Tel Aviv mayor ordered the city’s town hall building to be lit in the colours of the Lebanese flag, a move that earned him condemnation of politicians and the Israeli prime minister’s son.
Social media has been abuzz over a gesture of solidarity by Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai towards victims of Tuesday’s catastrophic explosion in Beirut.
The mayor ordered that the town hall of the Israeli city be lit up in the colours of the Lebanese flag.
Huldai said: “Humanity precedes any conflict, and our hearts are with the Lebanese people following the terrible disaster it experienced.”
Not all Israelis agreed, however, with many prominent figures attacking the gesture.
"Waving an enemy state's flag is a criminal offense!" tweeted Yair Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son.
He was joined by a former MP from Netanyahu’s Likud party, Oren Hazan, who wrote: "There's only one word that can describe this lunatic act: Treason! And the responsible must be indicted."
Former Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked also chimed in, writing: “...We get the flag of an enemy state. The world has gone upside-down."
A former member of Israel's Knesset, Moshe Feiglin, has called the deadly explosion in Beirut an "amazing fireworks display" pic.twitter.com/JSldOByvpQ— TRT World (@trtworld) August 6, 2020
‘Spectacular firework show’
Others went as far as celebrating the disaster, which has destroyed or damaged much of Beirut and left at least 135 people dead and thousands wounded.
Former member of the Knesset, Moshe Feiglin, said that the tragedy, which coincided with a Jewish religious celebration, was a ‘spectacular firework show’ arranged by God and the Lebanese people.
“A true and huge thank you to (God) and all the geniuses and heroes really, who organised for us this wonderful celebration in honor of the day of love.” Feiglin wrote. More than 5,000 people liked the post with close to 2,000 shares.
Israel has fought several wars in Lebanon and notably occupied large parts of the country until its expulsion by its nemesis, Hezbollah, in 2000.
The country has been responsible for a number of deadly attacks on Lebanese civilians, such as the Qana massacres of 1996 and 2006.