Israeli couple's pledge not to bomb Iran sparks Facebook frenzy
Online posters sending messages of love and peace draw widespread attention and support; Iranian citizens send messages of thanks and praise.
An Israeli couple's online peace poster has turned into a social media sensation, spurring hundreds of Israelis and even Iranians to send similar posters to the couple's Facebook page.
Last Thursday, graphic artists Roni Edri and his wife, Michal Tamir, uploaded photo-posters of themselves and their children to the Facebook page of their Tel Aviv graphic arts school, Pushpin, on which they wrote, "Iranians, we will never bomb your country. We love you."
They said their call was addressed to "Fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters" in Iran.
"For there to be war between us, we have to be afraid of each other, we have to hate," wrote Edri. "I'm not afraid of you and I don't hate you. I don't even know you. No Iranian has ever hurt me."
He added that while he was not an official representative of the State of Israel, he was a father and a teacher, bringing a message on behalf of his neighbors, family, friends and students. "We love you," he wrote. "We don't want to hurt you."
Within hours, there were responses. Some, Edri told Haaretz, were critical.
"After I put up the first poster, people started to come down on me, telling me I was a naive idiot. 'What do you mean, you love them?' 'Why are you dropping your pants before the war has even begun?'"
But very quickly the posters started to go viral, and many people began sending their own versions, using the logo Edri and Tamir provided. In their Facebook album, there are already dozens of posters, showing children and their parents, young and old people, and even one person wearing a gas mask. Many are holding Israeli flags or posing in front of one.
It wasn't long before they started to receive responses from Iran.
"I never believed that within 48 hours I'd be speaking to the other side," said Edri.
Most sent private messages but others asked Edri and his wife to be their Facebook friends and posted messages on their wall.
Yesterday there were Iranians putting peace posters on the wall addressed to Israelis, although none showed the sender or senders' full faces.
"We love you too," wrote one of the surfers from Iran. "Your words are reaching us, despite the censorship. The Iranian people, except for the regime, have no grudge or hostility toward anyone, especially not to Israelis. We've never seen Israelis as our enemies."