Morocco: Activists demand government block Peres visit

Morocco: Activists demand government block Peres visit
Clinton Global Initiative summit in Marrakesh in May lists former Israeli president Shimon Peres as attending, causing outrage in Morocco.
3 min read
21 April, 2015
Thousands of Moroccans came out to protest Israel's assault on Gaza last year [Anadolu]

Activists have launched a campaign in Morocco to bar former Israeli President Shimon Peres from attending the inaugural session of the Clinton Global Initiative for the Middle East and North Africa scheduled to take place between 5 and 7 May in Marrakesh.

The activists have strongly opposed the announcement that Peres was attending the meeting. Non-governmental organisations and internet activists have called on the government to officially ban Peres and have threatened to

     It’s the right of all citizens to refuse to host someone who would not welcome them.

- Mohammad Benjelloun al-Andalusi

hold demonstrations if he sets foot in the country.

The Clinton Global Initiative was founded in 2005 by former US president Bill Clinton and aims to convene global leaders to devise innovative solutions to the most pressing problems in the world. The event’s programme includes Peres and a delegation of senior advisors meeting with global leaders.  

While a source in government refused to comment on Peres’ attendance, saying, “we'll see what happens”, head of the Group of National Action for Palestine Khalid al-Sifani told al-Araby al-Jadeed that it would be “totally unacceptable” for the Moroccan government to “extend their arms to embrace this criminal Zionist”.

Sifani added: “This is an insult to millions of Moroccans and disrespectful to the families of the Moroccan martyrs who sacrificed their lives when they were killed by the hands of treachery and the Zionists’ sins in the war on Gaza and the Moroccan Quarter in Jerusalem.”

He demanded the Moroccan authorities ensure that, “Peres does not enter the country under any pretexts, including attending meetings, conferences or development projects. If our demands are not met other measures will be taken.”

The Group of National Action for Palestine released a statement calling on ‘free men of this nation’ to take firm action by all legal means against all forms of normalising relations with Israel or Zionists. It said it has hired lawyers to submit a request to the general prosecutor to “arrest the terrorist Peres if he comes to Morocco”.

Head of the Moroccan Association for the Support of the Palestinian Struggle Mohammad Benjelloun al-Andalusi told al-Araby al-Jadeed, that since the government claims to have ended “any form of normalising relations with Israel” it should be held to its word.


Moreover, he added, “it’s the right of all citizens to refuse to host someone who would not welcome them.”

Moroccan internet users also launched a campaign on social media against Peres’ visit called ‘Stop the visit of the criminal Peres to Morocco’. 

This is not the first time Peres has visited the Kingdom. The late King Hassan II invited Peres for talks on the Arab-Israel conflict in July 1986 when he was prime minister and he returned in 1993 to attend a development forum.