It all started when Marc Leibowitz tweeted a Forbes article “Some Worldwide Surprises: Eight Trending International Destinations For Fall/Winter Travel” which featured among its destinations both Beirut, Lebanon and Tel Aviv, Israel.
Two verified Twitter accounts were tagged in the tweet including a Beirut information site and Tel Aviv’s official (and often entertaining) tourism account. This annoyed our neighbors to the North.
We’ve seen this before from Lebanon. From the Olympics, to Miss Universe, ordinary citizens get rejected by Lebanese for the sake of keeping the conflict going. Yes, our countries are technically in a state of war, and yes, a whopping 97% of Lebanese people have an unfavorable view of Jews (Note I said “Jews”, not Zionists or Israelis), and yes Hezbollah (who is based in Lebanon) threatens to destroy Israel every time the sun comes out. And yes, we have endured a few major wars in the last 70 years.
But most Israelis are simply interested in living in peace and immediately knew what needed to be done.
The Mossad got the ball rolling with #TelAvivLovesBeirut.
— The Mossad (@TheMossadIL) October 27, 2017
Then love poured in.
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) October 27, 2017
— LTC (R) Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) October 27, 2017
Why don't we all just INCLUDE ourselves in a NARRATIVE of LOVE…? #TelAvivLovesBeirut
— Tel Aviv (@TelAviv) October 28, 2017
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) October 28, 2017
What happens when ordinary Israeli citizens allow themselves to look past the decades of war and conflict? This. And it’s beautiful. A few Lebanese accounts reciprocated with positive messages but as you might have guessed, mostly not. Let’s hope one day this changes.