Monday, March 19, 2012

Israel loves Iran

If you don't live in Israel (or Iran, I guess), then you don't know how bad it has gotten. Israeli politicians are broadcasting the message loud and clear that it's only a matter of time before Israeli attacks Iran. It's frightening. I have had quite a few conversations with my Israeli friends about this - and while they are generally the type to hide their fears, they are talking about the risks of war. None of them want war, regardless of their political opinions (pretty right wing to ultra-left-wing). But there hasn't been any antiwar movement at all, on the popular level. Haaretz has editorialized against war, and some high officials (like Meir Dagan, the former head of the Mossad) has strongly campaigned against war with Iran. There haven't been any demonstrations, even from the far left (unless I haven't heard about them).

Ronny Edri and Michal Tamir are two Israeli graphic artists who have started a Facebook campaign with the message "Israel Loves Iran." They posted photographs of themselves and their family with the wording "Iranians: We will never bomb your country. We ♥ you." See their FB page for lots of posters -

At first, they only heard from fellow Israelis, who sent them posters with their photos on them. Then they started to get responses from Iranians, who take a real risk when they communicate with Israelis in any way.

Here are some of the posters they have received from both Israelis and Iranians. 

An Iranian Happy Nowruz (New Year) poster - Nowruz is happening right now.

From the Israeli satire show, Eretz Nehederet - these two guys appear on the show as workers in an Iranian atomic plant.

And here's the message that Ronny sent out with the first posters:
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 sure he does not represent all of us.

I'm not an official representative of my country. but I know the streets of my town, I talk with my neighbors, my familys, 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

I hope that this Facebook campaign turns into a real political movement against war with Iran.