Last week, Morocco became the latest country to sign a U.S. brokered peace agreement normalizing relations with Israel, the fifth such peace deal brokered by the Trump administration, an extraordinary achievement that has led to more peace and stability in the Middle East and around the world.
Moroccan Jews constitute the second-largest Jewish community in Israel and have a long and storied connection with Morocco and with the land of Israel that goes back hundreds of years. Because of the Spanish inquisition, thousands of Jews living in Spain and Portugal fled to Morocco, and after expulsions from many other countries in Europe, the Jewish population in Morocco swelled to an estimated 250,000 to 350,000, the largest Jewish community in the Arab world at the time.
During World War II, Morocco's King met with representatives from Nazi Germany to discuss the issue of Jews in Morocco. At the meeting, the Moroccan King, King Mohammed V, famously stated that in his country, there are no Jewish citizens, there are no Muslim citizens, they are all Moroccans. Because of his bravery, the Jew of Morocco were never deported to concentration camps and stayed relatively safe during the Holocaust.
In the early 1960s, when immigration to Israel was prohibited by the Moroccan Government due to Arab pressure, the Mossad conducted Operation Yachin, to secretly bring Moroccan Jews to Israel. It resulted in approximately 97,000 Jews leaving to settle in Israel. Today, only roughly 5,000 Jews still live in Morocco; the vast majority of Jews have migrated to Israel.
Moroccan cuisine, which is famous for its use of various spices, still plays a large part in the Moroccan Jewish community today, and our Moroccan Style Rice Mix, will offer you a glimpse of this delicious Mediterranean food.
It appears likely that in the near future other countries will join with Morocco in normalizing relations with Israel. Indonesia and Oman are reported to be the next countries that will establish ties with Israel.