“You can’t just show me a Wikipedia article that relegates the political side to a single small paragraph and tell me it celebrates something deeper.”
Jerusalem, April 18 – Political figures across Israel expressed wonderment today at the revelation that the traditional Moroccan Jewish post-Passover celebration is a traditional Moroccan Jewish post-Passover celebration, and not, in its essence, a political occasion.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon, and other high-ranking members of the country’s political establishment made their expected appearances at Minouna festivities last night and today, and admitted their astonishment that another attendee’s description of the event made no mention of campaigning, politicking, public relations, political branding, or other features of those politicians’ attendance. For politicians, they explained, Mimouna has always been about connecting politically with Jews of North African ancestry, and the notion that the occasion originated hundreds of years ago to celebrate an anticipation of redemption, and a return to traditional everyday cuisine after abstaining from leavened grain products on Passover, came as a rude shock.
“You mean it’s not a campaign rally or a populist device in its inception?” wondered a perplexed Netanyahu. “I find that hard to believe. I’ve been coming to these things for years – decades, at this point – and I have to say, it certainly feels to me like a political event. Always has. This whole idea of a non-political event is new to me.”
“Oh, come on,” challenged a perturbed Rivlin at Jerusalem’s sizable Mimouna gathering at Sacher Park. “Shoring up the vote, either for one’s party or oneself, has been the main purpose of every Mimouna I’ve ever been to. You can’t just show me a Wikipedia article that relegates the political side to a single small paragraph and tell me it celebrates something deeper.”
Kahlon was the first to show cracks in his insistence that Mimouna is a political rally. “You know, I seem to recall some distinctly not-political overtones, or at least moments, from the Mimouna celebrations of my youth,” he offered, referring to his childhood among other immigrant families from North Africa. “But couldn’t that just be the innocence of youth, not noticing the obvious? It was all about the food for the kids, but maybe the politics just went over my head at that age? I don’t know.”
Khalon warned that showing him documentation of traditional, non-political Mimouna celebrations would not convince him to abandon his understanding of Mimouna as political. “I disregard straightforward evidence that my economic policies will backfire, all the time, so evidence isn’t going to get you very far in that respect,” he observed.
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