A weekend with not much to do…some free time spent on the computer and off-it went, the Love&Peace campaign, the outbreak of mutual expressions of “Ahm…well…bombs are actually not what the people want…” of both, Israelis and Iranians.
Just this Saturday it was, that Pushpin Mehina started to publish on Facebook, that the couple started the blog israelovesiran.com and opened the Facebook Fan Page Israel-Loves-Iran. It started a wave, reached Haaretz and the English edition of this Israeli paper, the Los Angeles Times who wrote about the “Israeli-Iran-Attack Love-Campaign” and the Washington Post, that is speaking about the “Anti-War Initiative”.
Faster and heavier than anyone could imagine, it rained back comments who flew through cyberspace across the borders. Back from Iran to Israel. Some Iranians expressed they felt the same, but could not pose on a poster in fear of being arrested. Others stated the hope that the age of the Ayatollah Khomeini will do the rest and leave people and neighbours in freedom and peace. Slowly but steadily, images from Iran came in, people reached out hands. “On the contrary, we want to meet, have some coffee and talk about sports.” And it happened: people started talking to people.
I come from a region at the French-German border where for about 600 years people were killing each other, moving the border a bit east, a bit west again, and little later again…hm…this time…East! 600 years – not one time real peace and prosperity for more than half a decade. After WWII in my region the never-thought-possible happened and enemies started to exchange, participate on each others lives and share. – Thanks to the leaders at the time, I got to say, much more than thanks to the people, in that case. But oh so wise leaders you gotta find first!
“Iranians I love you. I truly truly love you. It’s my people I hate.” posted by “Bibi” and a joke about Netanyahu shows how wise leaders in this case today might be. But than: Fun’s fun. It helps take things light hearted. It reaches other audiences than a speach or a serious research would. A hot blonde young Swedish girl with the note “Swedes, I love you. I will never bomb your country.”, a Vulkan speaking “Klingon, I love you. I will never bomb your country.”, “Trojans, we love you, we will never bomb your country.” (Funny enough the last one shows the Trojan horse and not, would it have followed through the original idea properly, a Greek person speaking … some very funny person was not smart enough here…)
Anyway. apart from the few Iranian expats I know (most of whom call themselves Persian and not Iranian, not that I’d care, but it might show their outlook on their own country in its current state…), I met “real” Iranians, like: Iranians who lived there last week and not 10 years ago, only once. At Berlinale Film Festival, in a Bus. I thought they are from Argentina, asked some silly questions, we started to chat, they solved the Iranian-origin riddle and we all had a great laugh.
Nevertheless, from these very few expats, I know, I do understand that simply being all sweetness and light will not cut it.
Not for them, at least. Love, peace and happiness will not bring the Iranian people any of the pluralistic freedoms we enjoy in central Europe here. But neither will a war.
If you’re interested in a Public Opinion survey by the Dahaf Institute about the acceptance of an Israeli attack on Iran in the Israeli population check CNN here. You got to scroll down and: Those are figures from one month ago. would be interesting to see, what this campaign did and how those numbers changed.
Read more on Haaretz about the campaign here.
A lovely gallery of only the poster images you’ll find here or here.
Very interesting German Blog post about Israel Loves Iran by a German-Persian site in German here. They go in great detail in to the Persian-Jewish history – or did you know that the Iranian Embassy in Paris saved a lot of Jewish lives by handing out visas to Jews who fled Germany, so they could safely move to Iran and be put on the survivors lists? this was at a time, when Switzerland had a different policy to letting Jewish refugees in their country and it was hard to get British and US visas…so definitely worth checking google translate and zipping through this page.
All images in this post by Pushpin Mehina, who is a designer by trade actually and started this entire thing for some students of his.
I added the links to the sarcastic/ironic/funny images circulating on the web in the text above…in case you came here to find Klingons and Vulkans…