music – they may sound like ingredients for a typical spring break. But this gathering of over 1,000 rambunctious teens had a different flavor and purpose.
Called alternatively a “Friendship Jam” and a “Peace Intifada,” the three-hour festival held on the grounds of the SodaStream factory just outside Rahat in the Negev on Wednesday arose out of an initiative by a handful of children of Jewish and Beduin SodaStream employees following a terrorist attack two weeks ago.
The “stabbing intifada” had stayed clear of the Beduin city and its surroundings, including the Jewish community of Lehavim in the Bnei Shimon region. That changed on February 6 when 65-year-old grandmother Shlomit Gonen from the area’s Kibbutz Mishmar Hanegev was lightly wounded by an unidentified assailant while she was shopping on a Saturday night in Rahat’s open market.