Israeli representatives at the Barcelona gay pride parade received a warm welcome, after being shunned by Madrid last year over the May 31 flotilla raid, which sparked global outrage.
This year the Israeli delegation was unequivocally summoned, and its members flaunted their background at least as colorfully as they did their sexual identity on the streets of the Spanish city.
Wooing Barcelona (Photo: Courtesy of Tel Aviv Municipality)
The high point of the parade was a performance by the Israel group Knob with singer Jouel, who entertained a crowd of 250,000 people.
But the Tel Aviv delegation didn't just dance in the streets. They also met with the local Catalonian government and decided to spur cooperation between the two cities.
Tel Aviv Municipality, which held its annual gay pride blowout just a few weeks ago, expressed satisfaction with the visit as a boost to Israeli PR.
Time Out's favorite float (Photo: Courtesy of Israeli consulate)
Last week a delegation also visited the gay pride parade in Berlin, where they established a stand advertising Israel and handed out information pamphlets on Tel Aviv's hottest spots.
Another group was warmly received in Chicago during its pride parade as well. The city's Time Out magazine chose the blue and white float as its favorite, and 200 locals were picked by the city's consulate to dance on and around it. Dead Sea products were handed out as favors to all participants.
Tel Aviv Council Member Yaniv Weizman, who holds the tourism portfolio and is also the mayor's special advisor on LGBT affairs, explained that the city would continue to target the LGBT tourist market.
"I believe success in this field will have an incredible affect, politically and economically, and especially contribute to the status of the gay community in the city," he said.