After the unprecedented offensive launched by the Palestinian Islamist movement against Israel, many countries have expressed their support for the victims. In France, this tribute was manifested by the extinguishing of famous buildings on Sunday evening, October 8. In Paris and Marseille, the victims of these terrorist attacks were honored in a somber manner. In the capital, this show of support and solidarity was symbolized by the extinction of the Eiffel Tower at 11 p.m., as announced by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
Similarly, in Marseille, the City Hall and the Palais du Pharo were plunged into darkness in tribute to “the Israeli civilian victims of Hamas’ terrorist attacks” following the surprising and spectacular military offensive that began on Saturday morning.
However, on social media, several posts gave the impression that the Parisian Iron Lady had been illuminated with the colors of Israel on Sunday evening. But these publications, which generally use the same questionable photographic montage, are misleading. As indicated by Anne Hidalgo, the Eiffel Tower will be “lit up in the colors of the Israeli flag” on Monday, October 9 at 11 p.m.
This distinction surprised some Twitter users, especially as Berlin and London projected the Israeli flag directly onto the facades of famous monuments, such as the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of a reunified Germany, or 10 Downing Street, the residence of the British Prime Minister.
In the United States, the Empire State Building was illuminated at its peak with the colors of Israel.
Classic protocol after an attack.
While the true images of the Eiffel Tower adorned with the traditional white and blue of Israel will indeed be visible on Monday evening, some have expressed their concern to the Paris City Hall about the first, perceived as too discreet, tribute. Writer Raphaël Enthoven, for example, criticized the extinguishing of the Eiffel Tower on Sunday evening, pointing out to the Parisian mayor that the Eiffel Tower was illuminated with the colors of the Ukrainian flag on the first “anniversary” of the war in Ukraine. Several other X users also suspected a double standard.
This controversy forced the Hidalgo camp to clarify the situation. On X, Yohann Roszéwitch, deputy mayor of the Paris Center district, reminded everyone of the usual protocol for the Parisian monument during such tragic events. “The Eiffel Tower always goes dark after an attack before being lit up in the colors of the country a few hours later, as will be the case tomorrow for Israel,” explained the official in an attempt to put an end to the debate.
Nevertheless, other criticisms, this time from the French Palestinian community, wished to underscore the indignation surrounding the decision to honor Israeli victims while neglecting the Palestinian victims in similar events.