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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tel Aviv City Hall Lights Up as Lebanese Flag to Show Solidarity Following Beirut Explosions

Tel Aviv’s city hall was lit up in the colors of the Lebanese flag on Aug. 5 to show solidarity with the country following the Aug. 4 explosions at a Beirut port.

The city’s Twitter account tweeted, “The city hall building is lit tonight with the Lebanese flag. Our hearts and thoughts are with the Lebanese people and all those affected by the terrible disaster in #Beirut.”

Jewish groups praised the sign of solidarity. The American Jewish Committee called it “beautiful.” StandWithUs Israel Executive Director Michael Dickson asked, “Can you imagine this gesture happening the opposite way?”

The Stop Anti-Semitism.org watchdog group noted in a tweet that the Israeli government has offered to provide Lebanon with humanitarian aid on the matter, writing, “Let’s hope the Lebanese [government] will put the well being of its citizens above their anti-Semitism.”

 

However, The Times of Israel noted that others, such as Jerusalem Minister Rafi Peretz and Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposed the act of solidarity because it involved “waving an enemy flag.”

According to the Israeli public broadcasting channel Kan, the Israeli government is in advanced talks to send medical equipment to Lebanon, with the United Nations acting as an intermediary between the two countries since Israel and Lebanon are technically in a state of war.

There were two explosions on Aug. 4 in Beirut, resulting in at least 100 people dead and more than 4,000 people injured. A fire in a warehouse containing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, a chemical compound used in fertilizer, is believed to be the cause of the explosions.

The Israeli prime minister told the Knesset on Aug. 5 that Israel provided treatment to Syrian civilians during the country’s civil war and has offered to provide aid to Iran after earthquakes and other natural disasters have occurred there.

“That’s our way,” Netanyahu said. “We distinguish between the regimes and the people.”

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