Even though it was preceded by several other Arab nations, Morocco’s Thursday diplomatic recognition of israel has been decades in the making and is just the latest of several attempts to normalize relations amid secret underground connections.
On Thursday, US President Donald Trump revealed that Morocco would become the sixth Arab nation to recognize israel diplomatically, ending the de facto state of war that had existed since 1948. In exchange, the US has agreed to recognize Morocco’s claims to annexing Western Sahara, a nation Morocco has occupied since 1979.
However, the news is anything but surprising: in fact, Morocco and Israel have secret underground connections going back decades, and there have been numerous attempts at normalizing relations over the years.
Decades of Underground Connections
When Israel declared its nationhood in 1948, the Arab world united against the new state, with some sending armies to contest its territorial claims and others extending support for those engaged in combat. A contingent of 800 Moroccan soldiers buttressed the tiny Lebanese army, itself just 2,000 strong, although in the end Lebanon was almost totally uninvolved in the war, occupying just two villages for a brief period.
In 2016, Maj. Gen. Shlomo Gazit, who headed Israel’s Military Intelligence Directorate from 1974 to 1978, revealed that in 1965, Moroccan King Hassan II had secretly passed to Israel recordings of meetings between Arab leaders that revealed…