The royal palace in Rabat
"Morocco is very interested in promoting peace with Israel and association with Jews. A veritable revolution is taking place and the change is deep and quantitative. The curriculum in schools has been revised and the Holocaust is being taught, as well as information about Jews. They are actually changing their textbooks. This change in the government schooling expresses a new approach which promotes an altogether different connection."
Malcolm Hoenline, Director of the Association of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations in America, expressed the following ideas to us in a broad interview which he gave us, where he related to developing relations between Israel and Arab countries. When he was asked to note the names of these countries who are actually partners for peace, he chose to highlight Morocco as a fine and prime example.
And for good reason. The change in Morocco is very significant. This might be a result of the fact that this country was always peaceful and benign. It even boasts a Jewish community which receives royal support. It may truly be that a tangible and fundamental change is under way, but at any rate, this North African county is indeed exhibiting a genuine and impressive revolution with regard to its relationship with things Jewish.
A recent study showed, among other things, that the educational system has introduced a new curriculum indicating that Morocco is encouraging coexistence with Jews and a deeper recognition of Judaism. At the present, there is no other Arab or Moslem nation which can compare to this. Concurrently, they have deleted sections which were anti-Israel from the syllabus.
The aforementioned study which was first publicized by YNET, was carried out by SE-IMPACT, an institute for international and diplomatic research which examines and analyzes textbooks from countries all over the world regarding peace and tolerance, in conjunction with the Jeffrey Telpins Foundation. This study includes an analysis of 127 textbooks used in grades One through Twelve and that were published by the Moroccan Education Minister between 2013 and 2022 and are still being taught this year.
The study shows that peace and tolerance in general are central themes in these textbooks in this Arab country. It further indicated that the Moroccan syllabus has undergone a reform which was concluded in 2019. In its course, a large and significant amount of new material was introduced which reveals for the first time to millions of students throughout Morocco religious customs, culture, Jewish culinary habits and Jewish music. This new material teaches that the Jewish community is an inseparable part of Morocco with a tradition of centuries of coexistence with Moslems.
According to the new curriculum, Moroccan students learn about the contribution of the Jewish community to the Moroccan economy and the integration of Jews in various professions and areas - science, press, culture and business, while simultaneously introducing stories proving the patriotism of Moroccan Jews.
The new textbooks also stress the good bond between Jews and Moslems. For example, there are photos and illustrations of a Jewish family seated around a Shabbos table, hosting an Arab neighbor, Maimuna [Isru Chag Moroccan feasts of Emunah] festivities and others. Students are asked to look into the Jewish makeup within the Moroccan civilization describing the inseparable identity of Morocco. Negative examples dishonoring Israel were deleted from the new textbooks.