Gantz Publishes Op-Ed in Morocco in French, Arabic

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz and Morocco’s defence administration minister, Abdellatif Loudiyi, sign a defence memorandum in Rabat, Morocco November 24, 2021. (Israel Defence Ministry/Handout via REUTERS)

“One day, in the not-so-far future, I will sit in my living room with my grandchildren, and I will tell them the story of my visit to Morocco and about the day that we made history by establishing defense relations between our countries. I will tell them that although many associate Israeli-Moroccan ties with the groundbreaking Abraham Accords, our story began long ago – and it is entrenched in the heritage of the Moroccan Jewish community.”

The passage comes from an article published by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz of in the French-language Moroccan magazine, “L’Observateur Du Maroc,” and in the Arabic newspaper, “Ahdath Maghrebia,” during his two-day stay in the country.

The article was issued in English translation on Thursday by the Communications Office for the Minister of Defense.

In the piece, the defense minister also tells a story about His Majesty, King Mohammed VI: “The legacy of King Mohamed VI resonates to this day. Last week, a Jewish man, Rabbi Elhadad and his loved ones visited the Kingdom in search of their Moroccan roots – much like many Israelis who visit the country, reconnecting with generations past.

“In a tragic incident, Rabbi Elhadad took a fatal fall. Local doctors fought to save his life – so much so that they consulted with His Majesty’s doctor. Despite their massive efforts, Rabbi Elhadad passed – may his memory be a blessing. Upon learning of this horrific accident, His Majesty, King Mohammed VI and his advisors reached out to the family and arranged a private aircraft to fly Rabbi Elhadad to be buried in Israel. There was no press, no fanfare. His Majesty the King recognized that there is no greater “mitzvah” or holy act, than to tend for the deceased and to bury them in accordance with Jewish tradition at the earliest possible time.”

Gantz also touched on the importance of bilateral relations: “After years of informal cooperation for the prevention of terrorism, this week, we have taken a historic step in the ties between Israel and Morocco, formalizing our defense relations by signing a defense cooperation memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU establishes a framework from which we can develop cooperation in counterterrorism, intelligence-sharing, military training, professional working groups and industrial collaboration. More importantly, this agreement acknowledges our shared vision of peace and stability for our people, for the region, for the world.”