Opinion

The "false" report sent to President Sanchez on Israeli-Moroccan relations seeks to increase tension in the region

Flags of Israel and Morocco

Some Moroccan media (Le Collimateur and Hespress), published a "journalistic scoop" on Saturday 27 November, in which they reported "an alarming report sent by the military intelligence services to the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, under the title 'Red cloud over the sky of Madrid', warning of "the danger that the recent rapprochement between Morocco and Israel represents for Spain".  

Needless to say, under the conditions of a deep crisis between Algeria and Morocco with the rupture of diplomatic relations and the swords raised between the two geopolitical rivals in the Maghreb, the official Algerian press agency APS echoed it a few hours later, stating that 'not only Algeria is concerned about the Moroccan-Zionist alliance, but also Spain'. A bad move by Abdelmadjid Tebboune's government in line with its visceral anti-Zionism.

According to information gathered by this newspaper, the scoop was not invented by the Moroccan media, but originated in Spain. Indeed, several Iberian online media have established a deal with some Moroccan counterparts, according to which they exchange scoops and leaks of interested press. The Spaniards are eager for news that calls into question the government of Pedro Sánchez, that seeks out its weak points, or highlights its contradictions, and they buy any scandalous information from the Moroccan media or from "absolutely reliable sources, they say, close to the Royal Palace". In return, they pass on their own scoops to their neighbours, such as the extravagant Spanish secret service report sent to President Sánchez. 

It is worthwhile to dwell a little on the "alarming Report", and to break it down. First of all, even if it had existed, it would not be "a report by the Spanish secret services", but an ad-hoc document from CESEDEN (Centro Superior de Estudios para la Defensa) whose mission is to produce analyses for the Defence Staff, and not for the Prime Minister. For geopolitical and strategic analysis documents, the Prime Minister's Office has the National Security Department headed by General Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, who has extensive experience and knowledge of the Maghreb and Spanish-Moroccan relations, and who does not need any support from CESEDEN to do so, as he has his own team.

The second mistake is a fundamental one. Neither CESEDEN nor the Institute of Strategic Studies, which amounts to the same thing, are "intelligence services", neither civilian, as the Algerian agency claims, nor military, as the Moroccan press writes. The only civilian Spanish intelligence service is the CNI (National Intelligence Centre), and the only military intelligence service is the Armed Forces Intelligence Centre (CIFAS), which reports to the Defence General Staff and is responsible for military intelligence. The other organisations, institutes, analysis and documentation centres, etc., in Spain, of which there are many, are "intelligence services". 

Third error, of form. In addition to the title of the report, 'A red cloud in the sky over Madrid', which reads like a mystery novel, the authors of the aforementioned articles claim that it is 214 pages long. In other words, a White Paper, rather than an intelligence report. Any journalist who has had knowledge of any confidential report prepared by the services of any country for their respective government knows that when it reaches 20 pages, it is already too long. A report should be concise, precise and clear, and not a novelised account.

Fourth mistake, political. The Report asserts that 'we all know that the Spanish nation is in great danger', and points to Israel as a more real than potential 'enemy', since the process of rapprochement between Morocco and Israel will allow the former to acquire 'high-tech security equipment easily', which will make 'any negotiation with Morocco impossible for Spain'. Read another way, the friend of my enemy has gone from being my friend to being my enemy. 

Considering Israel as Spain's enemy, which is like considering the United States as Spain's enemy, is not only a total break with the policy pursued by Spain since the beginning of the democratic transition in 1976, but also calls into question all the agreements signed by Spain with the West, with NATO and with the European Union. To confuse the current problems that arise between Spain and Morocco, which in some cases are serious and must be dealt with as such, with a congenital state of enmity and aggressive warfare, is to stoke the fire, to feed it with new fuel, if not with sticks of dynamite varnished with ecological paint. 

Fifth mistake, fakes news. The report includes false information from the online newspaper El Español, claiming that "Israeli-Moroccan cooperation also includes the construction of a joint military base near our national borders". This information was provided by the newspaper headed by Pedro J. Ramírez, without presenting any evidence or documents, and is unthinkable given the modern history of Morocco and Israel. 

It is worrying, however, that the Spanish economic-financial lobbies, which manipulate a significant number of influential media and communications, adopt the motto "anything goes" when it comes to making profits, in arms sales and in the defence of energy groups. The "collateral damage" that may result, such as crises and armed conflicts, is of no importance to them.