Saturday, May 16, 2020

In Secret Operation, 26 Out Of 36 Israelis Rescued From Morocco After 10 Died Of COVID-19

It's a good thing they didn't wait for the Satmar Chesed organizations to help them, they would be waiting till the cows came home..
The Zionists have shown again and again what a Jewish life means to them ....
Twenty-six Israelis who have been stuck in Morocco due to coronavirus travel restrictions since March were repatriated to Israel in a complex rescue operation, landing in Israel on Thursday morning.
Sadly, the group originally included 36 Israelis but 10 died while still in Morocco from the coronavirus.
Some of the Israelis were in Morocco on business and others were tourists but all got stuck in Morocco when the government put a total lockdown on the country as soon as the coronavirus pandemic began, halting flights and forbidding travel from city to city.
The Israelis were put up in hotels in Casablanca and Marrakesh at the expense of the Morrocan government but of course, what they really wanted was to fly home, a seemingly impossible prospect not only due to the coronavirus restrictions but also by the fact that Morocco doesn’t maintain diplomatic relations with Israel.

Unfortunately, the Morrocan Jewish community was hit hard by the virus after many of its members attended a large wedding in the coastal city of Agadir with many guests from France and other countries abroad. The guests who attended the wedding then unwittingly spread the virus in the Jewish community in Casablanca during Purim festivities a few days later. The Israelis visiting the country weren’t spared.
The group of Israelis made every effort to leave the country, to no avail, but finally one of them contacted MK Nir Barkat (Likud), who took immediate action. A plan began to form, conceived in secrecy with the help of widespread diplomatic ties.
Barkat recruited the help of Rishon L’Tzion Rav Shlomo Amar, Prime Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ , and the philanthropists, Sheldon and Dr. Miriam Adelson, who financed the secret operation and donated the use of their private plane.
The National Security Council (NSC) worked on receiving the necessary approvals for the flight, harnessing international diplomatic efforts to bring it about. Eventually, the operation was arranged and the Israelis finally left Morocco, on way to their homeland.
A previous rescue operation was actually arranged in late March with the help of the United Arab Emirates, which had offered to allow the Israelis on their rescue plane for UAE citizens in Morocco. However, the plan was ultimately blocked due to the fact that the Morrocan government, which has strained relations with the UAE, was enraged that the plan was finalized between Israel and the UAE without its input.
“The Moroccan government immediately shut down everything from the time the coronavirus broke out,” Ilan Hatuel, one of the returning Israelis, said. “It was a siege, like war – whoever would leave without approval was arrested on the spot. Traveling from city to city was forbidden, everyone was in their houses and all the flights were canceled. I haven’t seen my family, my three kids in three months – it’s been very difficult.”
Hatuel added that as part of the Israelis’ efforts to find a way to leave Morocco, they turned to MK Barkat. “He saved us,” Hatuel said gratefully. “He got back to me within ten minutes with the news that a private plane will rescue us. We didn’t believe it. He saved us,” he repeated.
“It was a complex process since Morocco doesn’t have diplomatic relations with us,” MK Barkat said. “For a period of time, the [Moroccan] authorities wouldn’t grant the necessary approval for the Israelis to leave and great effort was required to bring them back to Israel. “To the credit of the Adelsons, they allowed us the use of their American plane for the rescue flight. The rescue operation was an extraordinary expression of the responsibility of the state of Israel to its citizens.”
Morocco, a country of 36 million, has recorded 6,512 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 188 deaths. The tiny Jewish community in Casablanca, comprised of 1,500- 2,000 Jews, lost 1% of its population, suffering at least 15 fatalities.
The fatalities in the Jewish community of Casablanca included the Chabad shaliach in the city, Harav Shalom Edelman, z’tl, and three relatives of Amir Peretz, the head of the Labor party in Israel, one of them a famed philanthropist.


Zako said...

It has nothing to do with a "rescue".
They weren't hostages.

Dusiznies said...

4:08 Zako
The Israelis should have consulted you before they undertook this daring "rescue" and would have saved Adelson over $2 million .....
You would have arranged to bring them Heimishe Chicken Soup and petcha.......from Monroe!

I hope you never get caught in a hostile Arab country with Covid-19......

Zako said...

Oh, I see, DIN... You hardly ever travel out of the US.
It's ok, there's nothing wrong with that.

Well, I fly to Morocco twice a year for my work. And in fact, it happens to be a very enjoyable, jewish-friendly country. Some yidisha families from Europe still hold weddings over there in the major cities, so they shlep the guests and the gantz mishpocho with them and everything goes fine. The King of Morocco often goes to the local rabbis to get himself a brocho, and local Arabs, men & women, will literally run to get you kosher food, even in the middle of the night. Some streets bare the names of proeminent local Rabbis from the past. I can send you pictures if you want.
And yes, I'm talking year 2020 here.

There are a number of kivrei tsadikim in Morocco throughout the country. On a yortseit date, a 5-6000 yiden gathering is a usual figure, and the local authorities act accordingly for transportation, accomodation, security forces, ecc. Thousands of Yiden from the US, from Canada, Europe, Israel, fly in, fly out, for these Yortseit, and no one ever needed to be "rescued". Dozens of Kosher caterers organise Paysach hotels each year in Morocco.

Moreover, a Rabbi in Morocco is part of the institutions. This means that the royals and government consider Rabbis as... officials. They even bring in Rabbis to sort out civil courtcases.

Aside from this, MILLIONS of tourists arrive each year for summer & winter vacation (11 millions in 2018, 13 millions in 2019) from all over the world. They can't be all wrong, can they ? This is to tell you that Morocco is not Iran, not Jordan and not Somalia. Therefore this kleina meshigas here has absolutely nothing to do with a "rescue". In fact, if Morocco was as "hostile" as you suggested, these 15 guys here would never have flown in to begin with.

Talking about this $2 million luxury flight, the fact that EL AL did send 787-Dreamliners to Peru (South America, 16-hour flight + 80 tons of kerosene on each way from and to Tel Aviv) to bring hundreds of israelis back home, and not to Morocco remains unclear...
Probably because a group of only 15 travelers does not justify the use of a jumbo jet, and some kinda deal had to be made with a smaller carrier.

So stay tuned for the next "rescue", ok ?

(Now let's see if you will publish this reply here... You have a right to be maskim that you made a small error, there's also nothing wrong with that.)

Dusiznies said...

Allloh .. Mr. Blogger ...
Plz Plz take off dis chusid liar comment...
my secon cousin was one of those who died in Morocco from the virus but he couldnt get out ....
Hashem plz bless the country of Israel ......
yes we were all there for a wedding no problem but they wouldn't let us out ...

Zako said...

To der groissa chuchem 8:41

Unfortunately people have died from this virus in der gantz welt, not just Morocco. And people who were abroad at that time, wherever it was, fought like hell to fly back home, yes, I agree.
I had friends and colleagues stuck in Europe, South America, and South East Asia.
So it has nothing to do with "rescue", or "hostile" country.
Just keep things in the right order, thanks.