Israelis are astonishingly unified in defense of their country’s flotilla interception. Ethan Perlson on why even the country’s lefties are draping themselves in the flag.
TEL AVIV—At a protest in front of the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, Yoram Ben Zion, 31, admits that this is not how he typically spends a the beginning of the Israeli weekend in Tel Aviv. “Usually you can find me smoking weed and drinking beer on Rothschild Avenue,” he said. But on Thursday night, Yoram, a self-described “hippie and stoner” who is normally apolitical, joined over 1,000 young Israelis at a rally organized on Facebook to defend Israel and hit back at her critics, especially Turkey. They waved Israeli flags and sang patriotic songs, and gave Turkey the proverbial finger, holding up signs that read, “How many Kurds did you kill today?” and calling for the world to recognize the Armenian genocide.
At the protest there were “straights, gays, Russians, Ethiopians, and even French tourists,” said Gene Epshteyn, 35. “Ninety-nine percent of the people there were secular. This was not a right-wing rally. It was average everyday Israelis who’ve had enough.”