Israelis Rally to Support America

‘Look, we’re your real friends’

Courtesy of Im Tirtzu
October 2, 2012

Nearly 100 Israelis assembled outside the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv Tuesday evening to display solidarity with America in the face of multiple anti-U.S. riots across the Middle East.

Waving American and Israeli flags as cars and people crossed a busy Tel Aviv intersection, the demonstrators chanted pro-American slogans in Hebrew, including, "Israel [is] America’s best friend in the Middle East."

The peaceful demonstrators gathered to show that Israel remains an unwavering U.S. ally as Muslim animosity towards America ignites the Arab world.

"All around the Middle East embassies are being attacked and the only place people gather to support America is in Israel," said Ronen Shoval, head of the Zionist Israeli group Im Tirtzu, which organized the rally.

Anti-American violence across the Middle East led to the deaths of four U.S. diplomats in Libya and multi-day riot in front of the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, where a mob tore down and shredded an American flag and replaced it with an Islamist banner.

Israelis in front of the American embassy in Tel Aviv waved American flags and advocated in favor of democratic values, Shoval said.

Courtesy of Im Tirtzu

"The main message is that we support the American people at this time because we know what terrorism means," Shoval said.

"This was a voice that was missing" until today, he said.

Despite the often-changing political terrain in the Middle East, America and Israel hold shared values, Shoval explained, noting that a contingent of Muslims also attended the rally.

"This was an attack on our values" of freedom and democracy, he said. "We share those values with the American people and show our support for those values."

Attendees such as Richard Landes told the Free Beacon that a simple message was delivered loud and clear: "Look, we’re your real friends."

"The idea that America should dump Israel to make friends with the Arab world is insane," said Landes, a historian and professor at Boston University who spends much of his time in Israel.

Landes' father, legendary historian David S. Landes, authored The Wealth and Poverty of Nations, which Republican nominee Mitt Romney cited when he said culture is an essential element in prosperity during his visit to Israel in July.

"Despite the fact that America has treated Israel pretty shabbily" under the Obama administration, Landes said, "they understand America shares their values of freedom."

"There is a genuine friendship between the people of the U.S. and Israel," Landes added.

While the Obama administration has pursued what it termed as a policy of "daylight" with the Jewish state, Im Tirtzu and its supporters sought to "remind our friends in the U.S. that there is only one country in the Middle East that shares the values of freedom and liberty; one country in the Middle East that the U.S. can always count on for support. Israel stands with the American people against those who would like to see the fall of Western values," according to a statement on Im Tirtzu’s Facebook page.

A representative from the U.S. Embassy attended the event, but did not offer public comments, according to Shoval.

Published under: Israel , Middle East