The Likud has the ability to form a right-wing government if its potential coalition partners recognize their civic responsibility and come together under the party, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday night. Netanyahu spoke just after Passover ended and as Mimouna celebrations began across the country. The annual celebrations have gone from being a Moroccan tradition to one of the hallmarks of the end of the Festival of Unleavened Bread in many cultural groups.
Netanyahu attended a Mimouna celebration at the home of Likud MK Osnat Mark in Ma'ale Adumim."The struggle for the homeland and the Land of Israel does not end," he said. "The struggle for settlements does not end. The struggle for our right to defend ourselves does not end nor does the battle against Iran, which wants to return to the nuclear deal."Faced with these challenges and the enormous opportunities before us, we now need a stable right-wing government for years to take care of all the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu said. "That is what is being demanded at the moment. And with the help of God, we will achieve it – and I believe it is possible."
Other guests who came to Mark's home were Deputy Health Minister Yoav Kish and the chairman of Otzma Yehudit, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir.
Finance Minister Israel Katz, hosted at the Mizrahi family home in Tel Aviv, said: "I am happy to begin the evening of the Mimouna celebrations at the home of the family of Yehuda and Daniela Mizrahi in Tel Aviv, in the spirit of the wonderful tradition of Moroccan Jewry. One moment before returning to routine and hard work, after the Passover holiday and before a week of complex political decisions, we are all feasting together in an evening of love and unity. Have fun and eat – happy holiday!"
RELIGIOUS ZIONIST Party leader Bezalel Smotrich did not pass up the tradition and attended Mimouna celebrations at the Bnei Akiva Reut girls' high school in Petah Tikva. He used the opportunity to again reject the possibility that he will sit in a government that is dependent on Arab votes.
"It is possible to argue, explain and form coalitions, but the fateful decisions will be based on Jewish parties and those who recognize the Jewish people," Smotrich said. "Anyone who wants to live here as a private person and enjoy all the abundance and beauty that the Jewish people have brought here – who has no other aspirations and accepts the State of Israel as the State of Israel – is welcome," he said. "This is not Ra'am and these are not the brothers in the Islamic movement; they are not legitimate partners in any government."
Alternate Prime Minister and Blue and White head Benny Gantz was a guest at the Mimouna celebrations of the Ben Yishai family in Moshav Menahemia in the North. He said that the government Netanyahu is looking to form – with the ultra-Orthodox, Ben-Gvir and other far-right elements – would be a catastrophe for Israel. "These are the days of political decision-making. From Election Day, I have been doing everything in my power to form an honest and stable government. We will go with those who are honest in their values, we will keep at a distance those who have personal interests at heart," Gantz said. "A catastrophe will befall us if a far-right government led by Netanyahu is formed, with racist elements, without a balance that will protect the well-being of the citizens," he said.
Members of the Labor Party, including chairman Merav Michaeli, also participated in the Mimouna of Nissim Lasri's home, No. 12 on the party's list, in Moshav Olesh.
New Hope chairman Gideon Sa'ar came to taste the moflettot – Jewish Moroccan Mimouna dessert pancakes – together with his wife Geula Even at Sahar and Tehila Pinto's house in Gedera.
THE HEAD of the Moroccan diplomatic delegation in Israel, Abed al-Rahim Byoud, participated in the Mimouna celebrations in Yeruham at the initiative of Mayor Tal Ohana. "I am proud to preserve the Moroccan tradition here in Israel. Together we will work to strengthen relations and implement the agreements between the countries," Byoud said.
Deputy Director-General for the Middle East Haim Regev greeted those present on behalf of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and said: "I am happy about the reopening of ties between Israel and Morocco. It is a strong and special connection between peoples, different from any other country in the Middle East." The event was also attended by Strategic Affairs Minister Michael Bitton.
On the occasion of the holiday, for the first time, students from Israel and Morocco held a joint online Andalusian concert led by Evelin Hagoel. The concert, which was broadcast on the social networks of the Education Ministry, is part of a wide range of collaborations in the field of education, agreed upon by Education Minister Yoav Galant and his Moroccan counterpart Saaid Amzazi.
The students from Israel participating in the Andalusian concert performed a series of piyyutim (liturgical poems), melodies and musical works taken from the folklore of Moroccan Jewry, including: "Ahlan Wa Sahlan" (welcome; literally: "you’re like my family so take it easy"), "La'moledet Shuvi Roni" (Return to the Homeland and sing), "Ahibak" (I love you) and more. The students from Morocco performed a wide variety of musical works, including the traditional Israeli folk song "Hava Nagila" (Let us rejoice).
People also celebrated Mimouna in Tbilisi, Georgia. Limor and Meir Alfasi, a couple who had a child through surrogacy with the assistance of Manor Medical, celebrated and organized a traditional Mimouna in the apartment where they are staying, along with five other Israeli couples who are also in the process of having children through surrogacy.