Even in the infamously volatile and hostile Middle Eastern diplomacy, the relationship between Lebanon and Israel is considered one of the most precarious. However, following the terrible explosion that took place in the Lebanese capital, politics was set aside for human compassion.
On Wednesday, the municipal office building of Tel Aviv lighted up to show the Lebanese flag in memory and support for Beirut, the Lebanese capital where the explosion took place.
Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, said that the gesture was no natural because no political or diplomatic conflict can be greater than the humanity between people. He explicitly stated that the hearts of the Israelis are with the Lebanese people at this moment.
This is not the first time that the particular building in Tel Aviv was lit up with flags to show support for those going through hard times. However, it was still surprising to see the Lebanese flag in the heart of Israel considering the outright hostility that the governments harbor.
The explosion, estimated to be around 1/5th the impact of the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima, has caused great chaos and pain in Beirut. As of now, more than 135 people have died from the explosion and another 5,000 are being treated for their injuries.
Although the exact cause of the explosion is not yet clear, an unprotected pile of ammonium nitrate is currently thought to have been the cause. Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that the highly explosive chemical was stored in the warehouse near the port for 6 years.
Although some initially thought that the explosion may have been a military attack by the Israeli government, the theory was quickly debunked when the Israeli Prime Minister sent his condolences and offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon.
While the compassionate gesture from Israeli government officials were widely lauded by many, some in Israel have voiced their objections. For instance, the Israeli PM’s son argued that the displaying of an enemy’s flag is against the law.
The long and bitter animosity between the two nations are because of the Hezbollah’s presence in Lebanon. While Israel is in military conflict with the organization, Lebanese politics and overall security heavily relies on the military organization.
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