America! Israel Feels Your Pain

An airplane flying a massive banner declaring Israel’s solidarity with Orlando, following the deadly terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub in the Florida city, was seen flying over the area on Monday. The sign reads “America! Israel Feels Your Pain.” Photos of the plain were shared on social media by Israel Advocacy Groups.

13445826_10153763142657689_8568154850350522790_nIsrael’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, published a video yesterday on social media, where he speaks about standing together with the LGBT community. The video became viral in minutes and by the time of publishing this article, this video has been watched for over 11 million times, with hundreds of thousands of shares. “This week’s shooting wasn’t merely an attack on the LGBT community. It was an attack on all of us, on our common values of freedom and diversity and choice,” says Netanyahu in the video. “Too many people have remained silent in the face of this awful persecution.”

“We need to stand united, resolute in the belief that all people regardless of their sexual orientation, regardless of their race, regardless of their ethnicity, all people deserve respect, deserve dignity,” The Prime Minister says. Watch the video below.

For Gay Israelis, Orlando Massacre Reopens Tel Aviv Wounds: When Yonatan Books, a survivor of the 2009 shooting at a Tel Aviv gay youth club, heard of the horrific Orlando massacre at a gay bar that killed 49 on Saturday night, he couldn’t help but draw parallels to his own experience. “My heart is with them. I truly understand what they’re going through because I went through exactly the same thing,” Books said in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “Even with all the pain, you have to go on and you have to realize that the ones who survived are still alive.” The Jewish Voice

Israelis reacted immediately with an outpouring of love and support. Their solidarity came only days after a shooting by two gunmen in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market that killed four people and injured 18. Avi Blecherman posted photos of the crowd gathering in Tel Aviv, Israel’s cultural center, with signs reading, “No to LGBTQ-phobia,” “No to Islamophobia,” and “LGBTQ lives matter.” Global Voices