By: Joshua Dermer/TPS
An Israeli-American took to the sky over Orlando last Wednesday, just a few days after the massacre at a local gay club by a self-declared ISIS sympathizer, to fly an airplane banner reading: “America! Israel Feels Your Pain.”
After hearing of the massacre that claimed the lives of 49 at the Pulse gay club in Orlando on June 12, south Florida resident Joseph Zevuloni, originally from Jerusalem, sought to “convey a message of solidarity, unity and friendship between the two countries,” Zevuloni said in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS).
“We (Israelis) go through terrorist attacks constantly and we know how it feels,” Zevuloni, who came to America as a teenager, expressed. “Like everybody else I was devastated to learn of the attack. I do a lot of marketing in my business world, so I came up with the idea to put a banner that would circle around those vigils and people visiting all the different sites in Orlando.”
The message was warmly received, with Florida State Senator Darren Soto personally calling to commend Zevuloni for his sentiments.
“The response was overwhelming and beautiful,” he said. “I got hugs, ‘thank you’s and many comments like, ‘This is why we stand with Israel.’ You can see how much love and support the American people have for Israel.”
“We wanted to make our presence known in a very big way and I’m very glad our message resonated that way. I wanted to show the American people that we don’t just sympathize with them, we empathize,” Zevuloni told TPS.
“I wanted to show the American people that they have a best friend and best friends are there when they need help – when they need a shoulder to cry on.”
Naomi Altchouler contributed to this report.