Author: Anna Jacobs
Organization/Publisher: The National Interest
Date/Place: April 13, 2020/USA
Type of Literature: Policy Analysis
Word Count: 1538
Keywords: Israel, Morocco, Normalization, Western Sahara
The author identifies that Morocco could be the third Arab state after Egypt and Jordan to establish formal diplomatic relations with Israel. Tel Aviv and Rabat established low-level diplomatic relations in 1994; however, after the second Intifada in 2000 these ties were eventually disengaged. Still the author claims that Morocco and Israel have a “special relationship” that is rooted in geopolitical and cultural ties. Security ties between the two countries (particularly their intelligence services) go back decades. For instance, in 1965 Mossad facilitated the kidnapping and murder of Mehdi Ben Barka in Paris, a Moroccan opposition activist and thorn in the side of former King Hassan II. The author demonstrates that according to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, trade between the two countries between 2014 and 2017 is valued at $149 million; however, Israel is not revealed in any Moroccan statistics. For the author, Israel’s objective from the normalization with Morocco is to bolster its geostrategic alliance with Arab states.
By: Fadi Zatari, CIGA Senior Research Associate