Morocco activists outraged over Israeli dates imported for Ramadan

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A group of Moroccan activists voiced their objections over the way Israeli dates have invaded local markets and became part of Ramadan meals in what they termed as a call for normalization with the Jewish state.

Activists called upon vendors to boycott all Israeli products and expose those who export them and demanded that the Islamist government issues a law that criminalizes all actions that promote normalization.

Several types of dates have recently invaded Moroccan local markets in packages that have the addresses and phone numbers of the factories that produced them in Israel.

Human rights activist Khaled al-Soufiyani, coordinator of the National Action Group for Solidarity with Palestine and Iraq, complained of the insensitivity of allowing Israeli dates to be sold in Moroccan markets.

“Buying and consuming those dates are an insult to the feelings of Moroccans, most of whom reject normalization with Israel, and a support of Israeli occupation,” he said.

Soufiyani added that trading in Israeli dates and eating them in Ramadan also belittle the Palestinian struggle and make the blood they spill in vain.

Israeli dates, which reach Morocco via Europe, compete with dates imported from Tunisia, Algeria, the UAE, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Those dates are imported under the pretext that the current supply is not enough for local consumption especially with the high demand in the holy month of Ramadan.

Ahmed al-Raysouni, supervisor of the Islamic Jurisprudence Complex in Jeddah, has issued an earlier fatwa prohibiting dealing with dates imported from Israel.

“It is prohibited to sell, buy, import or export dates from Israel,” Raysouni said.

Mohamed Banjelon Andalusi, head of the Moroccan Association for Solidarity with the Palestinian Struggle, expressed his outrage at the spread of Israeli dates in Moroccan markets.

“In the past, Israeli dates used to enter Moroccan markets under fake names for camouflage, but now it is done in the most blatant manner,” he said.

For Andalusi, having the names of Israeli factories on date packages is indicative of increasing tendency for normalization with the Jewish state on the part of the Moroccan government.

Andalusi added that his association had sent earlier a letter to the government calling for the criminalization of all sorts of normalization including trade.

“We have not received a response and what is happening on the ground shows that our demands are being totally overlooked,” he said.