Governments choose to make deals that often do not reflect the wishes of the people. Normalization of relations with Israel elicited protests in Morocco, the latest state to act against the interests of its citizens.
This article originally appeared in Peoples Dispatch.
On November 29, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, several rights groups and citizens joined demonstrations in front of the parliament in Morocco’s capital Rabat to protest the country’s normalization of ties with Israel.
The people were protesting the formal normalization of Morocco’s ties with Israel after the signing of an unprecedented security cooperation deal between the two countries on November 24.
The agreement outlines security cooperation between the two countries “in all its forms” in the face of “regional threats and challenges.”
Responding to the call of the Moroccan Front in Support of Palestine and Against Normalization, protesters chanted slogans condemning the “agreement of shame and betrayal.”
As reported by Middle East Monitor, the Moroccan Front has rejected what it called using “Morocco as a vehicle for the Zionist entity [Israel] to achieve its expansionist projects in the Great Maghreb” and called for the ending of normalization with Israel.
Between November 23 and 25, Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz visited Rabat, the first Israeli defense minister to visit the country since 2000.
The “normalization” deal and Gantz’s visit comes almost year after the signing of the Abraham Accords in December 2020 between four Arab countries (UAE , Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco) and Israel in a deal brokered by former US president Donald Trump.
As a part of the accords, the US agreed to recognize the sovereignty of Morocco over Western Sahara in exchange for the latter’s recognition of Israel. This acceptance of Moroccan occupation was widely condemned, especially in light of Morocco’s continuing attacks on the Saharawi people who have been fighting for self-determination for decades.