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My wife, Daphna, is sitting next to me in front of our computer, and I am trying to reconnect with our distant memories about our clandestine organization in Morocco.

Forty-four years later, it is difficult to remember everything that happened, knowing that memories must be kept again and again to eventually be engraved in our brain. Unfortunately, as far as I am concerned, it was not my case.

In 1958, at the age of 18, I was approached by a friend of Victor B. Victor was involved in a clandestine emigration organization that helped Moroccan Jews to leave for Israel. He, and our friend Meir Weizman (z’l)[1], were eventually arrested and tortured. Since his Alya, Victor is Haver kibbutz.

I was introduced to a Shaliah who told me that we had to create the Hashomer Hatsair in Morocco. In fact, there were only the both of us. A few weeks later, he offered me to go to Israel at the Machon le Madriche Houtz Iaaretz in Jerusalem.

1 – The Hashomer Hatsair group in Jerusalem

So, I went and spent six months at the Mahon, during which I learnt to speak Hebrew, the history of the Jewish people, etc. Then I spent six months in the Shouval Kibbutz.

Back in Morocco in 1959, I reconnected with a Shaliah, Shimon Meller (z’l), sent by the Hashomer Hatsair. We started crisscrossing the most important cities trying to form groups of young people willing to participate. For security reasons, the Shaliah could not be seen in public places for fear of being identified as a foreigner.

Therefore, recruiting became my task. My method was simple: although, as a child and a teenager, I almost never frequented synagogues, I would now be present every Friday and Saturday evenings. In my opinion, it was the best way to meet young people and talk to them about Israel.

2 – Shimon Meller, aka Guy, a Shaliah and Dan Knafou

As a matter of fact, I had no trouble to recruit these young people of 18 years old and over because they felt already close to Israel, and were as many ripe fruits ready to be picked.

3 – Meeting at the beach

As soon as we had formed a group of about ten people, I rented a furnished apartment in order to organize conferences about everything that dealt with Israel. For my own protection, I would introduce myself under the very French pseudonym Gérard Chabasson.

4 – Conference in Casablanca

Evidently, there were other youth leftist movements, such as Dror, Ihoud Habonim, etc. It appeared that the leftist European, North-American or Latino groups were very different from the Moroccan ones. In Morocco, our movement was purely Zionist, and the Aliya was the principal objective. Besides, we would not impose to our groups any doctrine about socialism or proletariat.

5 – Haverim’s picnic in the Aïn Shkef forest





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Traditional meal of Shabbat, this delicacy made of wheat, dried peas and meat was slowly cooked overnight in a low-temp oven.
The word comes from arabic "dafina or adafina" meaning "covered, smothered".




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