April 4, 2012

Israelis and Iranians Talk

Citizens in both countries are using Facebook to bridge the gap.

Jessica: These Israelis are protesting against a possible war with Iran.

“I mean that war is not a solution. Just talking is a solution. Just peace will bring any solution. War will only bring people dead.”

Jessica: Their message of peace may never make it to the Iranian people.

Israel and Iran are sworn enemies. Phone calls from Israel into Iran are simply not allowed. And the Iranian government controls the media. Satellite dishes are illegal.

“This is a critical situation, not only for us but for the whole world.”

Jessica: It is critical because tensions between Israel and Iran over Iran’s nuclear development program are near the breaking point. Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, insists its program is for electricity. But both Israel and the U.S. accuse Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Iran and Israel have been enemies since 1979 and geographically, Iran is close enough to launch a nuclear bomb into Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanhayu has threatened to drop bombs on development sites in Iran to wipe out Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

But what do the people of Iran and Israel want? Well, because Iran is so closed off, it is tough to know.

A graphic designer in Israel is trying to break down the communication barriers with a page he is created on Facebook. He is using it to send his own message to the people of Iran: that Israel loves Iran. And he is displaying posters like this, saying no to war. And some in Iran seem to be getting the message.

“I get this message from a girl saying, ‘I’m from Iran and I get your message, and I get your poster, and it’s really moving. And thank you for sending this poster.’ And I was like, whoa. It’s crazy. That’s it. We did it.”

Jessica: On this page, Iranians and Israelis — so called sworn enemies — are sharing messages of peace and friendship.

“There are message from all over the world. Here’s another message from an Iranian that says, ‘My Israeli friends, I don’t hate you. I don’t want war. There are comments in English and Arabic, like this one post. And more than 55,000 people like the page.”

Jessica: Proving that simple, direct communication can produce unexpected results.

“As people, we have no problem one with each other. It means israelis don’t hate Iranians and Iranians don’t hate Israelis. There’s no need for a war. We are not enemies. We have been raised as enemies.”

Jessica: Jessica Kumari, Channel One News.


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