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Israelis say to Iranians: "We love you, we'll never bomb you"

03-23-2012 09:26 BJT

JERUSALEM, March 22 (Xinhua) -- A new Israeli Facebook initiative to reach out to Iranians in the wake of war rhetoric between both countries has rattled the social media in the last days. The page, which began as a post by an Israeli graphic designer, is aimed at showing Iranians that despite tensions, the majority of Israelis do not want war.

"Iranians, we love you" Facebook page has garnered almost 18 thousands likes after less than a week since Roni Edri and Michal Tamir, a couple from Tel Aviv, opened the new group on the popular social media site.

His Facebook group then jumped to an initiative with its own website, and has attracted a lot of media attention, reaching even an Iranian TV.

"It just started as a post on Facebook on my private page and it was a pic of me and my daughter, with a poster I designed that read Iranians we love you, we'll never bomb your country,'" Edri, a father of two, told Xinhua.

"I never imagined it would grow such much and get so much attention. I'm a graphic designer, so it just popped on my head and I posted it, and asked my friends about it," he said.

Although now it has thousands of followers, when he first posted a picture of himself holding his daughter with a poster that read "Iranians, we love you," on his personal Facebook page, many of his friends reprimanded him for what they considered was over the top.

"In the beginning my friends were saying how can you say you love Iranians, you don't even know them! They said war is coming, and telling the other part 'I love you' is a weakness sign, but I think we have to stop this war madness somehow," Edris stressed.

He considers himself a normal Israeli citizen, who is interested in peace and who doesn't share his government's take on Iran.

"Why this war with Iran? I wanted to tell these people I don't know them, but that we're brothers and we don't have to share this madness."

Edris, who owns a small graphic design school in Tel Aviv, now works almost entirely on his peace enterprise along with his wife Tamar. The success of his idea has taken him completely by surprise, especially since he began receiving hundreds of letters from Iranians, living in Iran and abroad.

On his website, also called "Israel loves Iran," dozens of messages from Iranians sharing their love for Israelis, as well as other messages of support from various countries like Polland.

One such message on the website read "There is no reason for not being united, we love you Israeli people," and was signed by Darius from Iran. Another message from someone claiming to be an Iranian citizen in Germany called out for peace and blamed both governments, saying "Our problem is that we are all victims of corrupted politicians in our countries."

Edris, still taken aback by the growth of his initiative, cannot say what the next step will be.

"Now we're trying to focus on this and since we have the media' s attention, our message has reached out to a lot of people. A nuclear war is not going to happen one day to the other, and maybe if the message is big, the guy who's pushing the button will listen to us," he said.

For now his peace enterprise will stay on the Internet, since he doesn't believe they will call out to the Israeli public to mobilize against a war with Iran.

"So far we didn't decide to organize any demonstrations or rallies, because the poster is spreading so fast. But we're still trying to decide what's our next step, we're still shocked from the popularity we garnered with this initiative," Edris pointed out.

For now both him and his wife are ecstatic that the Iranian TV reported on their peace initiative this week. Due to the Internet block in Iran, many web surfers cannot open Facebook, but after the report on TV, Edris is sure that the message got to many more Iranians.

"All we want to say to Iranians is that Israelis don't hate you and don't want war with you, no matter what our governments say," Edris said.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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