Saturday, December 03, 2011

Morocco's Jewish Museum founder Simon Levy dies


The founder of the Jewish Museum in Casablanca - the only Jewish Museum in the Arab world - has passed away. Simon Levy was a communist, a fighter for human rights and a pro-Palestinian sympathiser, Morocco World News reports (with thanks: Michelle):

Simon Levy, Secretary General of the Foundation of Jewish-Moroccan Cultural Heritage and the director of the Jewish Museum of Morocco, passed away on Friday morning at a hospital in Rabat following a long illness, people. He was 77. Levy was Morocco’s foremost authority on Moroccan Jewish cultural. His work will continue to guide future generations, academia, and researchers all over the world.

Mr. Levy was born in Fez in 1934. He was a professor in the Spanish Department of Mohamed V University in Rabat since 1971. Mr. Levy went to prison during Morocco’s colonization period because of his resistance to the French and demands to grant Morocco independence. Mr. Levy was also in prison during the years known as “Years of Lead” because of his demands to grant citizens more individual liberties and rights.

Mr. Levy was a leading figure and active member of Morocco’s Communist party (which, later on, became known as PPS) in which he held key positions for more than 30 years (up until 2011). He was also the Secretary General of Moroccan Judaism Foundation and the Director of its Museum in Casablanca (the only museum of this city).

Mr. Levy supported the Palestinian case and showed strong support towards the right of Palestinians to establish a sovereign and independent state.

Read article in full

Article on The National

Morocco's Jews: royal advisers to far-left militants

17 comments:

andrea said...

It is generally reported that Sephardim are most right wing oriented than Askhenazim. This is maybe true in Israel - mostly due to the fact that MAPAM/MAPAI failed to give voice to Jews coming from Africa and Middle east - but possibly not in the "francophonie".
I know that is almost impossible counting jews vote out of Isarel but according to your personal view what is the main political tendency among Sephardim ?

bataween said...

I think you will find that Sephardim outside Israel also share these rightwing views. I don't think you can blame Mapai/ Mapam. The reasons why Sephardim have taken decades to find a voice are complex and partly cultural.

andrea said...

Thank you for your answer. I am happy to have found this voice on the Net and since I live in a mediterranean country I am fascinated by this "southern" side of Jewish world.
I am sure cultural and social factors preventing from fully expressing in Israeli society are going to be removed within the frame of a strong democracy.
I would say that out of Israel as well Sephardim culture is not so negletted anymore

Anonymous said...

A pro-Palestinian communist Jew was the founder of a Jewish museum...

I wonder how this guy managed to be both a Communist and Jewish ( or even pro-Palestinian and Jewish...).
Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think the Jewish community will miss him.

Good old times when even Communists were honest enough to admit that they could not speak on behalf of both Judaism and Communism at the same time.

Anonymous said...

To Mr or Mrs Anonymous that stated that the Jewish community wont miss Mr Levy because of his past and being pro-Palestinian state: His a true Jew that reject the blatant injustice done to Palestinians in the 21st century! It take courage like that of Mr Levy and others to say it clear and loud!

Anonymous said...

"blatant injustice done to Palestinians"?
The "palestinians", their leaders and the other Arabs are the ones to blame for that.

halal pork said...

"Palestinians" are the top per-capita aid recipients in the history of the planet. And it's not just how much, but how long 'Palestinians' have received international welfare that breaks all records - 63 YEARS!!
And all that because they refused to accept any deal other than Jews being wiped out...


Per capita Foreign Assistance 2009:
- Palestinian Authority $725.00
- Sudan $56.00
- Ethiopia $48.00

Now, how much the victims of the "palestinians"/Arabs received?


Those guys made up a nationality and a phony history just to have an excuse to annihilate another people. They wage war against them and lose. Since then, they are funded by its enemies and their existence and national unity depends on the very same country they wish to destroy...

Yeah, boo hoo.
I don't know what kind of work this Levy guy did, but seems to me that he was just another Jew using the religion he had no respect for as a propaganda tool to support and advance his ideology. I'm not familiar with his work in this so-called Jewish Museum and I hope I'm wrong about him. But I don't count on it.

halal pork said...

anonymous,

A "true Jew"? I don't think you would recognize one even if he stabbed you with a pork chop...
And... what kind of courage does it take to be a pro-palestinian Jew in a Muslim country? As far as I know those token Jews are worth a lot and are very well paid. Just ask Youssef Darwish.

It takes courage - and some stupidity - to be a Zionist Jew there.

sylvia said...

These people were very attached to their Jewish Sephardic roots. One thing they were not was hypocrites. At least they put their feet where their ideology was and didn't emigrate to Israel, contrary to the Amira Hasses and their ilk, the anti-Zionists living working and claiming privileges in Israel while denying its right to exist and denigrating it day in day out.

What has characterized the Simon Levy, the Amran Edmond Elmaleh, the Abraham Serfatis, whatever their politics, was that they were fundamentally honest.

Barukh Dayan Emet.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to read all that bokra (tomorrow), to understand it.. I hope for the sake of our Judaism we won't slip into quarrels that will lead us nowhere!!!
suzy Vidal
I am Sepharad and very far from right wing!!!

Anonymous said...

it is very possible to be Jewish and Communist! The founder of that thought was a Jew.
It's a question of choice and idealogy. That Mr.Levy happened to be a Jew abd a Communist does not seem to me outrageous!
There were a lot of Communists (Jews) in Egypt. Even in my own family. But do I love them any less for this?
My aunt almost got killed in the riots after the birth of Israel. She was pregnant and was kicked next ot our Synagogue. fortunately the baby was born in Israel!
My aunt was on the concil table of her town and when she tied all the population turned out to honour her for what she did and her pomotion of equality between Sephardim and ashkinazim. Her husband was an Ashkenazi.
voila for today
suzy vidal
ps: we need to be more tolerant

Anonymous said...

please let me know where I can send a picture for your blog) of my grandparents: Jewish Egyptians
.
i think they are beautiful.
sultana

bataween said...

that would be lovely, Suzy, thanks. Please send to bataween@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

No, Marx wasn't Jewish. Or at least he didn't considered himself one, just like Trotsky. The reason? As someone else here said, they were honest (at least about this).

Anonymous said...

an angry citizen said: everything that happens is the Jews' fault, even the sinking of the Titanic
now wait a minute!!! it was an iceberg.
Iceberg,
greenberg,all the bergs are Jewish

sultana

bataween said...

Nice one!

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Marx was born during the Napoleonic wars. In fact, the French invasion under Napoleon released German Jews from the ghetto and all sorts of other restrictions. In the period of freedom Marx' father became a lawyer. After the reaction, he didn't want to go back to the ghetto and all the restrictions. So he converted and had his son converted too and sent him to a Christian school. So Marx, while of Jewish origin, was not raised as a Jew.