Peace between Israel and Morocco Has Much Potential—If It Lasts

December 13, 2021 | Efraim Inbar
About the author: Efraim Inbar is president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (JISS).

Last month, Rabat and Jerusalem concluded a major security-cooperation agreement, complete with a public visit to Morocco by the Israeli defense minister. The agreement comes almost a year after the North African kingdom reestablished diplomatic ties with the Jewish state in the wake of the Abraham Accords. While Efraim Inbar sees reason to hope that relations between the two countries will only grow stronger, he also provides a warning:

Although Morocco sent forces to fight against Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and 1973 Yom Kippur War, it has in recent years emerged as a moderate Arab state when it comes to the Jewish state. . . . Morocco plays an important role globally, and in the Middle East and Africa in particular. Its royal family claim to be descendants of the prophet Mohammad, which gives it a certain influence among Arab countries. Rabat normalizing ties with Jerusalem will pave the way for other Arab countries to do the same.

But we should bear in mind that these relations are under heavy criticism by extremists in Morocco, and internal political changes may bring the honeymoon to an end.

We must not forget that instability is a hallmark in any such relationship. If Israel fails to halt Iran’s nuclear progress, the pro-Israel trends in the region will disappear. The Iranian threat is what prompted these Arab countries openly to normalize ties with Israel. The absence of Israeli action will take away from the achievement that is the Abraham Accords, including ties with Morocco.

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