June 13, 2016

Following the Orlando massacre, Israelis from the government level to people on the street held a range of events to show solidarity with the American people and victims.

Israelis in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem held impromptu vigils to show their support for Orlando.

In Jerusalem, people gathered in the city’s Zion Square to hold rainbow flags and placards with encouraging slogans.

In Tel Aviv, locals held a candlelight vigil at Gan Meir, the center for Israel’s LGBT community.

Israelis show solidarity for Pride community in Orlando. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90
Israelis show solidarity for Pride community in Orlando. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90

The Municipality of Tel Aviv lit up the façade of City Hall with alternating depictions of the flags of the United States, Israel and the rainbow flag of the LGBTQ community.

Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ron Huldai, sent a letter to the Governor of Florida and to the Mayor of Orlando on behalf of the people of Tel Aviv.

“It is with great sorrow that I send you my condolences for the tragic terror attack which happened in your city/state. My sympathy during these hours is particularly with the families and relatives of the victims which have to suffer the terrible loss of their loved ones by this horrible act of terror. I wish to also send my blessing of health and quick recovery to the wounded who have been afflicted by the attack,” wrote Huldai.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also sent condolences to the American public.

“Orlando is thousands of miles from Israel, but the tragedy there has deeply saddened me. We Israelis feel your pain as if it were our own,” Netanyahu tweeted.

“We wish to send our deepest condolences to the American LGBT community, for the sickening massacre which took place in Orlando, Florida. We stand with you in your fight against terrorism and homophobia,” the Likud Pride Group, the LGBT-equality group in the Likud party, posted on Facebook.

The Israel Mission to the UN also sent a message of solidarity, referencing US support for Israel after the June 8th Sarona Market terror attack in Tel Aviv: “We extend our deepest condolences over Orlando attack. This week you stood with us, today we stand with you.”

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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