LOVE, NOT WAR, FILLING MIDDLE EAST FACEBOOK PAGES

Love has finally gone ballistic since an Israeli couple told Iranians “WE LOVE YOU”
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Roni Edry and Michal Tamir with their children at home in Tel Aviv, March 21, 2012.
Photo by: Tomer Appelbaum
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Iranians shocked by ‘Israel loves Iran’ Facebook initiative

New York Times, Washington Post report on the initiative started by two Israelis who sent a Facebook message to Iranians last Thursday saying, ‘We will never bomb your country. We love you.’

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A week ago, fear and hatred seemed to dominate the Middle East. Then, a simple online call for peace turned those sentiments upside down – at least briefly.

The trigger was the Facebook message two Israelis sent to Iranians last Thursday: “We will never bomb your country. We love you.” Since then, the website has been swamped with mutual expressions of love and admiration between Israelis and Iranians.

Launched by Roni Edry and his wife Michal Tamir, the initiative was enthusiastically received around the world. It appeared as the main news item on CNN’s website and Al Jazeera. The New York Times and the Washington Post reported about it at length, as did media from Sweden to China.

The couple, who runs a small preparatory school for graphic design called Pushpin Mehina, now devote most of their time to their private peace enterprise. They and six friends work shifts in what they call the “situation room,” going over hundreds of daily messages from Iranians and posting them on Facebook.

“You want to cry when you read them,” says Tamir, trying to put her crying baby to sleep, while her husband is talking to another journalist.

“A little girl who sent us a message that in her school they forced her to trample on Israel’s flag. Then when she saw Roni and our daughter it was very difficult for her…Iranians see our page and break down with excitement. They always thought we hated them. The power of this initiative is that it bypasses governments,” she says.

An Iranian landscape architect named Majid began an equivalent Iranian initiative, opening a Facebook page called “Iran loves Israel.” He says he heard about the Israeli page on a free radio station broadcasting to Iran from Prague, and immediately joined in.

“The responses to the page were extraordinary,” says Majid, 34, a father of two. “Don’t forget the Internet in Iran is blocked and it’s very difficult to surf. I had no reason to think the Israelis were bad people, but in recent days I’ve found them to be very civilized,” he says.

Shaidi Shahin, a young Iranian living in India, filled her Facebook page with expressions of love for Israel. “When I read what the Israeli couple had written,” she writes to me, “I started crying.”

Michael, an oil engineer from Shiraz, says “it’s not a political issue. We only say we like each other, because we have no reason to hate. I’ve never met an Israeli. But when I found that the value of life in Israel is like in Iran, I realized these were good people.”

“We’re not naive. It’s not like the world will change if we say ‘I love you,'” says Tamir. “We’re all afraid, but we want to stop a second before it’s too late. Can we prevent war? Who knows?”

 

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10 Comments

  1. kaie w. bird said,

    March 23, 2012 at 15:46

    I really like how you wrote about this ‘movement’. Thanks for such a great post. I’ve been following this also this past week, and have been so excited to see how many people have become involved in it around the world. The aspect of people connecting with other people is the most simple idea, but it somehow can change everything if those people had conflicting ideas about one another. This has been beautiful to watch and see unfold. Thanks again for writing this piece. ❤

  2. March 23, 2012 at 17:25

    Normal people are very ready and willing to express love to others. Unfortunately, normal people aren’t in positions of power. Those positions seem to be reserved for compassionless psychopaths. As long as we allow psychopaths to manipulate us via their hateful propaganda, we will be doomed to endless wars. We just need more people to wake up to what’s going on, and to open their hearts.

  3. March 23, 2012 at 17:48

    Don’t believe our so called leaders. It is time to end these atrocious wars! War is profit for a select few. The Awakening is happening right now. Let’s turn off the TV and give Love a chance. Awesome article!!!!

  4. March 23, 2012 at 18:35

    […] LOVE, NOT WAR, FILLING MIDDLE EAST FACEBOOK PAGES « Desertpeace. March 23rd, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized | Leave a comment | […]

  5. flko said,

    March 23, 2012 at 23:22

    Iran has blocked Facebook so are you sure all of this is genuine?

  6. March 23, 2012 at 23:29

    […] LOVE, NOT WAR, FILLING MIDDLE EAST FACEBOOK PAGES […]

  7. maria said,

    March 24, 2012 at 19:39

    And, do they love palestinans too?, and if so, why this “wonderful” couple is living in a land full of blood (because their people were force out to leave), and are they happy paying taxes for a militar occupation that everyday is killing and destroying palestinians?.

    It is not too naive, it is a strategy to clean their conscience and being blind to the criminal reality they are supporting for. Just watch this link from yesterday

  8. desertpeace said,

    March 24, 2012 at 19:51

    Maria, there re always exceptions. Not every Israeli supports the occupation or the ethnic cleansing that Israel is guilty of.
    There is hope.

  9. March 25, 2012 at 07:58

    […] Love, Not War, Filling Middle East Facebook Pages(desertpeace.wordpress.com) […]

  10. soha said,

    March 26, 2012 at 10:53

    I loved your message. I am iranian living in Exile since these mullahs took over my country, killing and raping my people and country. Of course people of Iran have no hate for people of Israel. This hatred is about propaganda and it is about making two nations using all the money and resources to buy wepon and be affraid all their life. It is about us not being able to develop and grow as loving humans. No Israeli should think Iranian hate them. We only hate mullahs and Ahmadinininejad for all the miseray he has caused us.


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