Gigantic Banner Flown Over Downtown Orlando Says: ‘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.
Photos of the sign, which read: “America, Israel feels your pain,” were first posted on Facebook by the pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs.
The attack — dubbed the worst mass shooting in American history — took place early Sunday morning inside Orlando’s “premier gay nightclub.” It was committed by 29-year-old Omar Mateen, born and bred in the United States to immigrant parents from Afghanistan. Mateen pledged allegiance to Islamist terror group ISIS in a 9-1-1- call during the attack and reportedly shouted “Allahu akbar” as he gunned down his victims, murdering 49 and wounding 53, before getting killed in a shootout with police.
In another Israeli show of support for Orlando, the Tel Aviv Municipality lit up the City Hall building with alternating images of American, Israeli and rainbow flags — the latter representing the LGBTQ community. Some Israelis gathered at Jerusalem’s Zion Square, waving rainbow flags and signs; others held a candlelight vigil at Tel Aviv’s Gan Meir, a park that houses a gay center.
The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Ron Huldai sent a letter to the governor of Florida and the mayor of Orlando in the wake of the atrocity.
“It is with great sorrow that I send you my condolences for the tragic terror attack which happened in your city/state,” Huldai wrote. “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.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also sent condolences to Orlando, saying via Twitter: “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.”
Israel’s United Nations mission also sent a message of solidarity, referencing America’s support for Israel after the June 8 terror attack at Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market. The Israel Mission said, “We extend our deepest condolences over Orlando attack. This week you stood with us, today we stand with you.”