He made peace with Israel on Dec. 10, 2020 – even against the intense, bitter opposition of his own prime minister. 

He’s actively fighting radical Islamist terrorism. 

He’s deployed his top Muslim scholars to counter the “Theology of the Radicals” with the “Theology of the Reformers.” 

And he’s protecting Christians and Jews, as well as Muslims – yet he rarely seeks the spotlight.

I call him the “Reclusive Reformer.” 

So, who is King Mohammed VI? 

What are his values? What is his vision for the future of Morocco? And is he an ally that Americans, Israelis and Evangelicals can truly trust? 

On the most recent episode of The Rosenberg Report, I took TBN viewers to Rabat, the capital of Morocco – inside an Islamic kingdom, and even a royal palace – to ask tough questions and get straight answers.

[To watch the episode in full and for free click here if you’re new to the TBN system, you can join by setting up a fast and free account. Just enter your email address and create a password and that’s it.]


(Photo: Screenshot/The Rosenberg Report)



To begin with, it’s important to understand that Morocco is one of the most moderate, friendly, beautiful and pro-American countries in the Arab/Muslim world. 

In 1777, Morocco was actually the world’s first country to recognize America’s independence

In 1786, the two countries signed the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship.” 

I’ve been to the kingdom a half dozen times over the years, including with my family, and I’ve loved every trip. 

But I came back to get the inside story on an exciting new development. 


Exactly two years ago this week, former U.S. President Donald Trump made a historic announcement.

Morocco’s king was normalizing relations with Israel, joining the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

But the kingdom’s sitting prime minister had vowed for months it would never happen. 

What changed? And what could it tell us about the king and his priorities?

In many ways, King Mohammed VI is really a “Reclusive Reformer.” 

So, to understand who this man is – the values that drive him, and his vision for Morocco’s future, we really have to understand his past. 

The king’s grandfather – Mohammed V – was an extraordinary leader. Peaceful. Moderate. And a fierce defender of everyone living under his sovereignty. 

During the Holocaust, the Nazis demanded the king turn over all of Morocco’s 300,000 Jews to be exterminated.

“There are no Jews in Morocco; there are only Moroccan citizens,” the king famously replied. “I do not approve of the new anti-Semitic laws, and I refuse to associate myself with a measure I disagree with. I reiterate as I did in the past that the Jews are under my protection.”  


(Photo: Screenshot/The Rosenberg Report)


And beginning in 1948 and the years that followed, the king did not stop the exodus of nearly all 300,000 Jews out of his kingdom to the new State of Israel.

Mohammed V was succeeded by Hassan II, another moderate Muslim who reigned for nearly 38 years, from 1961 to his death in 1999.

Pro-American, Hassan was also pro-peace and sympathetic to Israel.

In 1965, he was to host the Arab League Summit. 

But he was so disgusted by Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Nasser’s determination to annihilate the Jewish state that Hassan invited the Israeli Mossad to come to Casablanca to secretly record the proceedings

And this stunning intelligence coup gave Israeli leaders the decisive edge, helping them win the Six-Day War in 1967.

A decade later, Hassan played a quiet, backchannel role bringing Egyptian and Israeli officials together in Rabat to explore, leading to the Camp David Accords, the first Arab-Israeli peace treaty in history.

What makes the royal family’s kindness towards America, Jews and Israel all the more remarkable is that they can trace their lineage back to the 7th century founder of Islam, the prophet Muhammad.

Indeed, this lineage is one of the many reasons the family – and the current monarch, King Mohammed VI – is revered by Morocco’s 36 million citizens, 99% of whom are Muslims.

But he’s also deeply appreciated because he’s done so much to make Morocco the most stable and secure country in North Africa – capturing and killing al-Qaeda and other terrorists inside the kingdom and breaking off all relations with Iran.


Joel C. Rosenberg reporting from Rabat, Morocco (Photo: Screenshot/The Rosenberg Report)



That said, no decision better reveals the moderate values and forward-looking vision of Morocco’s monarch than his courageous decision on Dec. 10, 2020, to formalize peace with Israel. 

So, when Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita invited me to visit the kingdom and bring a TBN film crew, I immediately accepted.

When I arrived at the Foreign Ministry, Bourita greeted us warmly. Joining me were board members from The Joshua Fund, our ministry to bless Israel and her Arab neighbors, Dave and Michelle Rofkahr, who were in Morocco for the first time. 


Joel C. Rosenberg speaks with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita (Photo: Screenshot/The Rosenberg Report)


What we learned was so encouraging.

Trade between Israel and Morocco jumped almost 20% in 2021 – and it’s soaring this year, as well.

There are now direct flights between Tel Aviv and Casablanca.

The planes are packed with tourists, business leaders and investors.

And Morocco is excited about building stronger and deeper economic, cultural and diplomatic ties with Israel.

What I didn’t fully appreciate until I came here to Rabat and met with a range of sources was that the king’s decision to normalize relations came as a wholly unexpected reversal of the policy of Morocco’s then-sitting prime minister.

Saad-Eddine el-Othmani was not only prime minister but an avowed Islamist.

He was head of the “Party of Justice and Democracy” – the “PJD” – long a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, with close ties to the Hamas terrorist organization based in Gaza.

From the moment the United Arab Emirates announced it was making peace with Israel in August 2020, Othmani vowed that Morocco never would.

“We refuse any normalization with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people,” he declared. 


Saad-Eddine el-Othmani (Photo: Screenshot/The Rosenberg Report)


But remarkably, the king overruled him. 

What’s more, the king demanded Othmani sign the normalization documents.

Othmani did, but privately seethed.

In May 2021, Othmani actually sent a letter to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, congratulating him on the group’s “victory” over Israel – which he called the “Zionist entity” – after Hamas fired more than 4,000 rockets from Gaza at innocent civilians in Israel.

The following month, Othmani invited the Hamas leader to visit him in Rabat.

These were acts of defiance against the king and the spirit of normalization.

But they didn’t last long.

Where is Saad el-Othmani today? 


In September 2021, he and his party were wiped out in parliamentary elections, losing 90% of their seats.

Othmani and his entire cabinet were voted out of office.

It was a stunning rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood and their perennial hatred of Israel. 

As one Moroccan political scientist noted, “This is the first time since the Arab Spring protests of 2011 that an Islamist party has been removed from power through the electoral process.”

And the king?

He’s more popular than ever – and in the coming days, I’ll share more insights into the king based on my travels through his kingdom.

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