Copyright 2003 British Broadcasting Corporation  
BBC Monitoring Middle East - Political
Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

September 6, 2003, Saturday

LENGTH: 269 words

HEADLINE: Moroccan Jewish community bridge between Palestinians, Israelis

SOURCE: MAP news agency web site, Rabat, in English 6 Sep 03

Text of report in English by Moroccan news agency MAP web site

Rabat, 6 September: The Moroccan Jewish community has always served as a bridge between Palestinians and Israelis, said secretary-general of the Israelite Communities Council in
Morocco and president of the Moroccan Judaic Rally, Serge Berdugo.

In an interview published 28 August by the Canadian paper Jewish News, Berdugo said "Moroccan Jews believe they still can help the two parties better understand each other for they have expertise in the ways of thinking of the issue's protagonists. "

Moroccan Judaism has always been of great strategic importance to relations between Muslims and Jews and between Palestinians Israelis, he went on.

The community leader recalled the 20-year-old ties he has with Palestinian ambassador to Rabat, Abu-Marwan. "We have worked hand in hand with Israeli leaders each time they visited

On Jews' life in
Morocco, Berdugo underscored that the Jewish community lives in security and has never sustained any pressures. "There are no second-class citizens in Morocco. King Mohammed VI's Morocco is applying a rule-of law democracy."

On the terrorist attacks that shook Casablanca 16 May, Serge Berdugo said that by attempting to kill Jews, these criminals wanted above all to harm to the whole Moroccan society and affect the way of life of moderate Moroccan Muslims. Islam in
Morocco is an open and tolerant Islam," he said.

Some 1,200 members of the Jewish community including 125 Israelite scouts have participated in the May 29 march slamming the blasts, he recalled.