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'Iranians, we love you', says Israeli Facebook page

Israel,Diplomacy, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 IANS

Jerusalem, March 23 (IANS) A new Facebook initiative has been launced by Israelis to reach out to Iranians to show them that despite tensions, the majority of Israelis do not want war.


The "Iranians, we love you" Facebook page has garnered around 18,000 "likes" after less than a week since Roni Edris and Michal Tamir, a couple from Tel Aviv, launched the group on the popular social media website.


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


When he first posted the picture on his personal Facebook page, many of his friends reprimanded him.


"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 said.


He considers himself a common Israeli citizen, who is interested in peace and who does not 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.


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.


He now gets dozens of messages from Iranians sharing their love for Israelis.


One message from Darius from Iran read: "There is no reason for not being united, we love you Israeli people."


Another message from someone claiming to be an Iranian from Germany called blamed both the governments, saying: "Our problem is that we are all victims of corrupted politicians in our countries."


Edris, however, does not know 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.


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