March 31, 2023 – 11:00 PM – World
Jelloul “Chico” Bouchikhi, Franco-Moroccan guitarist and co-founder of Gipsy Kings, talks about an episode in his life that left a deep impression on him: the wrongful assassination of his older brother by Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, in 1973.
It all started with a Mossad investigation in Norway, to find the originators of the 1972 Munich, Germany Olympic Games attacks. A total of 11 Israeli athletes were killed. The attack is known as Black September. The Israeli intelligence had come across the commander, Ali Hassan Salameh, who they believed to be the mastermind behind the attack. Without deepening the investigation, they killed Ahmed, Chico’s brother, in front of his Norwegian wife in 1973.
“The 30-year-old was murdered in front of her on her way home from the movies. She was pregnant,” said the former Gipsy Kings guitarist. Le Parisien. He heard the sad news in Saint-Tropez, where he played with the Reyes brothers. “We never talked about it in our family,” he says. The King of Morocco had returned Ahmed’s body to his homeland. We received no apology from Israel.” His older brother’s death affected him for life. Ahmed gave him “his first guitar, introducing him to jazz, classical music, and flamenco.”
Years later, on the first anniversary of the Oslo Accords in 1994, Chico was finally able to forgive. His former band, the Gipsy Kings, and his brother, Bobby, a photographer, have left Paris for Oslo to perform. On this occasion, Bobby took a photo at the moment when Chico shook hands with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. “Except for my brother and I, no one knew our story. I had chills. It was an unforgettable moment. This picture is the picture of forgiveness.”
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