TEL AVIV – A giant banner proclaiming Israel’s solidarity with Orlando following the terrorist attack that left 49 people dead was flown from a plane over the area of the Pulse nightclub on Monday, Algemeiner reported.
Pictures of the banner, reading, “America, Israel feels your pain,” were posted on Facebook by the pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs.
Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, City Hall was lit up with the rainbow colors of the Pride flag interspersed with the flags of the U.S. and Israel.
The city’s mayor Ron Huldai, sent a letter on behalf of residents of Tel Aviv to the governor of Florida and the mayor of Orlando.
“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 who 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,” the letter read.
Impromptu vigils sprang up all over the country in the aftermath of the massacre, labeled the worst mass shooting in American history.
On Tuesday night, dozens of people gathered at Tel Aviv’s gay institution, the Evita bar, for a solidarity rally with the victims of the Orlando club massacre, The Times of Israel reported.
“Sometimes I feel we grow accustomed to these kind of events in both of our countries,” US Deputy Ambassador to Israel Keith Mines told the gathering, which was organized by LGBT activists together with the Anti-Defamation League in Israel.
“Fear and hate will continue to tear our two countries apart from the inside, but they will always be confronted by a spirit of understanding, respect, and tolerance. It’s up to us to change the rhetoric, to promote love over anger, empathy over blame, and to choose peace over hatred.”
The gestures of solidarity came only days after a shooting by two gunmen in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market that killed four people and injured 18.
Crowds gathered in Tel Aviv’s gay HQ, Gan Meir, holding signs reading, “No to LGBTQ-phobia,” “No to Islamophobia,” and “LGBTQ lives matter.”
Days earlier two Palestinian terrorists opened fire in Tel Aviv’s Sarona market, killing four people and injuring 19 others.
Tel Aviv was named best gay city and LGBT tourists flock to the country every year for the annual Pride Parade.
Israel leads the Middle East in acceptance of the LGBT community, a 2013 Pew Research poll found. Meanwhile, there is “widespread rejection in predominantly Muslim nations,” with 97% in Jordan, 95% in Egypt, 94% in Tunisia, 93% in the Palestinian territories, 80% in Lebanon and 78% in Turkey saying society shouldn’t accept homosexuality.