Ambassadors Israel and Morocco light Hanukkah candles together

Celebrated one year since the normalization of relations between Israel and Morocco under the Abrahamic Agreements

“We turned on the light and chased away the darkness.” One year after the normalization of diplomatic relations between their two countries, as part of the Abrahamic Agreements, the Israeli and Moroccan ambassadors in Rome celebrated the anniversary together, lighting a candle for the Jewish anniversary of Hanukkah.

“Morocco works tirelessly for peace and stability in the Middle East,” said the Moroccan ambassador, Youssef Balla, underlining how the Abrahamic Agreements “consecrated the particular bond between the two countries”.

This bond, the Israeli ambassador Dror Eydar also recalled, owes a lot to the Jewish community of Moroccan origin. With the Israel-Morocco-US tripartite agreement, there has been “momentum” in bilateral relations, Balla said. The two diplomatic offices were opened and Israeli foreign ministers Yair Lapid and Defense Benny Gantz visited Rabat. There is now a cooperation agreement, 20 economic and trade agreements, a defense memorandum of understanding. And in the first six months after the agreement, Balla remarked, “trade increased by 50%”.

“With the Abrahamic Agreements, his sons Isaac and Ishmael return to cooperate,” said Ambassador Eydar., comparing the light of the Hanukkah festival to that lit between Morocco and Israel, which is leading “to fruitful cooperation”. “Italy can help us extend the agreements to other countries, the peoples of the region are increasingly aware that the Jewish people are part of the Middle East “, continued the ambassador, hoping that” the Palestinians will also enter the circle of peace. “, after the normalization of Israel’s relations with Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The lighting of the Hanukkah candles took place in the Roman headquarters of the Alcide De Gasperi Foundation, in the presence of the American chargé d’affaires Thomas D. Smitham and the president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber, Piero Fassino.

“We must urge both the Arab countries and the Palestinian National Authority to seize the opportunities of the Abrahamic Accords,” said Fassino.. “Peace must be achieved by the parties concerned, but others can create a favorable context for the resumption of dialogue”, he continued, underlining the role that Europe can play. “But to play a positive role, one must be recognized by both sides”, today Israeli citizens look at Europe “with distrust” while Palestinians perceive “Europe as neighbor”. “It is good” to be seen as neighbors by the Palestinians, “but it must also be good for the Israelis, only in this way can a role be played,” he stressed.