The crowded race for president shifted on Monday night from the Knesset to homes of Moroccan Israelis as candidates attended celebrations of the post-Passover holiday Mimouna.
The holiday was originally celebrated by Jews from Morocco. But it has become a national celebration in which politicians attend events nationwide.
The candidates in the race that will be held in the Knesset sometime between late May and late June used Mimouna celebrations to try to show that they are loved by the people. Former Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) attended Mimouna events in Yavne, Rehovot, Lod, and Elad on Monday night.
“Mimouna has become the most Israeli holiday,” Rivlin said in Rehovot. “Doors are open to all without regard to religion and gender. It is a day of bringing people closer, not just different Jewish sectors but also Jews and Muslims.
Recent incidents prove how important it is to strengthen the bond between Jews and Muslims.”
The Labor faction’s candidate, MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, ate the first moufleta, a traditional post-Passover Mimouna delicacy, at the home of Beit Shemesh City Councilman Richard Peres.
“Mimouna unites people of all ethnicities and I hope this beautiful tradition carries on,” Ben- Eliezer said.
Hatnua MK Meir Sheetrit, who is the only presidential candidate who was born in Morocco, celebrated Monday night in Yavne and Ashdod and will take part in festivities in Elad on Tuesday.
“This is the real holiday in my view, celebrating good fortune, good luck and good wishes for the year ahead,” he said.
Nobel Prize laureate Dan Shechtman said at a party at the home of the Shalom family in Haifa that “besides being a happy, colorful and tasty holiday, it is also a smart holiday with a philosophy of joy and love among the sectors in society.”
He said the public was pushing Knesset members to give him the 10 endorsements from MKs he needs to run.
“I am sure the MKs will understand that returning Israel to center stage and returning its brainpower to the country are national missions that I could deal with best,” he said.
Former Supreme Court justice Dalia Dorner preferred to speak about Mimouna on her Facebook page and not between moufletas at a party.
“The State of Israel has ingathered the exiles beautifully,” she said. “From the East and West, immigrants came here to fulfill the Zionist dream of the Jewish people. Maintaining the traditions and customs of our fathers taken from our birthplaces is not only moving nostalgia, it is also the secret of the strength of our nation.”