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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

‎Behind the Scenes of Israel’s Negotiations with Morocco

Filed under: The Middle East

‎Behind the Scenes of Israel’s Negotiations with Morocco

‎On December 18, 2020, Haaretz journalist Yossi Verter published details of the involvement of Dr. Dore Gold, today the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, in starting the normalization process with Morocco two years ago, together with then-deputy chief of the Mossad, Ram Ben-Barak.‎

‎In February 2018, a Jewish businessman close to the King of Morocco approached Gold, then-Director-General of the Israel Foreign Ministry, and Ben-Barak (then a businessman), and asked the two to use their contacts with the U.S. government to have it recognize Western Sahara as part of‎‎ Morocco.‎

‎Gold conducted his first meeting on the issue with the Moroccan foreign minister and the minister for African affairs in a European ‎‎capital. “The meeting was said to be in Berlin,” Verter wrote. “And the encounter went well…. A month later, there was another meeting of the same group, this time in London….Now the Americans had to be brought into the picture. In June 2018, everyone involved met in the White House. There were also representatives of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and members of the U.S. National Security Council. Further progress had been made.”

‎‎On July 26, 2018, another meeting was held at the White House, attended by the three, as well as Moroccan Foreign ‎‎Minister Nasser Bourita. At Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request, Dore Gold arranged a meeting between Netanyahu and the Moroccan minister, which took place two months later in the shadow of the UN General Assembly.

Two years were to pass until President Trump announced the Israel-Morocco diplomatic agreement on December 10, 2020.