22.3.12

Israel Loves Iran



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

In the last thirty years of world conflict the group that often suffers the most brutal casualties are 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.  Politicians and military representatives assure us that technology is now 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 passivity in the general population of an agressor nation is no longer , and is giving a voice and a face to the those who choose peace, and represent the people who may face the greatest threat on both sides of the conflict if it escalates. Citizens who dissent with the miltary action of their government are rarely acknowledged by the media (at home or abroad). Never before in human history have potential victims had such access to the civilian population of their 'enemy'.

Politicians posture and intimidate, making threats to strike, while families who can't take any more paraonoia, hate, and violence, want to give their children the opportunity to raise their grandchildren in a peace they never felt.  Even in the wake of 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.  The interview between Bill O'Reilly and Jeremy Glick illustrates how a simple argument for the choice to stop perpetuating violence can be absurdly twisted in the minds of those consumed by nationalist, militaristic ideology. While the media can often obscure stories like these, the internet provides the opportunity to finally connect to the 'other', that formerly shadowy nemesis political propogandists have worked to teach us to hate and fear.

In the past these conflicts have played out to the general public pre-strike carefully placed embedded reporting from a busy foreign street. Now - social media runs circles past the previous blackouts (though there is still  a lot of sifting required to get past misinformation and hasty reporting).  Soon, it may be only politicians and shrinking pockets of extremism that are posturing as the Emperor with no clothes, fighting war for the sake of peace to well informed and war-weary audiences.  I believe Israel Loves Iran is the 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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