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Israeli-Iranian solidarity exchange sweeps Facebook

On Saturday night, an Israeli couple – two graphic designers named Ronnie Edri and Michal Tamir –  decided to cut across the growing anxiety and fear over the possibility of an Israel-Iran war, and address Iranian citizens directly. They created a slogan you can impose over your profile picture or any picture of your choice:

The Israeli meme nation is a harsh and biting one, and many of the first responses were on the cynical side:

But more and more Israelis took up the call in earnest,

 

and some added messages of their own; as these are also being enthusiastically copied and reproduced, it’s hard to establish authorship, but one of the more popular ones ran:

To the Iranian people
To all the fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters

For there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate.
I’m not afraid of you, I don’t hate you.
I don t even know you. No Iranian ever did me no harm. I never even met an Iranian…Just one in Paris in a museum. Nice dude.

I see sometime here, on the TV, an Iranian. He is talking about war.
I’m sure he does not represent all the people of Iran.
If you see someone on your TV talking about bombing you …be sure he does not represent all of us.

I’m not an official representative of my country. I’m a father and a teacher. I know the streets of my town, I talk with my neighbors, my family, my students, my friends and in the name of all these people …we love you.
We mean you no harm.
On the contrary, we want to meet, have some coffee and talk about sports.

To all those who feel the same, share this message and help it reach the Iranian people.

And then came the response:

 

The couple told “The Marker” they had received hundreds of private messages from Iranians saying they were deeply moved by the campaign.

So what does it all mean? Quite simply, that neither party has any appetite for a war right now. As an Iranian first strike on Israel is not even on the cards right now, Iranian opposition to war may come as no surprise. But it’s important to stress the Israeli opposition to war reflected above is also far from an abstract “make love not war” one. A recent survey found a whopping 50 percent of Israelis were totally opposed to an attack on Iran, even if the diplomatic efforts to stall the nuclear program failed. 43 supported the move, but 78 percent of those surveyed recognised that even a successful attack would at best delay Iran’s acquisition of an A-Bomb by  a few years. Only 16 percent believed such an attack would wipe out the Iranian nuclear program for good. An earlier survey that specifically asked if Israel should attack on Iran on its own found 65 percent of Israelis were opposed.

Although I’m normally very cynical on just how much leaders care for public opinion when making a decision to go to war, we should remember Netanyahu is first and foremost a populist and that this is an election year. I’d be surprised if Netanyahu doesn’t repeatedly reminisce on the experience of his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, who went to a much more popular war in Lebanon, botched it, lost power and set in motion the destruction of his own party; although Olmert characteristically leeched on to power for another two and a half years, the inconclusive ending of the war and the severe casualty toll foretold Kadima’s downfall as soon as the ceasefire in Lebanon was enacted. A war with Iran has much higher chances of failure and much greater casualties are at stake. In this situation, such campaigns might – just might – add a few grams of pressure on Netanyahu to stay his hand.

More Iran coverage on +972 Magazine:
Poll: Most Israelis against attack on Iran
Author David Grossman against attack on Iran – by Israel or U.S.
U.S. embassy alarmed by ‘missile’ in anti-war art project
In front-page editorial, Pro-Netanyahu paper supports attack on Iran
Polls: Israelis fear unilateral strike more than Iranian bomb
Poll: Huge majority opposes unilateral Israeli war on Iran

 

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Andrew

      Great post. Thanks, Dimi.

      Reply to Comment
    2. sh

      Wow, that Mausoleum in Hamadan. Lovely post.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Mehr

      The thing is that we both suffer from two irrational and frankly, lunatic governments, but we will ultimately get rid of them and hopefully travel freely to each other’s countries:)

      Reply to Comment
    4. loved it! sharing it!

      Reply to Comment
    5. Kourosh

      ISRAELIS WE <3 You
      from iran

      Reply to Comment
    6. amir

      Hey Israeli people,never be afraid of Iranians,we both come from the same place,we love you guys,we want peace and we all hate both governments who think about a none sense war!if you look at yourself and compare it with us,you see even we look like each other in physical appearance!in culture and so on!!! i am waiting for the day we both the non Arab countries in middle east to reunite and take the revenge from Arabs!

      Reply to Comment
    7. Serhat Akın

      :).This RomanticComedyFilm.

      Reply to Comment
    8. You can’t share this one too often. Hope this meme will spread. It will make some leaders look pretty silly.

      Reply to Comment
    9. All we are saying is give peace a chance.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Michael Noll

      Happy New Week !!!

      facebook.com – Michael Noll

      - Norderstedt / Hamburg

      Reply to Comment
    11. palestinian

      It seems Ronnie and Michal forgot that they live on stolen land and hold the citizenship of a terrorist state,their lovely town maybe was established over a bombed Palestinian village….whenever you read/hear the word “coffee” coming out of a Zionist mouth you know a scam will follow ….how sincere!oh let me wipe my tears :S

      Reply to Comment
    12. aria

      We Iranians dont hate jews and dont wan war with jews. we have many Iranian jews and friends who are jewish that we love. its people who uphold the nationality of the apartheid state known as israel that we dont like. Cyrus would have been ashamed of israel today, a state that builds flowers and “towns” over the flattened and destroyed palestinian land all in the name of religion, the same thing that ayatollahs and fanatic muslim arabs do in iran and arab country. i pray for the day that jews arabs and persians live togeter, but both ayatollah, calipha, zionist must go.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Steve

      Very good blog entry!
      .
      (Naturally, the guy who calls himself “Palestinian” had to toss hate and anger into the mix. Oh well.)
      .
      People should start campaigns like this, where the people of two “enemy” countries reach out and promote positive thoughts.

      Reply to Comment
    14. Steve

      To ARIA: Sorry, but the Jewish state of Israel isn’t leaving. It’s here. It’s staying. Make peace with it.
      .
      You have to make peace with one small Jewish state, next to the 20+ Muslim states and the 20+ Arab states. Work at it.

      Reply to Comment
      • iqbal

        This is the age of enlightemment and reasoning. Why is war in this era? War is the symbol of dark age. Are we moving to dark age through war?

        Reply to Comment
    15. Palestinian

      ooops it seems I shouldnt burst their bubble !let me act fool and “pray” for this lovely peaceful Israeli Jewish couple …omg I cant hold back my tears..oh cry loudly “Peace”

      Reply to Comment
    16. David

      Given the ancient link between Persians and Jews, and given the hatred that most Iranians feel for the illegitimate regime that rules over them, and given the disdain in which most Iranians I know hold Palestinians…

      … this one could run and run!

      Reply to Comment
    17. yes, i love to be alive…..

      Reply to Comment
    18. Annette

      Who are all these pacifist graphic designers? These images are too slick to be from the average Joe, Moshe or Muhammad.

      Reply to Comment
    19. Elias Romano

      Incredible !

      It’s true that the people of Iran and Israel are much closer than the governments. However the Israeli government has been elected democratically, which makes a big difference.

      Reply to Comment
    20. Mehdi

      Iran never says that they will attack israel they say tht they will respond any attack harshly. i request israelis to pressurize their govt from taking any step like this.
      PEACE ON EARTH

      Reply to Comment
    21. Lauren

      I have to say that is the sweetest thing I have seen lately…. made me actually cry to know that there are sane people who want life over bombs.
      People are people….. we all have the right to choose our own destiny without threat of impending horrors.
      This just proves that all our leaders don’t listen to us and act on their own in our name. It’s time for the world to stand together and say NO MORE!!!! NEVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    22. ArabJew

      Israelis murder Palestinians daily, and Israel was built on an ethnically cleansed land.. It knows not the meaning of Peace.

      No one has a problem with Jews, everyone should have a problem with zionism.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Kamran

      Thank you for transcending borders and false rivalries and enforcing peace and friendship between our nations. I love you all. You are my brothers and sisters.

      Reply to Comment
    24. sh

      Definitely the moment to wish happy Nowruz – it’s this Tuesday, right? – to the people of Iran and all the other peoples and lands who celebrate it.

      Reply to Comment
    25. Azar Mahloujain

      Our unity is the best weapon against War lords in both countries.

      Reply to Comment
    26. aristeides

      People who have experience war at home tend to be less likely to want to rush into it again. Iranians remember the hideous war with Iraq. Their experience of war is recent and traumatic.

      .
      Israelis fight their wars on other nations’ homelands, their experience of it, while recent, is not so traumatic.

      .
      And American yahoos, who not only fight their wars on other people’s homelands but live behind the safety of two oceans, want to bomb anyone they can, happy in the knowledge that no one will bomb them back.

      Reply to Comment
    27. Sherri Munnerlyn

      People saying no to war, this is a positive development, and enough people saying this, the governments have to listen.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Shima

      Love & peace

      Reply to Comment
    29. Tal

      I love Iranian movies
      I love Iranian food
      I love Iranian people
      I love Iranian culture

      Peace. Shalom. Shol

      Reply to Comment
    30. Tal

      That is “Solh” right? ;-)

      Reply to Comment
    31. Amir

      I am so proud of the power of humanity. As an Iranian, I would like to thank Ronnie Edri and Michal Tamir for their efforts and heartfelt message.

      Love & Peace for all

      Reply to Comment
    32. HASSAN

      MY FELLOW BELOVED ISRAELI PEOPLE , I LOVE YOU

      Reply to Comment
    33. Professor Ed Benguiat

      LOVE: That’s what life is about Love is inherently free. It cannot be bought, sold, or traded. When we have true love we must know and accept each others’ good and bad traits.To Love we must have gone through a lot of time with each other, going through BOTH joys and sorrows, pains and pleasures. A lot of sacrifice towards each other is therefore essential. With all that said, I love you all.

      Reply to Comment
    34. WE LOVE YOU

      Reply to Comment
    35. Kolumn9

      This is cute, but until people like Aria (above) are willing to accept a Jewish state in the Middle East it is all for nought. Aria doesn’t love Israelis, only those Jews that meekly accept being a powerless minority.

      Personally I love Iranian food. It is the best food on the planet. I would gladly visit on my American passport if I didn’t fear getting kidnapped and held for years.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Erez

      My Iranians brothers & sisters: know that the Israeli government doesn’t reflect the public main opinion, I hop we will survive till the next election day to prove that and I hope my Israeli brothers & sisters will be awake this time…

      We all want to live in peace, why to make war with brothers & sisters?
      We all want to love & be loved, why should we live in fear and blind hate?
      We all want to be happy, say NO! To those who make you live in sorrow.
      We are the people, we are all brothers humans- we are one!

      Reply to Comment
    37. dude

      Loving the love! hating the bullshit childish very not funny memes, id like see these young clowns facing a rocket 5 meters from their house, see whos meming then? except the klignons one haha that was fucking funny. peace ! love ! unity ! fuck war, fuck solders ! thx
      /dude

      Reply to Comment
    38. ronit

      ahhhhh this makes me so happy…way to go, humans

      Reply to Comment
    39. Reza

      Thank you.

      Israelis we love you too.

      Proud Iranian

      Reply to Comment
    40. AYLA

      lovely post, Dimi
      *
      This is what we all need: loving solidarity between humans. We need this kind of solidarity, too, between Israelis and Palestinians. From there of course we need a lot more (justice…), but this is where it all begins. We can’t allow our politicians to speak for us; we must speak out for ourselves. We need a revolution of love.

      Reply to Comment
    41. sami

      we love all people in world

      Reply to Comment
    42. Arash

      I am an Iranian, born Muslim with Jewish roots too. I respect and love all the religions and all the people of all the nations, cultures and faiths. We are not that different after all.

      Reply to Comment
    43. Mitra

      The Vernal Equinox occurs at 10:14 pm PST tomorrow night (Monday, March 19). It marks the beginning of spring and the Iranian new year. I wish all Israeli and Iranian people a happy new year. May this be the year we open our doors to each other and invite each other in for a cup of tea! Regardless of what the politicians do, you are always welcome in my house. May peace and understanding prevail!

      Reply to Comment
    44. Roy

      I live in Israel but my government does not represent me or my believes.
      I believe that all men are born equal and we all deserver the right to live, love and prosper.
      I hope that one day, Israeli and Iranian people can visit each other’s countries, talk, eat, live, laugh.

      Reply to Comment
    45. Mehrdad

      Dear all, i hope we see the peace all over the world ,specially between Iran and Israel.this is the story of love.now i am in love with an Israeli girl and i am Iranian guy.we cant move further.please do something for us.i and Hagar need your efforts.happy nourouz!

      Reply to Comment
    46. Bennie

      I feel hope rising in my heart that peace-loving people everywhere will just say no to war. As a Christian I am beginning to learn what it means to love my enemies, as Jesus taught. I think it means do justice, stand up for what is life-giving and whole-making, and don’t hate. Violence only leads to more violence, never to lasting peace.

      Reply to Comment
    47. Parham

      Hey politicians! stop promoting hatred and war
      We, people of Iran and Israel love each other.

      Peace

      Reply to Comment
    48. Mona

      Sometimes when i think that there’s no more humanity left on the earth, sth wonderful as this gesture happens and i am full of hope again. I always wanted to write a letter to my brothers and sisters in Israel to tell them we wish u no harm but I didn’t know how to write it. I salute U both and thank you so much. With this much power of will and love we can stand in front of any possible war between us and say NO! STOP it. we r all a big family living in different parts of the world and want to be family 4 ever…..

      Reply to Comment
    49. The Internet is pretty awesome at times. :)
      .
      To Palestinian: I wrote a short response to your comments, but I’d prefer to send it via e-mail to avoid leading the thread off-topic and for privacy’s sake. Would you be OK with that?

      Reply to Comment
    50. sarah grant

      This is so good and true,i was born in the highlands of scotland i cauld never hate anyone neverI am muslim .married to muslim i changed because Islam is love allways love,a cauld never hate the jews. i do hate evil, and wicked people,please keep this up

      Reply to Comment
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