In the evening hours of Aug. 5, the 12-story Tel Aviv city hall building was lit up like the Lebanese flag in solidarity with victims of the Beirut port explosion. Hundreds of residents and international news photographers arrived at Rabin Square, fronting the building, to document the historic moment when an official Israeli institution expressed solidarity with a declared enemy state even as military tensions spike along the border between the two neighbors. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai tweeted, “Humanity precedes any conflict. Our hearts are with the Lebanese people following the terrible disaster that befell them."
Tel Aviv is considered Israel’s most liberal city, but it was not alone. A spokesperson of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted a photo of the display and wrote, incredibly, “The State of Israel stands together with the Lebanese people, its government and army. Our hearts are with you and we are with you.”