The ripples of the Abraham Accords continue to manifest in remarkable ways, painting a hopeful picture of a harmonious Middle East. In his recent address at the AJC Global Forum in Tel Aviv, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita highlighted the astonishing expansion in Morocco-Israel relations since the signing of these groundbreaking Accords.
“There is a unique opportunity for peace now, unlike any other time in our shared history,” Bourita said. He emphasized the tangible improvements across multiple spheres of the bilateral ties between Morocco and Israel.
The Moroccan diplomat pointed out the significant increase in interactions between the two nations in the past few years. High-ranking Israeli officials made over a dozen visits to Morocco, symbolizing the strengthening of political ties. Trade between the countries has surged by a whopping 160%, and Israeli tourism in Morocco has seen an impressive fivefold boost.
The year 2020 marked a historic milestone when Morocco, Israel, and the United States jointly announced the reestablishment and upgrading of Moroccan-Israeli relations after a hiatus of 20 years.
At the AJC-sponsored conference, Bourita addressed a crowd of 1,500, expressing the Kingdom of Morocco’s deep-seated respect and care for its Jewish heritage and community. “Morocco is a land where coexistence thrives. Both Moroccans — Muslims and Jews — have historically lived in peace and harmony under the protection of the Moroccan monarchs,” Bourita emphasized.
In contemporary times, the Moroccan Jewish community, though modest in number, thrives with its robust ‘ecosystem’ of synagogues, yeshivas, and kosher food. Morocco’s ruler, King Mohammed VI, has sanctioned the renovation of 15 synagogues and 168 Jewish cemeteries and sacred sites.
Bourita extended his gratitude towards the AJC for its role in enhancing Morocco’s ties with the American Jewish community and advocating for a solid, long-term Moroccan-American partnership. The AJC’s support for Moroccan territorial integrity, as demonstrated by their visit to Dakhla in the Moroccan Sahara, earned particular recognition.
Today, approximately one million Israelis are either Moroccan natives or of Moroccan descent. In 2022 alone, over 200,000 Israelis explored Morocco’s richness and cultural diversity as pandemic-related travel restrictions eased.
This surge in camaraderie between Israel and Morocco is a testimony to the strength of mutual respect, shared values, and the pursuit of peace. It is a living testament to the positive power of diplomacy and the human capacity for harmony and collaboration.
At the end of the day, this story is also a testament to the spirit of Israel – a country that tirelessly seeks peace, unity, and cooperation. Our nation remains steadfast in its mission to foster relationships that transcend borders and biases. We cherish our shared heritage, honor our differences, and work towards a future defined by cooperation and peace. Israel, with its boundless optimism and relentless pursuit of harmony, continues to be a beacon of hope, lighting the path toward a more peaceful Middle East.