After Arab embassy hits, Israelis hold pro-US rally

Around 40 people wave US, Israeli flags outside the US embassy in Tel Aviv in show that Israel is "US's best friend in the region."

Israelis hold pro-US rally at embassy 370 (photo credit: Danielle Ziri)
Israelis hold pro-US rally at embassy 370
(photo credit: Danielle Ziri)
Around 40 people, some of them American olim, gathered in front of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv on Tuesday afternoon at a rally to show support for Washington.
The rally, initiated by the Im Tirzu organization, sought to “show support for the American people after the attacks on US embassies in the Middle East,” according to the invitation on the Facebook event for the gathering.
Im Tirzu members, clad in blue T-shirts emblazoned with a drawing of Theodor Herzl, waved Israeli and American flags and held signs that read “Israel: America’s best friend in the Middle East.”
They were also joined by a few US citizens who have made aliya.
Ronen Shoval, the founder of the organization, said, “We are here to support the American people,” adding that the recent attacks against US embassies in the Arab world are “attacks on freedom and liberty.”
“There is only one country in the Middle East that is a true friend of the US, and that’s Israel,” Shoval repeated several times.
“Americans should be proud of what they represent – the free world,” he continued, to the sound of participants shouting, “Wake up USA!” “We support the US based on our common values, not because of aid or money,” said David Goldstein, an American who made aliya two years ago.
Goldstein said he feels Americans need to be reminded of Israel’s support.
“Unfortunately many places in the world don’t like the US, regardless of the administration, that’s because they are jealous of the US and of Israel,” Goldstein added.
Ziv Manor, a member of Im Tirzu, addressed the crowd, “In Arab countries, from the US embassies’ windows they see fire, the fire of destruction.
Here they see another fire, the fire of love. Let’s show them our friendship.”
Liraz Levy, an Israeli and Middle Eastern affairs student at Ben-Gurion University, said that the recent displays of violence against the US in the Arab world sadden her, and that, as a result she feels that she needs to be here in Israel.
Adam Russo, a student from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said he doesn’t usually travel all the way to Tel Aviv but attended the rally to support “a great cause.”
“America is the most amazing nation this planet has ever seen,” Russo said “It’s one of the only nations that is based on an idea: liberty.”
“Every free person in this world should consider themselves American,” he added.
US embassies were set upon across the Muslim world after an American posted a 14- minute trailer for an anti-Islam film on YouTube. The film, Innocence of Muslims, instigated rallies at Western embassies in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Yemen, Iraq and Iran.
One of the participants who also took the microphone spoke to, “those who killed the US ambassador in Libya,” saying, “You did not kill freedom of speech. It is here to stay!”