by government order in 1965. From 1945 the rabbinical court was headed by Chief Rabbi Shaul D. ibn Danan, who went to Israel in 1966. From 1965, the other members of the rabbinical court were appointed judged in state courts.

[Military service since 1966 - no young jews in Morocco left]

Jews who remained in Morocco were subject to military service, according to the military service law of 1966. As a result of the mass exodus, young Jews were not drafted into the army, nor were those liable for military service prevented from leaving Morocco. In 1970, some 35,000 Jews were living in Morocco. Of those who had emigrated most lived in Israel, but a considerable number, mainly the wealthy and more highly educated, had settled in France and Canada.

[H.J.C.]> (col. 345)






Sources
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol.
                        12, col. 331-332
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol. 12, col. 331-332
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol.
                        12, col. 333-334
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol. 12, col. 333-334
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol.
                        12, col. 335-336
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol. 12, col. 335-336
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol.
                        12, col. 337-338
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol. 12, col. 337-338
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol.
                        12, col. 339-340
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol. 12, col. 339-340
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol.
                        12, col. 341-342
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol. 12, col. 341-342
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol.
                        12, col. 343-344
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol. 12, col. 343-344
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol.
                        12, 345-346
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: Morocco, vol. 12, 345-346



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