Thursday, December 08, 2022

This week, the Atlantic Council held the N7 Conference on Education and Coexistence in Rabat, Morocco.

Oren Eisner, President of the Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation, explained the purpose of the conference: “It is critical to the future of normalization that the region’s younger generations engage with each other and learn from each other. Our Conference on Education and Coexistence is designed to produce actionable policy recommendations for the region’s governments that will increase cooperation and foster tolerance in education.” Eisner added, “We are thrilled to bring the N7 nations together to the conference and are grateful to the participating governments for working together to develop stronger and lasting friendships in the Middle East.”

The Kingdom of Morocco supported the conference, which included participants from Sudan, Jordan, Bahrain, the UAE, the United States and Israel.

Two Morocco education unions wrote a letter denouncing the conference, and the idea of coexistence altogether. The letter is a crazed combination of paranoia, lies and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

For example, it says, "They consider normalization to facilitate the future control of the Zionist entity over the wealth of the region and its people, and in an effort to complete its expansionist colonial project, and the ensuing dangers to future generations."

In a classic case of projection, the education union "considers the process of normalization in the school curricula as part of many manifestations of the attempt to normalize under the justification of spreading a culture of tolerance and coexistence..., while the Zionist educational curricula perpetuate absolute hatred of the Arabs."

And these open-minded educators also recommend that a "blacklist of shame" be created with the names of anyone who supports coexistence with Israel and Zionists.

It's hard to tell how widespread these opinions are in Morocco. There is a very noisy and active anti-normalization contingent, but mainstream media in Morocco has been treating Israel relatively fairly, and there have been lots of articles about the Jewish community and history there. There are more articles about the Moroccan anti-normalization movement in Algerian media than in Moroccan media. 



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