As much of Israel plunged into mourning today for six Israel Defence Force crewmen killed during a helicopter crash in Romania, the show went on in Karmiel, Galilee for hundreds of performers and spectators at the opening ceremony of its renowned international annual Dance Festival.
There were even representatives from Kiryat Ata, the tiny town west of Karmiel which is home to Yuval Lakrif, the father of Lieutenant Nir Lakrif, one of those lost in the tragedy.
There was no evidence of either boycotts or apartheid as Arabs, Jews and Christians mingled happily in the crowd and on the pretty stretch of road which served as a temporary stage for dancers from throughout the globe. The festive mood belied both the immediate tragedy and the remarks made about the Gaza blockade made some hours earlier by British Prime Minister David Cameron, during his visit to Turkey.
The festival runs until Thursday with a rousing fireworks finale at the amphitheatre.
All pictures are the copyright of Natalie Wood and Brian Fink of Natalie Wood @ WoodPerfect ~ Office Services With a Twist!
July 27 2010.