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October 12, 2015 6:51 am

Rabbi-Turned-Designer on Mission to Hang 1,000 Israeli Flags Across South Florida

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

One of the many houses in South Florida hanging Israeli flags to show solidarity with Israel. Photo: Provided.

A house in South Florida flying an Israeli flag to show solidarity with the Jewish state. Photo: Courtesy.

A rabbi-turned-designer said he launched a personal campaign to hang 1,000 Israeli flags at homes across South Florida to express solidarity with the Jewish state amidst the wave of terror it is currently facing.

“We want the Israelis to know that here in Florida we support them,” Joseph Waks told The Algemeiner on Sunday. “America in general supports Israel and we have to show them we love them.”

Waks said he came up with the idea last week. On Thursday, the father-of-two posted a video on his Facebook page pitching his mission. Shortly thereafter, he was contacted by people interested in participating.

So far, he claims, 300 Israeli flags have been hung across South Florida, with the first now flying from the home of Simon Falic, chairman of Duty Free Americas.

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Waks, who is originally from Australia, said he hopes the idea will spread across the U.S. He said Jewish leaders in other states have contacted him and asked if he would help launch the initiative in their locales. He recently ordered an additional 2,000 flags to distribute.

Waks told The Algemeiner that his initiative has even drawn responses from active duty Israeli soldiers. One soldier stationed in Hebron messaged Waks, saying he had recently been assaulted in a nationalist attack, and found inspiration to move forward in the flag project.

“He said, ‘Your video showing support for Israel has changed my whole perspective. I love you guys. Thank you for keeping me going for another day,'” Waks recalled.

Another solider, who is serving as an IDF Paratroopers commander, told Waks that he showed his entire battalion the video about the initiative. The soldier added, “Proud isn’t the word to describe how we all felt watching it… But I just wanted to tell you I think it’s unbelievable what you’re doing. Keep it up and stop at nothing!”

Waks believes “the American people” are Israel’s best friend, and said the U.S. needs Israel partly because Americans “just need a handle on the Middle East” and the only country they can trust is Israel.

“We have to try to awaken the souls of Floridian Jews,” Waks said, before noting that Florida has one of the largest Jewish communities in the U.S. “There’s no reason why we shouldn’t show support. We have so many lone soldiers, people from here in South Florida, who have gone out to fight in Israel and we’re not supporting them in any way, shape or form.”

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