Friday, October 22, 2010

Morocco: Israeli guests at culture fest rile Islamists

Rabat, 22 Oct. (AKI) - Israeli intellectuals, artists and scientists attending a series of conferences in the southern beach resort of Agadir have angered Islamists in Morocco, according to daily al-Tajdid.

The Islamists, many from the country's hardline Justice and Development party accuse Agadir's authorities of "seeking to normalise relations with Israel."

"They are using invitations to Israelis to attend cultural and intellectual events to normalise relations with the Jewish state," the Islamists said in a statement cited by al-Tajdid.

"Meanwhile, the occupation of Palestine continues and cruel crimes are carrried out by the Zionists," the statement continued.

Only a handful of Muslim countries have full diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Israeli scientist Naomi Tilzer's attendance at a cactus conference has especially rankled with the Islamists, al-Tajdid said without elaborating.

Last week, a group of Israeli athletes took part in an international meet and a Jewish singer gave a concert in Agadir.

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