A pro-Palestinian procession in the Moroccan city of Casablanca featured men dressed as Orthodox Jews who were being led at gunpoint by masked men wearing keffiyehs.
The demonstration was held Sunday with permission from local police, according to a report which appeared Sunday on the news website alyaexpress-news.com. It also featured a video of the event, which drew many thousands of participants.
In the video, two men wearing keffiyehs, or Arab headdresses that are popular with Palestinian rioters and militants, are seen toting what appear to be toy rifles behind two bearded men wearing black robes and top hats during a march that also featured Palestinian flags, including a very large one carried by dozens of people, and a model of al-Aksa mosque located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
Expressions of anti-Semitism are relatively rare in Morocco, whose king and government have invested millions of dollars in recent years in restoring Jewish heritage sites. In February, the restoration project was honored at an event in Paris attended by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
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Meanwhile the Simon Wiesenthal Center expressed concern at what it described as a proliferation of expressions of anti-Semitism in Morocco.
Shimon Samuels, the centre’s director of international relations said, “These disturbing scenes come on the heels of other expressions of anti-Semitism we’ve seen in Morocco and may have a destabilizing effect not only in North Africa but among the Muslim communities in Europe, where Moroccans make up a large share of the population.”
Samuels said he feared a worsening of anti-Semitic rhetoric in Morocco in view of the submitting in 2013 to the country’s parliament of two bills, yet unpassed, that would criminalize trade and other forms of exchange with Israel, as well as the publication by an anti-Israel organization of names of businessmen — many of them Jewish — who are said to have ties to Israel.