Morocco is attempting to strike a balance between its alliance with Israel and support for the domestically popular Palestinian cause. Which is an increasingly difficult task with Israel ruled by the most right-wing administration in its history.
The North African country normalized relations with Israel in December 2020 as part of the Abraham Accords. Which were supported by then-US President Donald Trump’s government.
Rabat received a crucial concession from Washington in exchange: recognition of its sovereignty over disputed Western Sahara. Where the Polisario movement wants independence.
However, the decision ran counter to Morocco’s strongly pro-Palestinian public mood.
That square has become more difficult to circle in recent months as violence in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute has risen. With the army conducting deadly raids in the occupied West Bank.
Rabat, on the other hand, has been eager to defend itself.
Rabat frequently reiterates its support for Palestinian rights, and the king chairs the international Al-Quds committee. Which works to safeguard Jerusalem’s “Arab-Muslim character.”
Moroccans continue to be deeply sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. And civil society organizations have started a campaign to oppose normalization.
However, Moroccan journalist and writer Jamal Amiar contends that “relationships with Israel and support for the Palestinian cause are not mutually exclusive if we support the two-state solution.”
Rabat has publicly stated its support for the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, with east Jerusalem as its capital.
Morocco’s ties with Israel have grown rapidly since the 2020 agreement. Rabat purchasing advanced drones and other military equipment, as well as cybersecurity goods.
“The Abraham Accords were a game changer, and a lot of things are changing quickly,” Amiar explained.
Amiar stated that Rabat’s “partnership with Israel is based on common security interests and long-standing relations that have contributed to the development of trust.”
However, some analysts have predicted an arms race between Morocco and its regional archrival Algeria, which supports both the Palestinians and the Polisario.
Algeria severed ties with Morocco months after the Israel agreement, claiming “hostile acts.”