A familiar side-effect of the Gaza conflict has been its disruption of daily life — including celebrations.
In Israel, Sharon and Gilad Yaacobi, members of Kibbutz Gevim, just south of Sderot, were due to be married in a banqueting hall close to their home. But the party, last Thursday night, was banned by the army.
Instead, the general manager of Tel Aviv’s Hilton hotel, Ronnie Fortis, helped the couple relocate their wedding ceremony and party at his hotel, free of charge.
In London, riots outside the Israeli Embassy on Saturday evening forced the cancellation of a batmitzvah party taking place at a nearby hotel.
Alex Tyler, whose daughter Georgia was expecting to greet 120 guests, received a phone call from the general manager of the five-star Baglioni Hotel in Hyde Park Gate just as they were about to leave their North London home.
“He said there were riots outside and the hotel had been cordoned off. He felt they could not guarantee the safety of the youngsters and the guests,” said Mrs Tyler.
“We had no choice but to call it off. We started calling people, then the people we phoned said they would call others and we got in touch with everyone — though one person got as far as the Royal Albert Hall before we got through to them.”
Mrs Tyler was full of praise for the hotel. “Luckily, they had arranged the entire function and because they cancelled it, they said they would do it all again. They have been absolutely brilliant,” she said.
As a consolation, her daughter decided to invite some friends back to their home.
“My daughter was actually quite frightened when the hotel called because they said police had been injured,” she said.
“I was actually irritated and cross that the reason my daughter couldn’t have her batmitzvah party was because these people couldn’t behave themselves.
“It made me feel very strongly about being at the rally on Sunday — and I went.”