Moroccan Activists Rally in Solidarity with Palestine

Rabat – With the US-sponsored economic forum in Manama, Bahrain set to begintoday, tens of thousands of Moroccans have taken to the streets across the country in protest against the so-called “Manama betrayal conference.”On Sunday, May 23, Moroccan intifadists marched from the gates of Rabat’s medina to the square in front of the Parliament building. As Palestinian and Moroccan flags flew side-by-side above demonstrators, chants of solidarity with Palestine rang through the streets of the city.Read Also: Morocco Confirms Participation in US-Sponsored Economic Forum in BahrainTrampling torn Israeli flags and brandishing signs condemning the occupation of Palestine, protestors demanded that the US end its ongoing interference in the Middle East, and that Israel end its dominion over the Palenstinian territories. Moreover, as protestors burned Israeli flags in collective opposition to the American vision for the MIddle East, shouts of “Death of Israel” and “Death to the United States” became deafening cries of Moroccans’ solidarity with the Palestinian people.With recent events such as White House adviser Jared Kushner’s suggestion that the US would be abandoning plans for a two-state solution, protests against Israel have consequently become protests against the United States. This has become especially true following the reveal of Washington’s plan for achieving peace in the Middle East, with several protests over the last month being sparked from the announcement of the so-called “Deal of the Century.”Developed over the course of the last two years by the Washington administration, the Middle East Peace Plan has routinely been touted as a panacea for the complex issues currently facing the Middle East.However, the American dream of bringing peace to Middle East has been received as a nightmare by millions across the Arab world, who see the plan as a plot to further entrench the Israeli government as a regional influence, at the expense of the Palestinian people.The first stage of the so-called “Deal of the Century,” an upcoming economic forum in Manama, continues to be at the center of this controversy, over a month after initial plans for the forum were revealed in May.In an attempt to rally support for the plan and reduce opposition to the conference, Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of American President Donald Trump, visited several Arab countries last month, including Morocco.Despite this, the Arab World remains firmly opposed to the forum, with reactionary protests against the Bahraini conference continuing to increase in both severity and frequency with each passing day.Condemning the proposed plan, as a “consecration” of Palestinian suffering, the Palestinian Authority vowed to boycott the forum, and encouraged other nations to follow suit.“The US ‘deal of the century’ is the consecration of our century-old ordeal: no independence, no sovereignty, no freedom, no justice,” said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.“And if they do not think that this situation will have an impact on the future of Israel and the region, one way or the other, they are the ones that are delusional, not us.”Standing behind the Palestinian Authority, hundreds of thousands of Moroccans have rejected the plan, viewing the conference as an attempt from the West to undermine the territorial legitimacy of Palestine.United under the slogan “For Palestine, against the deal of shame, against the treachery workshop in Bahrain,” demonstrators from several of Morocco’s civil organizations voiced their solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for independence in the face of continued Israeli occupation.A “consecration” of Palestinian sufferingIt has been barely more than a month since Washington announced its long-awaited Middle East Peace Plan, spearheaded by American President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, on May 19.However, time has had little to no effect in raising support for the plan across the Arab World, which remains fervently opposed to the “Deal of the Century.”The first stage of the plan, beginning on June 25 with a forum in the Bahraini capital, is focused on improving the economic conditions in the Middle East. The conference is planned to promote investment and development in the West Bank and Gaza, funded by wealthier Gulf and Arab states.Despite a focus on improving the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh condemned the workshop, claiming that the Palestinian Authority had not been consulted during its planning.Photo Credit: Morocco World News/ John Lystad“The cabinet wasn’t consulted about the reported workshop, neither over the content, nor the outcome nor timing,” Shtayyeh said on Monday.The Palestinian Authority has also protested against the exclusively economic focus of the conference, arguing that the meeting is merely an attempt to have Palestinians sell their independence to Israel.“We will inform Bahrain that we will not take part in such a conference,” said Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian State President Mahmoud Abbas. “We will not sell our country based on an economic project.”As a result, the Palestinian Authority has refused to take part in the workshop, and has encouraged other Arab countries to follow suit and oppose the so-called “Deal of the Century.”Protesters wearing masks to protest against Saudi Arabia, Israel, UAE, and US.“There will be no Palestinian participation in the Manama workshop,” said Ahmed Majdalani, Palestine’s Social Development Minister. “Any Palestinian who would take part would be nothing but a collaborator for the Americans and Israel.”Brotherhood with PalestineAlthough Morocco will reportedly be attending the conference, Moroccans continue to maintain strong, brotherly ties with the Palestinian people, which has driven thousands across the country to take issue with the government’s decision to participate in the forum.Last year, in response to Trump’s decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Morocco condemned America for its support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. In a letter to the American president, King Mohammed VI said: “The city of Al-Quds must remain a land of cohabitation and a symbol of coexistence and tolerance for all.”“The city is not only important for the parties of the conflict, but also for believers in the three Abrahamic religions, due to its unique religious characteristics, its ancient identity, and its great political symbolism,” he added.More recently, in May, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Jerusalem’s Grand Mufti, expressed his thanks to King Mohammed VI for his unyielding support for the Palestinian people and their struggle for independence.Morocco was also praised by Palestine earlier this year following a substantial donation from the king towards restoration work in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in East Jerusalem.With the brotherhood between Morocco and Palestine remaining among the strongest bonds in the Arab world, thousands of Moroccans will continue to oppose the US-Israeli “Deal of the Century,” so long as Palestine’s independence is not guaranteed as part of the plan.Meanwhile, as other so-called “Arab Traitor Regimes,” such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, plan to attend the conference, protestors remained adamant that every country in the Arab world stand with Palestine in opposition to the “Deal of the Century,” Morocco included.The self-styled “sons and daughters of the free Moroccan people” voiced their solidarity with the Palestine Authority in a statement condemning Israel and the so-called “Manama betrayal conference,”“We, the undersigned of the sons and daughters of the free Moroccan people, declare to the local and international public opinion our complete rejection of the terms of the Deal of the Century, and our boycotting of the Manama betrayal conference, which seeks to liquidate the Palestinian cause,” the statement read.The signatories also rejected “normalization with the racist Zionist entity” and called for Moroccans to “continue to defend the rights of the Palestinian people.”Concluding with “Long live free Palestine” and “Death to Israel, the enemy of the people, the warmonger,” the statement has sent an unignorable message to the world that Moroccans, in every corner of the country, continue to stand alongside the Palestinian people in their fight for independence.

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