Holland urges Morocco to drop anti-Israel bills
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Dutch foreign minister, Frans Timmermans, urged Moroccan King Mohammed VI to scrap bills submitted to parliament that would criminalize contacts with Israel.
Timmermans made the statement Thursday in the Dutch lower house, De Tweede Kamer, according to a report by the Novum news agency.
The two bills, which five political parties jointly sponsored in summer, make it illegal to trade with Israeli entities and at least one bill proposes to make it illegal for Israelis to enter Morocco, according Ya Biladi, a Moroccan daily newspaper.
“The very headline of these bills is alarming,” Timmermans said, adding the king and government should act to prevent them from passing into laws.
Morocco’s royal family routinely rebuffs bids to downgrade ties with Israel, established in 1994. Israelis of Moroccan descent have made pilgrimages to the graves of holy figures in the country.
“I rely on the wisdom of Morocco but will remain vigilant on this issue,” he Timmermans in reply to a parliamentary query on the issue.
According to the European Jewish Congress, Morocco has a Jewish population of 3,000.