Moroccan Jewish community to hold first democratic elections in half a century
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Moroccan Jewish community to hold first democratic elections in half a century

King Mohammed VI instructs Interior Ministry to facilitate vote, which hasn’t been held since 1969 amid increased hostility toward Jews in Morocco following 1967’s Six-Day War

Moroccan Jews and Israeli Jewish tourists participate in Simchat Torah festivities at a synagogue in the "Mellah" Jewish quarter of the Medina in Marrakesh on October 13, 2017.. (AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA)
Moroccan Jews and Israeli Jewish tourists participate in Simchat Torah festivities at a synagogue in the "Mellah" Jewish quarter of the Medina in Marrakesh on October 13, 2017.. (AFP PHOTO / FADEL SENNA)

JTA — Moroccan Jews will hold internal elections for the first time in 50 years to determine their communal representatives.

King Mohammed VI instructed the Interior Ministry to facilitate the elections, the le360 news website reported Friday.

Internal communal elections were last held in 1969 amid an increase in hostility toward Jews in Morocco following Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War in 1967.

That hostility led to the emigration of the last great wave of Jews from Morocco, which once was home to 270,000 Jews but now has about 3,000.

King Mohammed VI (R) smiles to the crowd during a welcoming ceremony for Pope Francis in central Rabat upon the pontiff’s arrival in the North African country on March 30, 2019. (Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

The presence of Jews in Morocco stretches back more than 2,000 years, but many Jews were forced to flee or were expelled from Arab countries after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, while violent Arab riots left many Jews dead or injured.

Earlier this month, the royal house of Morocco announced a plan to construct a Jewish museum in the city of Fez.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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