Israel vs. Iran

A while ago an Israeli graphical designer started a project with a very simple message: The people of Israel don’t want to bomb Iran. Sure, there’s talk of talk of war by politicians such as Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad, but the people themselves want to live in peace. The project is called Israel loves Iran, has a website here and a facebook page here. So far over 50.000 people have joined the cause. The content of the action is simple, posters and mails declaring love for each other are sent back and forth.

There’s many ways in which you can critique this action. For starters, the campaign doesn’t address the insane politics of both Iran and Israel. No wonder sites parodying the Israel hearts Iran campaign have appeared. Here’s a great one with Israel hearts Palestine posters: http://smpalestine.com/2012/03/20/ten-ways-israel-loves-palestine/

While I share this critique there was one overriding reason to contribute to the campaign. Before policy can change our notions of people have to change. In the past years the anti-semitism that I’ve encountered in the Middle-Eastern community has been very real and incredibly worrisome. I’ve also met quite a few (well traveled and well read) Israelis who showed surprise at meeting Iranians who read books and Iranian women without headscarfs. Even the most well intended political campaign will suffer from the fact that great parts of the popupation don’t see the other side as quite as human. Any actions that tries to remedy that is, imho, a beneficial one.

So to add to this campaign, here’s the two presenters of the My Real Story night at the Mezrab telling some silly jokes:

Israel loves Iran from Julie Rosebud on Vimeo.

Let us know what you think of this action (and our contribution) in the comment section.

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6 thoughts on “Israel vs. Iran

  1. De grap over Rabbi Tiger Woods was een hele goeie. De actie Isreal loves Iran is aardig bedacht, maar ook erg ‘self absorbed’.

    1. Hoi Peti, je hebt natuurlijk gelijk. Het zou ook zonde zijn wanneer de mensen die door deze actie zijn aangestoken het alleen maar hier bij laten, en zich verder niet verdiepen in de politiek van de beide landen. Als dat het geval is heeft de actie wat mij betreft gefaald.

  2. EGHERMANS LOVE THE MEZRAB

    Yes. I speak for all Eghermans, everywhere.

    There are always a million reasons not to take action. Those who decide to reach out encounter criticism from so many different directions. It can be daunting. Over the past three years, I have been working actively for human rights in Iran. I ask myself the same questions others ask me: why am I not doing this or that or the other? The fact is, we have to take a leap sometimes and work for change and for human rights and for peace. We all know that extremists of all types work for their causes and do, in fact, effect change. Why do we moderates (me among them) always cede our power to create change through inaction, criticism, and defeatist attitudes?

    1. Thanks for the support Edith,

      And the question you pose about moderates leaving the activism to extremists is an important one that most communities have not solved. Often we rely on extremists of both polarities to cancel each other out, we ourselves struggling with a complicated worldview that doesn’t allow itself to be captured in simple slogans.

      The question of course is, having identified this, how do we move forward?

      1. I think we do what’s difficult for moderates: get out and advocate for our nuanced, complicated world view. It’s something I have been thinking about for 30 years, and in the time it took me to think, all sorts of idiots took the reigns of power all over the world. Look at the US: the majority of the population opposes war, supports women’s rights, opposes wall street corruption, wants national health insurance… But the majority is only now becoming “activated” with Facebook and twitter. Still, that activism is maligned as simple and thoughtless, when in fact, I would argue, it’s helping moderates make their voices heard and see the benefits of doing so. Another thing moderates need to do is to understand that no victim/issue/cause will ever be perfect. We need to go out on a limb every once in awhile and support the issues we care about with open hearts.

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