Independent Morocco under King Mohammed V (1956-1961)

King Mohammed V on his return to Morocco from exile in Madagascar
in November 1955, with the three Rabbis of Meknes (Morocco World News)
The Sultan of Morocco, Mohammed V, seated, left, with President
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill, at the
Casablanca Conferences on Jan. 31, 1943. (Associated Press)

While Jews played a marginal role in the nationalist struggle, the new Government’s constitution assured equality between Jews and Muslims. Jews began to take the place of French in administration. Three Jews were eventually elected to Parliament, including a rabbi from the heavily-Jewish town of Sefrou. Jews were found in high posts in the Administration and industry. The appointment of a Jewish Minister of Posts and Telegraphs was a symbol of the Jewish community’s importance.

Nevertheless, the fact that emigration to Israel was forbidden in 1956 did not inspire the confidence of Moroccan Jews in their Government. A secret emigration network was established, enabling 35,000 Jews to leave the country until emigration to Israel was legalized in 1961.