Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca,  Rabbi Chalom Messas, the Head Rabbi,
  completed in 1995. The Moroccan          of Morocco, with King Hassan II
Jewish Community contributed 
   to its construction   

Independent Morocco

While Jews played a marginal role in the nationalist struggle, the new Government's constitution assured equality between Jews and Muslims. Jews began to take the place of French in administration. Three Jews were eventually elected to Parliament, including a rabbi from the heavily-Jewish town of Sefrou. Jews were found in high posts in the Administration and industry. The appointment of a Jewish Minister of Posts and Telegraphs was a symbol of the Jewish community's importance.

Nevertheless, the fact that emigration to Israel was forbidden in 1956 did not inspire the confidence of Moroccan Jews in their Government. A secret emigration network was established, enabling 35,000 Jews to leave the country until emigration to Israel was legalized in 1961.

In February 1961, Morocco's Jews joined Muslims in a National Day of Mourning for King Mohammed V. Despite the efforts of his successor, King Hassan II, to make Jews feel welcome and an integral part of the Moroccan nation, emigration continued, to Israel until 1964 and then mainly to France and Canada.

The dwindling Jewish community remained proudly Moroccan. Jews participated and contributed to the success of the Green March in 1975, when 350,000 Moroccans marched into the former Spanish Sahara to reclaim it for their country. 

King Hassan II has been a strong proponent of peace and reconciliation in Israel and Palestine. He has organized several conferences to address vital issues, such as Jerusalem and investment in the Middle East. At crucial and strategic times, he has shown courage in meeting publicly with Israeli leaders such as Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin. Throughout his period of leadership, he has invited the Jews of Moroccan descent, of which there are approximately 600,000 in Israel and almost 250,000 in France, to return to Morocco. While few have returned to live, tens of thousands visit each year. Many of the remaining 6,000 Jews have strong links with family members outside of the country, but believe that they would not feel at home anywhere else in the world but Morocco.

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