Morocco’s main language is Moroccan Arabic, but a high percentage of Moroccans can speak French, and increasing numbers of them speak English. Under King Mohammed VI, the Government has officially recognized the Tamazight language, which is spoken by many Moroccans, particularly in the mountainous areas. This linguistic environment and the welcoming attitude by many Moroccans to tourists has reduced the barriers to visiting Morocco and seeking to understand its Jewish culture.
Visitors to Morocco would benefit from recognizing that, like any country, it has a complex history, society, economy and political environment. Inequalities between the rich and poor, women and men, Arabs and Amazigh, and Muslims and Jews have decreased, but are far from being erased. Moroccans are proud of their country, but recognize that severe problems remain. They are proud of their multiple identities, but recognize that non-Moroccans are proud of their identities as well.
Morocco has made enormous strides in guaranteeing human rights under King Mohammed VI. Moroccans feel more free to speak out, publish their opinions, organize and demonstrate. Yet limits remain. Although the country is a monarchy with an increasingly democratic character, criticism of the King or advocacy for establishment of a republican form of government is forbidden. While Moroccans have increasingly addressed subjects that were formerly taboo, visitors should refrain from asking questions or making comments that are critical of the monarchy.
Israel remains a sensitive topic, both for Moroccan Muslims and Jews. While Moroccan Muslims who grew up with Jews often have fond memories of the Jews who left for Israel, most have negative opinions about Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians. Younger Moroccans have had little contact with Jews, and they are less able to differentiate Israel and the Jewish people than their elders. Most young Moroccan Muslims are strongly committed to Palestinian rights.
While the Government has opened its doors to Jewish tourists, including those from Israel, and agreed to move toward full diplomatic relations with Israel, it did not establish formal diplomatic relations by the end of 2020. The establishment of an Israeli consulate in Rabat may lead to a greater acceptance of Israel among Moroccans.