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      Moroccan Leaders Apologize for Inviting Jew to Gathering

      Morocco’s leading political party apologized for inviting a Jew to a political gathering; has not apologized for inviting Hamas leader.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 7/26/2012, 1:21 PM

      Morocco's Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) Abdelilah
      Morocco's Prime Minister and Secretary General of the Justice and Development Party (PJD) Abdelilah
      Reuters

      Morocco’s leading political party has apologized for inviting a Jewish, pro- ‘Palestinian’ activist to a gathering of the party’s leaders, but has not apologized for inviting Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal to the same event.

      While Morocco has long been known as one of the Arab world’s more moderate states, it recently stunned the international community by electing the Islamist Justice and Development Party (known by its French acronym “PJD”) last November.

      Since its leaders were sworn into office in January, the PJD has been entangled in a series of public debates over “Zionism.”

      The latest uproar came after Moroccan newspapers showed photographs of Ofer Bronchtein, a Jewish pro-‘Palestinian’ activist and founder of the International Forum for Peace in Paris, smiling with PJD leaders including Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, The Daily Caller reported.

      The two appeared at the PJD’s Seventh Congress, a triennial party conference, on July 14 in the Moroccan capital city of Rabat.

      During Khaled Meshaal’s speech, he affirmed his commitment to “die a martyr for Palestine.” Hamas is among 51 global organizations on the U.S. State Department’s “Foreign Terrorist Organizations List.”

      Bronchtein, a leading advocate of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, predicted that the meeting “would open a new horizon for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

      Muslim radicals inside the PJD, however, reacted with anger, forcing the public apology from Morocco’s minister of state barely a week later.

      Bronchtein, who was also an adviser to former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, had reportedly met with Hamas leader Meshaal during his time in Morocco.

      The Renewal Movement, a vocal group of students inside the PJD, had called on the party to ”apologize to the people of Morocco for inviting the Israeli,” The Daily Caller reported.  

      Any contact between Moroccans and “the Zionist state” should be illegal, they told PJD government ministers last week.