In April 2012, I went to Israel and I interviewed Ronny Edri in his home in the residential backstreets of Tel Aviv. Ronny is a 41 year old graphic designer and ex-paratrooper from Israel who stumbled upon viral success and global news coverage when he made a poster of himself and his daughter with a bold message telling his potential enemy; “Iranians, We will never Bomb Your. We Love You” and posted it on Facebook.
The posters triggered a response from Iranian graphic designers whose posters explained that they too wanted peace. In the ten months since he launched the campaign, it has received over 100,000 Facebook Likes and has spawned a parallel movement headed by an Iranian graphic designer called – you guessed it – Iran Loves Israel, with almost 30,000 likes.
Such numbers may seem small in relation to the vast population of Iran (over 75 million) or even the small population of of Israel (just over 7 million), but they are testament to the power of the internet as a social tool to effect change, and in light of a recent Ted-Talk, below, in which Ronny explains the second wave of their campaign – “Not Ready to Die in Your War” – there is reason to remain positive that the all out war that has been on the horizon for a decade can be averted.
Check out the Israel Love Iran website – “the bridged of communication between people in the middle east” – to see how they plan to influence events in the lead up to Israel’s next general election.