Moroccan parliament moves to outlaw contacts with Israelis

Moroccan Parliament building in Rabat (photo credit: Treasury Tag/Wikimedia Commons)

Even private dealings would be punishable by imprisonment; local NGO calls bill ‘inhuman’ and ‘influenced by Nazi tendencies’

(SOURCE)  A large majority of Moroccan lawmakers has proposed legislation that would outlaw any contacts with Israelis. If it is passed, even private or indirect dealings with the “Israeli entity” would become a criminal offense punishable by two to five years in prison and a heavy fine.

Human rights groups denounced the initiative, including one Moroccan-based organization that called the bill “inhuman, anti-constitutional and antidemocratic” and suggested it was “influenced by Nazi tendencies.”

 The bill was proposed by five parties in the Moroccan House of Representatives — including that of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane. Introduced earlier this summer, and largely unnoticed at the time, it was given the heading “Criminalizing Normalization with the Israeli Entity.”

The proposed law seeks to prohibit attendance at or support for any “activity in Morocco in which a natural or legal person holding Israeli citizenship or being resident of the Israeli entity contributes, participates, or attends.”

Earlier this month, four Moroccan lawmakers unexpectedly canceled their planned participation in a conference of regional parliamentarians in Jerusalem.

“The proposal suggests to punish any economical, political, cultural, artistic or other contact with Israel or Israelis in Israel or in Morocco with two to five years of imprisonment, a fine of approximately €10,000 to €100,000, and the possibility of the removal of the right to a pension, dismissal from work or the removal of Moroccan citizenship,” Moroccan human rights group Dialogus stated Tuesday.

Dialogus — which seeks to promote tolerance and fight discrimination, racism and anti-Semitism — said the bill “violates the letter and spirit of [Morocco’s] new Constitution of July 2011, which recognizes the plurality and openness of Moroccan society and the state, as stated in the preamble of the Constitution.”

The proposal not only violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “and all international covenants and treaties on Human Rights, but also exposes an inhuman approach influenced by Nazi tendencies,” the group said in a statement.

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