Israel’s justice minister wishes a happy Eid al-Adha — to Druze only

Ayelet Shaked sends a heartfelt message to the Druze community in Israel and across the world on the first day of Eid al-Adha, leaving out over a billion Muslims.

By Oren Ziv

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked arrives to cast her vote during the party's preliminary elections, in Jerusalem, on April 27, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked arrives to cast her vote during the party’s preliminary elections, in Jerusalem, on April 27, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

More than 1.8 million Muslims are celebratuing Eid al-Adha, the “Festival of Sacrifice,” around the world this week. Social networks are full of non-Muslims — including Jews and Christians — wishing their Muslim friends a happy holiday. Even Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked did her part, publishing a standard holiday greeting on her Facebook page on Monday. The only problem? Her wishes extended to the Druze, excluding more than a million Muslims who live in Israel and over a billion across the world.

In the post, which has garnered over 1,300 likes, Shaked wished the Druze “success and prosperity;” she also mentioned the main impetus behind the post: “May the alliance between our two nations only strengthen.”

While Muslim holiday greetings from Israeli politicians and IDF officers have become a regular occurrence on social networks over the past few years — and despite the stark contrast between those greetings and the conduct of said leaders during the rest of the year — it appears the Shaked has broken the record for bluntness.

The justice minister is a member of the Jewish Home party, which spends much of its time dealing with the issue of demographics, so there is no doubt that she knows the numbers. She simply chooses to ignore the majority of Muslims, not only in Israel and the occupied territories — but around the world. The Israeli attempt to distinguish between the Druze and other Arabs is not new, but it has become even more transparent as of late, especially in the wake of the recent demonstrations against the Jewish Nation-State Law, and the government’s attempt to reach a deal with Druze citizens.

Many Facebook users were there to remind Shaked that, despite her post, Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide. One respondent wrote: “The minister tasked with upholding justice and equality allows herself to wish a happy holiday to a specific part of the population while provocatively avoiding wishing a happy holiday to all Muslims.” Another commenter wrote “What about the Muslims? Are they not human? This is discriminatory and racist.” One Druze commenter also joined the fray: “Shaked, because of the Jewish Nation-State Law, which you helped promote, our holiday is not a happy one. May the law be rescinded by next year, and may we have a truly happy holiday.”

Shaked has, for quite some time, been aiming to become Israel’s prime minister. But if and when she is in power, there will be those who need to be gotten rid of. And until then, why not just ignore them if possible?

Oren Ziv is a blogger for Local Call, where this article was first published in Hebrew. Read it here.