Berlin's Brandenburg Gate with the Israeli flag projected onto it on Jan. 9, 2017 to pay tribute to the victims of the ramming attack in Jerusalem (Photo/JTA-Getty Images-AFP-ODD ANDERSEN)
Berlin's Brandenburg Gate with the Israeli flag projected onto it on Jan. 9, 2017 to pay tribute to the victims of the ramming attack in Jerusalem (Photo/JTA-Getty Images-AFP-ODD ANDERSEN)

Berlin, Rotterdam, Paris honor Israeli terror victims

The famous Brandenburg Gate in Berlin was lit up this week in the colors of Israel’s flag in solidarity with the victims of the Jan. 8 terror attack in Jerusalem that took the lives of four Israeli soldiers.

Following Berlin’s symbolic gesture, Rotterdam flew the Israeli flag at half-mast and Paris projected an image of the Israeli flag on its City Hall.

The Brandenburg Gate lighting on Jan. 9, ordered by the Berlin Senate, came about in part due to efforts by Green Party Bundestag member Volker Beck and a petition started by a member of the Jewish community.

Beck wrote in a letter to Berlin Mayor Michael Müller that “we have to show our solidarity with the victims and all those affected” by the attack in Israel, as has been done following terror attacks in France, Turkey, the United States and elsewhere, when national colors were projected on Berlin’s iconic gate.

Passers-by stopped to pay respects, kneeling to place candles and small Israeli flags on the snowy plaza near the gate and posing for selfies.

Avraham Nir-Feldklein, deputy chief of the Israeli Embassy in Berlin, said in a statement shared on Israel’s Facebook page that Israelis were moved and thankful for the support from both the government and people of Berlin.

The Israeli flag at half-mast atop City Hall in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Jan. 10, 2017
The Israeli flag at half-mast atop City Hall in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Jan. 10, 2017 (Photo/JTA-Courtesy NIW-David de Leeuw)

On Jan. 10, following Berlin’s gesture, the Netherlands’ second largest city flew an Israeli flag at half-mast. Rotterdam City Hall made the gesture at the suggestion of Bart Schut, a journalist for the Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad, the country’s main Jewish weekly.

And the evening of Jan. 10, an image of the Israeli flag was projected on Paris City Hall. “The Hotel de Ville of Paris will be illuminated with the colors of Israel in a tribute to the victims of the attack in Jerusalem,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo wrote on Twitter.

The American Jewish Committee’s Paris office thanked Hidalgo, a liberal politician from the ruling Socialist Party, on Twitter, calling the initiative “a gesture of solidarity against terrorism.”

In the Jan. 8 attack, a Palestinian terrorist plowed his truck through a crowd of Israeli soldiers in eastern Jerusalem, killing four and wounding at least 15 others. Similar attacks occurred in July in Nice, France, and last month in Berlin.

JTA

JTA news agency