Israel Loves Iran

Hate is not conqured by hate: hate is conquered by love. This is a law eternal.

In the past two decades, who are the most numerous casualties during wartime?  Civilians (defined as not a member of his or her country's armed forces or other militia).  Obviously all conflicts are not morally equal, and some still believe in, and argue for,  the notion of inevitable collateral damage.  Governments assure us that today's military technology is so specialised that if we've done our utmost to be precise in our targeting, any unintended casualties that are incurred must have been inevitable.   One Israeli man believes that it is no longer acceptable to refuse to give a voice and a face to the people who are at the greatest threat on both sides of the conflict.  From within the agressor-nation, citizens who dissent with the miltary action of their government are rarely acknowledged by the media (at home or abroad).  Never before in history have potential victims had such access to the civilian population of their adversaries, hearing the people reply with a resounding NO to the actions of their government.  It's quite a thing to witness the will of the people publicly displaying their desire for peace and more generally demand that their elected officials refrain from actions that put their lives at risk.

Beyond the posturing of political parties there are families who can't take any more death, who just want the chance for the children to grow up, to live without fear.  Even following 911 there were victim's families who did not support the invasion of Afghanistan and still called for peace rather than strikes on the middle east.   While the media can often obscure stories like these, the internet remains a forum where people who would never have willingly met on the street are suddenly speaking to their formerly shadowy nemesis, bound only by their command of language and a computer.

In the past these conflicts have played out to the general public pre-strike with a brief soundbyte from busy foreign street, but now social media is running circles past the previous blackouts, misinformation and propaganda.   Soon, it may be only politicians and shrinking pockets of extremism that are posturing as the Emperor with no clothes, preaching the glory of nationalism and fighting war for the sake of peace, all to very jaded and war-weary audiences.  I believe this type of campaign represents that shift,  and a vital new direction for future peace which will be built by civilians banding together across borders.

From the bottom up, reaching above and beyond their leaders and their politics, subverting hatred - people stand on their own now, asking others to join them - refusing to allow their government to wage war their name.

To the Iranian people
To all the fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters
For there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate.
I’m not afraid of you, I don’t hate you.
I don't even know you. No Iranian ever did me no harm. I never even met an Iranian…
Just one in Paris in a museum. Nice dude.
I see sometime here, on the TV, an Iranian. He is talking about war.
I’m sure he does not represent all the people of Iran.
If you see someone on your TV talking about bombing you
…be sure he does not represent all of us.
I’m not an official representative of my country. I'm a father and a teacher. I know the streets of my town, I talk with my neighbors, my family, my students, my friends and in the name of all these people …we love you.

We mean you no harm.
On the contrary, we want to meet, have some coffee and talk about sports.

 To all those who feel the same, share this message and help it reach the Iranian people.
Pushpin Mehina

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