Tel Aviv Mayor Run Huldai announced on Wednesday that he was planning on lighting up City Hall that night with an image of the Lebanese flag to show solidarity with Lebanese civilians killed in the massive explosion at the Beirut port on Tuesday.
“Tonight we will illuminate the municipality with the Lebanese flag,” Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai wrote on Twitter. “Humanity comes before any conflict, and our hearts are with the Lebanese people following the terrible disaster that befell them.”
The decision to light up the Jewish city with an image of the flag of an enemy state stirred up quite a bit of controversy, with many mentioning the fact that if a disaster of such proportion had chas v’shalom happened in Israel, Lebanon would have openly rejoiced.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s son Yair slammed the decision, writing: “This is insane. Lebanon is officially considered an enemy state. Flying an enemy flag is a criminal offense!!!”
Jerusalem Affairs Minister Rafi Peretz also criticized the move: “We can and should offer humanitarian aid to civilians who were injured in Lebanon, but waving an enemy flag in the heart of Tel Aviv is moral confusion,” Peretz wrote on Twitter. “Lebanon has allowed Hezbollah to become more powerful and even allows Iran-backed terror activity in its country.”
One Israeli wrote on Twitter: “During the First Lebanon War, 654 soldiers fell, and 4 were declared missing. Eight soldiers were captured. During the Second Lebanon War, 44 civilians and 121 soldiers were killed (two of whom were abducted). Shame on Tel Aviv!”
However, Huldai went ahead with his decision and lit up the Tel Aviv municipality. Hours later, Arabic social media accounts “lit up” with the reactions of Lebanese civilians who not only did not appear to be moved by the gesture but hundreds even responded with threats against Israel under the hashtag “We don’t want it” [in Arabic].
“We don’t want your help, we prefer to die than accept help from Israel,” some tweeted. “We’ll light up Tel Aviv with our missiles,” others wrote.
Other tweets stated: “They [the Israelis] killed a hundred times more Lebanese than those who died in this explosion,” and “We don’t want your filthy help.”
The closest thing to yesterday's disaster in Beirut was when Israel bombed *checks notes* Beirut https://t.co/zX8ceTHVuy
— #كلن_يعني_كلن (@joeyayoub) August 5, 2020
It should be noted that Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah threatened in the past to blow up Israel with the same chemicals that caused the blast in Beirut.
Hezbollah, a terror organization that is sworn to Israel’s destruction is an integral part of Lebanon’s government.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)