Simon Wiesenthal Center: Moroccan King Must Defend His Jewish Community to Prevent the End of its 2,000-Year History

July 14, 2014 

"Jews of Moroccan origin around the world still revere the monarchy and memory of the present king's grandfather, Mohammed V who protected them from the French Nazi allies of Vichy. The brutal beating of the Rabbi of Casablanca in the name of HAMAS exposes its hatred for Jews everywhere and proves that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same King Mohammed VI (pictured) must immediately defend his Jewish community to prevent the end of its 2,000 year history in his reign," warned Dr. Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO.

The Center’s warning came after word that Rabbi Moshe Ohayon, leader of the Jewish community in Casablanca, Morocco, was badly beaten on Friday as a retaliation by locals for Israel’s airstrikes in Gaza.

According to media reports, the young assailant, whose identity is known to the police, waited for the rabbi as he was walking to synagogue, then confronted him and kicked him.

The assailant then continued to beat the rabbi, breaking his nose and causing serious injuries in his ribs. The rabbi said that he begged for help but the passers-by ignored his cries.

Before Israel was founded in 1948, there were about 300,000 Jews in Morocco. By 1971, the Jewish population was down to 35,000 and at present fewer than 7,000 Jews are believed to remain, mostly residing in Rabat and Casablanca.

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).