Morocco's Berbers and Israel (Middle East Quarterly)

Principal Research Fellow Dr. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman examines the willingness by young Moroccan Berber activists to express public interest in Israel and Jewish history.

In recent years, small groups of Moroccan Berber activists, particularly younger people, have challenged the enforced silence regarding Israel, expressing an interest in both the state of Israel and Jewish history, including the Holocaust. They even linked this interest to the alleged historic connections between Jews and Berbers in ancient times, including the initial resistance to Arab conquerors by the Kahina, a supposedly Jewish-Berber queen, and the multilayered, more recent relations existing until the mass departure of Jews for Israel in the 1950s and 1960s from Berber villages and towns.