Gentlemen, Ladies, during
fall of 1952, the first link between Morocco and Israel was inaugurated.
Mrs Schramm, who managed a travel agency in Casablanca in the Passage
Tazi, invited my daily "Maroc-Presse" to delegate a reporter
to witness this first flight.
I requested that this trip to Tel-Aviv evolved into a full story
of several weeks in Israël, the New Jewish state. The subject would
"WHAT HAS BECOME OF THE MOROCCAN JEWS IN ISRAEL."
The emigration had started in 1948 after riots that had killed 40
jews.The subject was sensitive.My idea was accepted.
During 3 weeks, with the help of the new ministry of information
whose offices were still in a small villa of Tel Aviv,I was able
to cover the whole country(what was left of it. Jerusalem was still
divided) from East to West and from North to South.
From the most developped kibboutzim in High Galilee to the most
recent, old Nahal, in the Neguev.
I saw the water brought to theNeguev. Barsheeba with six buildings.
I saw the Marabroot of the time and the mochavim.
I was welcomed like a brother, and guided with friendship, I saw
all the people I wanted to meet: the moroccan jews, young
and old, from every single corner of the moroccan kingdom, settled
everywhere in Israel, but often disappointed,at the time, in their
dream of "tomorrow in Yerushalayim", that they didn't
get the red carpet treatment.
Israel was very poor. Had other problems to solve.
I saw dozens of people of all ages and all walks of life.
Unforgetable memories that were all translated into a "series"
of nine articles of 2.500 words that had some success I think.
As far as the king in that time, Mohammed V, who had been curious
(for reasons of his own) and intrigued by the writings of the
unknown that I was, told me a "corsica man" close to the
Naturally I kept the precious text of that report like a talisman
and fifty years after its publication in november 1952, I wonder
if it isn't worth rewriting in the honor of those migrants of the
"50s" to remind the survivors and their descendents
the courage and determination that they had and the way they planted
new roots in Israel.
Your opinion is very precious to me since it will show me the level
of interest there is for the tale of such an epic where the names
who all I interviewed back then are recalled.
"Sans tradition nous serions comme des violneux
en equilibre sur un toit."
Sénèque écrivait dans sa première lettre à Lucilius "Réunis
ce capital et ne le laisse plus se perdre. Dis toi bien que c'est
à la lettre: il est des instants qu'on nous arrache, il en est qu'on
nous escamote, il en est aussi qui nous filent entre les doigts;
la perte à dire vrai n'est jamais jamais aussi sordide que lorsqu'elle
est dure à la négligence."
(Sénèque - Lettres à Lucilius, I,1)
Bertrand C. Bellaigue