Once Moroccan, always Moroccan

A group of Moroccan lawyers have filed a lawsuit against Israeli Minister of Defense Amir Peretz, who was born on Morocco, accusing him of war crimes and arguing Moroccan courts have jurisdiction over him since one is always considered Moroccan if one was born there. Not that Morocco's courts should really be taken seriously, but it could potentially prevent him from visiting the country, although one assumes the palace would extend protection in that case. Israelis of Moroccan origin who hold high-level posts in the Israeli army or administration frequently visit Morocco to carry out pilgrimages to Jewish saints' tombs in places like Ouezzane in the Rif.

While I don't think Peretz has much to be concerned about, I do wonder about how other efforts to bring Israeli war criminals to justice in other countries (notably Belgium or the United States) now that major human rights organizations have leveled charges of war crimes against Israel.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.