Moroccan Jewish Community Leaders Play Down Nationality Forfeiture Draft Bill

Leaders of the Moroccan Jewish community downplayed the attempts at submitting a draft bill to the Parliament providing for the withdrawal of Moroccan nationality from Jews of Moroccan origin residing in Israeli Settlements.

The draft law was suggested by opposition Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM), whose head, Ilyas Omari, promised Hamas leader to forfeit Moroccan Jews in Israeli settlements of their Moroccan nationality in a show of solidarity with Palestinians.

“Mental aberration!” This is how Secretary General of The Jewish Community in Morocco, Serge Berdugo, reacted to such a legislative proposal. In a statement to Moroccan magazine Telquel, he explained that the draft law is mere “speculation”, and that there is no way the Moroccan legislator can locate the residency of Moroccan Jews in Israel.

“I believe that there are many Moroccans living in settlements, these include Moroccan Muslim women married to Palestinians. This is all absurd,” he said.

Berdugo, former tourism Minister in Morocco, deemed such a draft law “unpractical and unfeasible and at odds with the constitution.”

He went on to say that the 2011 constitution enshrines that the Moroccan nationality is acquired Jus sanguinis and is therefore unrelated to the location where the citizen lives or to the birthplace. Withdrawing the Moroccan nationality from Jews residing in settlements would require an amendment of the decree relating to Moroccan nationality, he added.

“The Moroccan nationality can never be withdrawn,” Moroccan Jewish writer, Nicole El Grissy said on her facebook page.

For his part, Chairman of the Federation of Moroccan Jews in France, Simon Skira, deplored the propensity of some Moroccan political leaders to take decisions with “drastic repercussions”.

For many analysts, the PAM’s promise is but a move in a fierce competition with the ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) in instrumentalizing the Palestinian cause to gather support around their political agenda.

The visit by Hamas leader to Morocco upon an invitation from the ruling Justice and Development Party (PJD) was far from creating unanimity. Amazigh rights groups for their part denounced the Islamists use of the Palestinian cause to galvanize support for electoral purposes. They denounced an unhealthy infatuation with Hamas as a sign of the PJD’s loyalty to a pan-Arab political Islam.

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