MARCH 14, 2012
One evening, as the governments of Israel and Iran renewed their calls to war 41 year old Ronny Edry and his wife Michal Tamir, graphic designers and teachers living in Tel Aviv, uploaded a poster to their Facebook page.
The poster was a photo of Ronny with his daughter holding the Israeli flag. The written message: “Iranians, we will never bomb your country. We love you.”
Ronny attach a personal letter to the poster, addressed to the Iranian people, sharing his wish to stop a war with Iran by getting to know the other side – all by simply starting a conversation.
The letter read:
“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.
Tens of Israelis posted their own pictures with the same message.
AFTER 24 HOURS
Messages from Iran started pouring in. Moved to tears, people wrote back: “We love you too.”
AFTER ONE WEEK
There were more than 7,000 likes on Ronny and Michal’s facebook page.
Ronny created the page: Israel-Loves-Iran face book page.
IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS
Thousands of pictures from all over the world were posted on the Israel-Loves-Iran Facebook page.
With thousands of Likes, comments, and shares, Israel-Loves-Iran became a movement on Facebook where people started to talk to each other.
As days went by, the conversations on the page grew deeper. People were asking each other questions, sharing their stories and their lives, talking about everything; from Judaism to the Iranian regime.
Never before in history did two people from two enemy states have the power to communicate in such way. People from Iran who were brought up and taught to trample the Israeli flag at school every morning wrote with tears in their eyes of how moved they were by this simple sentence: “We love you.” Ecstatically, they answered back loud and clear, “We love you too.”
Years of hate propaganda on both sides were being stripped away and people finally discovered the other side, not as enemies, but as people.
PEACE MUST BE VIRAL
After such great success, and with the backing of this new facebook community, Ronny and Michal decided to go even further and see the true power behind this initiative. Many new projects are coming up, with new ideas and new ways to further expand on this message. This campaign, this movement, this community must be shown to more and more people around the world.
Our vision is to expand this community to the entire Middle East, a region that has been under years of hate propaganda, the Fertile Crescent’s own ‘Iron curtain’, created and sustained by a small group of extremists and local leaders. The time has come for the people of the Middle East to raise their voices and declare: WE WANT PEACE