Why I Finally Added a Flag Overlay to my Facebook Profile Picture

In the days after gay marriage was legalized in all 50 states, many people changed their Facebook profile pictures to celebrate and show their support. Even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg got in on it:

In the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks, the new profile meme was a French flag overlay.
Again, Mark was in on it:

I didn't participate in these profile pic trends, but I'm not criticizing anyone who did. I did post quite a bit about both the Supreme Court decision and the attacks in Paris, so both events were on my mind and in my newsfeed.

Today, though, I did add a flag to my profile picture. This one:

To add this filter to your profile pic, go here: http://rainbowfilter.io/israel

The rainbow flag and the French flag overlays were provided by Facebook, and all users had to do was click a button and, wham!, profile picture changed. It was an official response from Facebook to world events and the currents flowing on social media. They saw a need -- users who wanted to express sympathy and solidarity -- and filled it.

But where were the other flags?

Beirut? Kenya? Israel?

Facebook did receive some public criticism for their lack of response to other terrorist events around the world. Twice as many people were killed by ISIS in the Russian plane bombing than in Paris -- was changing your flag to a Russian flag an option?

95 people were killed and 250 injured in Ankara, Turkey in a terrorist bombing in October. I didn't notice a Turkish flag meme.

In some ways  understand the reasoning. The Middle East is always embroiled in one violent affair or another, and we have come to expect bombings in places like Iraq, Beirut, Kenya, Nigeria, Syria and Turkey. They are foreign, distant places with cultures very different from the Average White Band America where me and my friends grew up, and in which we are raising our children.

But Paris. Paris is the city of American aspiration and admiration. Cultured and multi-cultural, fashionable, well-fed, and the epitome of good taste. It is the inspiration of art and artists, poets and novelists, film directors and songwriters. It's philosophers gave us the ideas upon which America was founded.

When we say, "We are Paris," we all understand what that means. We speak a common western, cultural language. It is more difficult for us to say

We are Kenya
We are Beirut
We are Ankara
We are Russia
We are Malli

So we don't.

And even if our prayers and thoughts go to those victims for a moment or two as a story flicks by on our newsfeed, we do not see a flood of those flags overlaying our friends' faces.

We are Israel.

For me that is the easiest of all. I read Israel, study Israel, sing Israel, and in my own limited way, pray for Israel.

I pray for no young man to have to return from Israel like this:

I pray for no one -- especially so many who are so young -- to ever sing a national anthem in grief:

WATCH: Ezra’s final journey. 18-year-old American volunteer, Ezra Schwartz was murdered in a terrorist attack in Gush Etzion last week. As Ezra was sent to his final resting place in the United States, his friends accompanied him to the airport. In a powerful gesture, they sang Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikva” as Ezra left Israel for the last time. May Ezra’s memory forever be a blessing.via: Ynetnews

I pray for peace.

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