Following the controversy about introducing the “Kosher Label Morocco” tax policy, which is supposed to increase the amount per person per night in Morocco, where tourism is essential. Many hotel owners protested against this tax policy and screamed in anger since tourism has suffered dramatically due to COVID-19.
To avoid all this Moroccan Jewish drama, many Jewish tourists preferred to go to Dubai to celebrate the Purim, a lesser-known Jewish festival held in spring (on the 14th or 15th day of Adar) to commemorate the defeat of Haman’s plot to massacre the Jews as recorded in the book of Esther.
Dubai offers anything Jewish tourists are looking for. Since the relations were created between UAE and Israel, three Jewish schools were opened in Dubai in addition to three Mikveh (a bath in which certain Jewish purification rituals are performed), multiple synagogues, and a few Kosher restaurants. As Dubai makes these Jewish amenities more common and available, over 4,000 Israelis have moved there, with more expected to visit Dubai due to the cultural bridge between nations.
Bahrain comes in a close second as another favorite Arab destination Israelis seek to visit, which has also seen three Synagogues, three Mikveh, Jewish schools, and Kosher restaurants built as well.
It’s a pity that Morocco has lost its position as a favorite destination for Jewish people, even if that was a sanctuary of the most significant Jewish community 50 years ago from people who fled to Morocco.
The controversy follows a report broadcasted on October 25 on the Israeli television channel, Channel 13. The journalist Talia Cohen received “several complaints and protests” from hotel owners in Morocco and organizers of Kosher holidays concerning implementing a new “tax” that they would now be obliged to pay to the famous Kosher Commission.
It has been chaired eternally by Serge Berdugo, Secretary-General of the Council of Jewish Communities of Morocco, who people have pointed out that he is responsible for the endless problems the Moroccan Jewish community has been facing right now. With the latest Kosher meat controversy, Kosher butchers running out of meat had to cancel orders for Purim, which led to a global media controversy.
With all these marketing campaigns for flights from Israel to Morocco encouraging Israeli tourists to come to the Holy Moroccan Land, people have been asking Serge Berdugo, “Where are they going to eat? Where are they going to pray?” especially after the closure of a synagogue in Morocco, making it clear to Berdugo that none of them want to pay any extra taxes for their stay in Morocco.
Purim, which is supposed to be a very cheerful religious holiday, seems to be the worst this year in Morocco, due to so many problems according to Jewish-Moroccans. Having no choice, Jewish tourists planning to celebrate Purim in Morocco will change their destination to Dubai.
Another important Jewish holiday is Passover, scheduled to begin on April 15th. Like Purim, many Jews want to cancel their vacations to Morocco and travel to Dubai instead due to the dilapidated conditions of Kosher meat and the high taxes Bardugo collects.