Israel Table of Contents
Morocco has been noted for its generally good relations with its own Jewish community, which in 1988 numbered approximately 18,000; in 1948 there had been about 250,000 Jews in Morocco. Over the years discreet meetings have occurred between Moroccan and Israeli leaders. Beginning in 1976, King Hassan II began to mediate between Arab and Israeli leaders. Then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin reportedly made a secret visit to Morocco in 1976, leading to a September 1977 secret meeting between King Hassan and Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan. King Hassan also played a role in the Egyptian-Israeli contacts that led to the 1978 Camp David Accords. In July 1978, and again in March 1981, Peres, as opposition leader, made secret trips to Morocco. In May 1984, thirty-five prominent Israelis of Moroccan origin attended a conference in Rabat. This meeting was followed by an official visit in May 1985 by Avraham Katz-Oz, Israel's deputy minister of agriculture, to discuss possible agricultural cooperation between the two countries. In August 1986, Moroccan agricultural specialists and journalists reportedly visited Israel, and Haim Corfu, Israel's minister of transport, attended a transportation conference in Morocco. On July 22 and 23, 1986, Prime Minister Peres met King Hassan at the king's palace in Ifrane. This was the first instance of a public meeting between an Arab leader and an Israeli prime minister since the Egyptian-Israeli meetings of the late 1970s. Hassan and Peres, however, were unable to agree on ways to resolve the Palestinian dimension of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Data as of December 1988