On June 3rd, people all over Tel Aviv celebrated love, equality, and peace at the annual Israel Gay Pride events. This was the biggest Pride celebration to date in Israel. News outlets in Brazil, the Associated Press in the U.S. and many other outlets positively covered the events in Israel, which was a refreshing change from the often negative or bias coverage of Israel in the news. Over 200,000 participants from all over the world came together and celebrated a cause that allows people to be who they are.
However, in a horrific turn of events just five days after the celebrations, four people were murdered by two Palestinian terrorists near the same spot where so many united for love. Innocent lives were taken just like that, on the spot. Children lost parents, parents lost children, and the community lost more Israeli civilians to another terror attack that tried to inject fear and darkness into a happy and positive Israeli society.
Another four days go by, and tragedy hits the world once again. Forty nine people were massacred, and fifty were injured by a terrorist who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and went to shoot at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The turnout was devastating - the worst shooting in U.S. history. The LGBT community in America was struck to its core. It was yet another terror attack that we had to deal with in our century by those intolerant to anything ‘different’. On one side again are people who try to celebrate and live, on the other side- radical terrorist who try to take as many lives away, murder and kill. The people of Israel, especially the LGBT community, came together to send their love and support to the friends and families of the victims in Orlando. The city of Tel Aviv that hosted Israel’s Pride, lit the colors of the LGBT community and the American flag on its city council building
While Israel, the only country in the Middle East that celebrates equality of love and life and accepts everyone, other countries in the same region publically kill and shame humans for being different, especially minorities and the LGBT community. No person should EVER have their lives taken for being different, no person should be killed while sitting at a restaurant eating dinner with their friends and families, or while celebrating at a night club.
For us here in the States, we can gain power by learning and following the way Israel is loving lives life everyday. Israeli people come together when a community is in need, and they spread joy and happiness during good and bad times alike. The American people and the Israeli people have more in common than any other nations in the world, by being flourishing democracies, open minded countries and societies that try to make our world a better place.
We at Students Supporting Israel stand with the LGBT community in Israel, in the U.S. and everywhere else around the world. We at SSI stand united and firm against terror because no terror attack will ever defeat us, or stop us from being who we are. We believe that our differences only bring us together and help us learn. We condemn all terror throughout the world and know that our strength is in our unity, whether on our campuses, in our communities or elsewhere. Terror and fear will be crushed.