At Maimouna Table, Netanyahu Vows Unity

Politicians take part in Moroccan Jewish post-Passover holiday around the country, urging unity and joy.

Hezki Baruch, Ari Yashar,

Binyamin and Sarah Netanyahu at Maimouna
Binyamin and Sarah Netanyahu at Maimouna
Kobi Gideon/GPO

Israeli politicians took part in the festivities Saturday night for the Moroccan Jewish celebration of Maimouna, which follows Passover (Pesach) and features delicacies such as Mufleta and other leavened goodies that cannot be eaten during Pesach.

Maimouna was held on Saturday night after Shabbat ended, because the seventh and final day of Pesach led directly into the Sabbath, consequently not leaving a time window for the traditional Moroccan meal to be prepared.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu got in on the Maimouna action in Or Akiva, located south of Haifa near the coast.

"We must strengthen the unity of the people," said Netanyahu. "I promise that I will work for the unity of the people, the welfare of the people, and the security of Israel."

Netanyahu went on to vow to deal with the high costs of living and ballooning housing prices plaguing Israel.

"We promised to do it and that will be the first mission of the government that I will establish with G-d's help soon in our days. And the third thing, that's maybe the first thing, is to take care of the security of the people," said Netanyahu.

Many have argued that the housing crisis could be solved by developing Judea and Samaria, which is reportedly over 90% unpopulated. Netanyahu's government has been implementing an ongoing building freeze in the region since approximately late 2013.

But the prime minister wasn't the only one taking advantage of Maimouna to taste some Moroccan delicacies. His rival Yitzhak Herzog, chairperson of the Labor party and its "Zionist Union" with Hatnua, was partaking of several celebrations in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh and Modi'in.

"Maimouna is a wonderful tradition of a transition from holy to mundane during the spring," said Herzog. "This year the rains surprised, but no rain will chill the great happiness. I wish all those celebrating, the hosts and the guests, tirbechu v'tisa'adu," a traditional greeting of the holiday wishing success and prosperity.

Yesh Atid chairperson Yair Lapid was also visible among the celebrations with his wife and fellows MKs at the table of Rehovot Deputy Mayor Zohar Blum. Afterwards he visited other festivities in Be'er Ya'akov, and then in Yavne.

"The Maimouna celebrations are a wonderful tradition and I wish the people of Israel with wishes for a happy holiday. We are at the end of the holiday of freedom (Passover - ed.), and part of this freedom is also to be happy and enjoy."

Jewish Home chairperson Naftali Bennett also took advantage of the holiday in Ashkelon, while minister Uri Ariel and members of his Tekuma faction feasted in Rehovot.

Echoing Netanyahu's message of unity, Bennett said "the unity in Maimoua is our answer to Iran. In this holiday more than a little bit happened in the international sphere, and we saw that among our enemies in Iran there is no right and no left, no Ashkenazim and no Sepharadim. Only when we will be unified like Maimouna signifies, we will win."



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