Amidst recent warmongering between Israel and Iran a campaign called “Israel loves Iran” ; and an accompanying “Iran Loves Israel” campaign have created an unexpected display of love and friendship among ordinary Israelis and Iranians. Graphic designer Ronny Edry and his wife Michal Tamir created the online campaign on March 16 hoping to send a message of love and peace to Iranians who fear a war against their country.
Edry first wrote on his blog “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.” His message touched Iranians around the world and within 24 hours similar messages of love and friendship poured in.
The campaign has taken off with exchanges of loving posters and thousands of likes and shares on Facebook. An anonymous Iranian from Tehran wrote, “Some people said this is a start of a friendship between two countries but I say (based on the history of two countries) this is a reunion of brothers and sisters who lost each other over time and finally found each other.” Posters of Israeli teenagers, men, women, and children with messages such as “Iranians we will never bomb your country. We love you.” are continuously posted on Edry’s blog and Facebook page.
Just a week after Edry’s peace initiative an inspired Iranian architect created the Facebook community “Iran Loves Israel.” Majid’s posters are similar to Edry’s, with Iranians posing with their husbands, wives, children, girlfriends, boyfriends, and the Israeli and Iranian flags. A poster on Iran Loves Israel’s Facebook page designed by an Israeli calls for peace with a collage of photos of Tehran’s Azadi tower and a beach in Tel-Aviv. And then there is this picture, which has been “liked”over 1600 times.
Edry’s campaign has opened a line of communication for people to voice their opinions to their governments. Germans, Americans and people from other countries have created similar pages on Facebook. Maya North from Columbia, Missouri wrote on Americans love Iran page “There is not a place that I hate and there are no people I hate. This is what I love–pretty much everybody. I will hold your children on my lap and I will love them with all my grandmother’s heart.”
Hundreds of pictures are being added, as the campaign grows everyday. Israelis and Iranians are inviting each other to talk about peace and hoping that this campaign is the beginning of better relations between the two nations.