Morocco dance festival goes belly up over fears for Israelis

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A belly dance festival which was to have been held in the southern Moroccan city of Marrakesh was cancelled Friday over fears for its Israeli dancers, the organizer said.

“I cancelled it because I didn’t receive any authorization and I was afraid for the safety of my participants,” festival producer Simona Guzman told AFP.

Islamist members of parliament and pro-Palestinian associations had criticized the invitation to the Israelis for the May 10 festival.

Criticism over the Israeli presence was first heard last year when the festival was also held in Marrakesh, but the event went off without mishap.

Some 18 countries, including Britain, Japan, Russia and The Netherlands, were due to have taken part in the festival which was first held in Istanbul in 2010.