NICK ARMER WRITES – While members of the media and politicians of both Iran and Israel continue to preach suspicion and rivalry between the two nations, their citizens have begun a new conversation online. An unexpected campaign for love and respect between Iranians and Israelis all began with a single Facebook post.
Ronny Edry, an Israeli graphic designer and unintentional world peace advocate, posted a photo to his Facebook page in 2012 that read “Iranians, we love you, we will never bomb your country.” However, his appeal for peace reached further than he could have imagined. He explained to Caroline Modarresy-Tehrani, the host of HuffPostLive, that “in a matter of a few hours, it reached the people of Iran”.
Several Iranians responded to him with equal sentiments of love and peace and he was immediately inspired to keep his international momentum going by launching into something much bigger.
Edry established a non-profit organization called The Peace Factory, which promotes and facilitates communication between the citizens of warring Middle Eastern countries online. His Facebook page, Israel-Loves-Iran, has over 100,000 likes and has birthed other popular campaigns, such as Palestine Loves Israel.
While Benjamin Netanyahu was beating the war drum before the Congress of the United States last week, Edry was preparing a counterstrike movement armed with the power of world peace. “While Netanyahu was talking, I was on the street making those kinds of images, of Israelis with the logo … sending the love to the Iranians, so it’s not only Netanyahu talking, but also we, the people of Israel, have a say. And we’re not always agreeing with what he is saying.”
When the politicians and mainstream media are failing to voice the views of the people, it is up to people like Edry to take to social media and flip the script.