'Israelis Heart Iran' and 'Iranians Love Israel': Citizens Bid for Peace

(Ronnie Edri/Michal Tamir Facebook post, via +972)

'Israelis Heart Iran' and 'Iranians Love Israel': Citizens Bid for Peace

Israeli families initiate peace campaign, reciprocated by Iranians

In an increasingly popular Facebook campaign initiated by an Israeli family, Israeli and Iranian citizens are expressing mutual respect and a hope for peace between the two countries.

The campaign was started by an Israeli couple, graphic designers Ronnie Edri and Michal Tamir, who began posting poster-messages on Facebook expressing love for Iranians in a bid to "cut across the growing anxiety and fear over the possibility of an Israel-Iran war, and address Iranian citizens directly".

A group of Iranians reciprocated with a response solidarity campaign stating, "We love you, Israeli people! The Iranian people do not like war with any country," via a poster uploaded to Facebook.

The posts have gathered hundreds of followers and responses on Facebook.

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Israel 'Hearts' Iran: Peace Campaign Takes Off on Facebook (The Envoy):

Amid rising fears of an Israeli strike on Iran, an Israeli couple's lonely peace bid has become a surprise hit on Facebook. [...]

So they uploaded to Facebook posters featuring smiling photos of themselves--ordinary Israeli citizens with their children--pledging their love for the Iranian people and assuring everyone that Israel will not bomb Iran. "Iranians, we will never bomb your country, we [heart] you," the posters, featuring smiling families, say.

"I'm not an official representative of my country," Edri wrote in his Facebook post to the Iranian people, explaining that he's just a father and a teacher, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday. And continued: "We love you. We mean you no harm. On the contrary, we want to meet, have some coffee and talk about sports."

Most surprisingly, the "Israeli hearts Iran" peace offering has now been met by an "Iranians love Israel" return solidarity campaign on Facebook. "We love you, Israeli people! The Iranian people do not like war with any country," a poster uploaded to Facebook states. [...]

"I thought that when you're constantly surrounded by talk of threats and war, you are so stressed and afraid that you crawl into a sort of shell," Edri told Haaretz Monday. "So I thought, 'Why not try to reach the other side; to bypass the generals and see if they [Iranians] really hate me?'"

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Israeli-Iranian Solidarity Exchange Sweeps Facebook (+972):

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.

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