Morocco: News site publishes blacklist of artists with alleged ties to Israel

26 September 2016

On 9 September 2016, Moroccan news site Noon Presse published its own blacklist of seven Moroccan performers and artists who have “normalised” relations with Israel, which means, according to the site, that the artists have chosen “to go against the flow” by “unashamedly visiting Israel or communicating with Israelis”.

The blacklist includes three musicians, two directors, a comedian and a photographer, all of whom have received public backlash for their “connection” to Israel through visits, interviews or their work, and have crossed “a red line for Moroccans”.

The blacklisted artists
Musician and founder of the band Gipsy Kings, Jalloul “Chico” Bouchikhi made it on the list for holding concerts in Israel and the West Bank, as well as meeting with former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, despite the fact that his brother was assassinated by Israeli Mossad agents in Norway in 1973.

Singer Karima Skalli was blacklisted for giving an interview to Israeli radio programme ‘Voice of Israel’, where she spoke about women’s issues, heritage and values, and said she thought she was speaking to a Palestinian radio programme. Folk musician Abderrahim Souri made the list after a video of one of his concerts in Palestine surfaced, despite the fact that the video was from an old performance.

Director and screenwriter Nabil Ayouch allegedly hosted Israelis at one of his workshops for filmmakers, which led activists to call for his dismissal from the artists’ syndicate. Another director, Kamal Heshkar, is on the list for a documentary he produced promoting peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Jews, which some in Morocco labelled as “Zionist propaganda”.

Comedian Jamel Debbouze is blacklisted for a visit he made to Israel and Palestine in 2013 and was photographed visiting the Wailing Wall while wearing a yarmukele. The backlash Debouzze suffered from this has led neighbouring Algerians on social media to tell him he was not welcome in their country. Photographer Leila Gandhi drew controversy after Morocco’s Channel Two aired an episode of her programme, ‘Travel with Leila Gandhi’, where she visited and was hosted by an Israeli family with Moroccan origins.

Similar blacklist in Egypt
Earlier in August 2016, El Watan News reported that a similar blacklist was made in Egypt for nine musicians and actors who were “normalising” ties with Israel by visiting the country, appearing in films and TV programmes with Israeli actors and actresses, or selling their works to Israeli production and distribution companies.

The Egyptian list included Tunisian singer Saber Al Rubaee, Egyptian actress Basma Hassan, Egyptian actors Khaled El Nabawy, Amr Waked, Adel Imam and Khaled Abul Naga Egyptian singer Amr Diab, Palestinian singer Mohamed Assaf and Syrian singer Assala Nasri.

Photo: Noon Presse Facebook page logo


» Noon Presse – 9 September 2016:
Blacklist of Moroccan artists who normalised with the Zionist entity

» El Watan News – 23 August 2016:
9 actors and singers accused of normalising ties with Israel

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