America’s embassy in Tel Aviv conspicuously raised a rainbow-colored flag in support of this week’s “gay pride” festivities in the Israeli coastal city.
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was not shy about the fact that “for the first time in history the US Embassy in Tel Aviv has raised the Pride flag together with our American flag. We are proud to join with the municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo and its residents in celebrating LGBT Pride Week.”
The week-long festivities are an annual occurrence in Tel Aviv, which has taken to publicly advertising itself as the Middle East’s most gay-friendly city and a desirable travel destination for the homosexual community worldwide.
In 2010, the Tel Aviv Municipality and Israel’s Ministry of Tourism invested a combined $88 million in a massive advertising campaign in England and Germany aimed at branding Tel Aviv as a leading international gay vacation spot.
In a 2011 survey conducted by the gay travel website Gaycities.com, respondents agreed by voting Tel Aviv as the top gay travel destination for that year.
PHOTO: US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro (center) taking part in Tel Aviv’s Gay Pride festivities