The story of Morocco's Jewish community told from the perspective of those who have left, those who stayed, and those who are now returning.
Jews were settled in Morocco for more than 2,000 years, where they co-existed for centuries alongside Muslims. Morocco was once home to the largest Arab Jewish community in the Arab world and at its peak had a quarter of a million Jews.
But after Israel was founded in 1948, things started to change.
Moroccan Jews were persuaded to leave their homes and move to Israel by Mossad. Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, played A key role in persuading Moroccan Jews to leave their homes and move to Israel was played by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, who convinced thousands that they were in danger, and covertly facilitated their departure.
According to Fanny Mergui, a political activist and Moroccan Jew returnee, the community felt "very threatened”. She says "Zionist propaganda was very intense."
Some Jews resisted the Mossad initiative and stayed in Morocco, but most left. Today, only about 2,000 Arab Jews remain.
For those who left, their new life in Israel was often not what they had imagined, with many feeling marginalised in their new home. Even today, their ties to Morocco remain strong.
Although there are no official diplomatic relations between the two countries, Morocco is Israel's third-largest regional trading partner.
Many of the Jews who remained feel particularly conscious of the tension between Morocco's strong commercial relationship with Israel and its open support for the Palestinian cause.
Although very few Jews live in Morocco today,
the majority Muslim and minority Jewish communities are largely committed to upholding the country's rich, diverse culture and preserving its Jewish heritage. Many Israelis come to visit and some of them, Arab Jews originally from Morocco, decide to stay and never go back to Israel.
In this film by Charlotte Bruneau, we hear from Moroccan Jews who left, those who chose to stay, and those who emigrated but subsequently decided to return to Morocco.
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DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
LOUFOK PRODUCTIONS, LUXEMBOURG
COMMISSIONING SENIOR PRODUCER
REVERSIONED BY AL JAZEERA WORLD TO ENGLISH – 2014
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