Anti-war protest comes amid growing Facebook campaign linking Israelis and Iranians; campaign leaders: We have nothing to do with the protest rally.
Hundreds of Israelis marched in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest against a possible Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The protest came amid a recent Facebook campaign linking Israeli and Iranian citizens in their opposition to war between the two nations. Campaign leaders, however, made it clear on their Facebook page that they had nothing to do with the Tel Aviv protest march.
An elderly Israeli holds a sign that says, “95, believing in and demanding peace.”
Last week, graphic designers Ronny Edry and his wife, Michal Tamir, unknowingly began a Facebook phenomenon when they uploaded a poster depicting Edry and his daughter with the words, “Iranians, we will never bomb your country, we [heart] you.”
That one image sparked a movement of sorts, with hundreds, if not thousands, of images sent from Israel, Iran, and elsewhere in the world, in support of exposing what participants consider to be the human side of the conflict between Iran and Israel.
Protesters hold a sign that reads “Israelis Against the War” at a large anti-war rally in Tel Aviv on March 24.
“My Israeli friends, I do not hate you; I do not want war. love, Peace,” read many Iranian posters that were posted by Iranians to the new group page. Most of the Iranians, who posted messages to the Facebook group, did so with their faces partially veiled, possibly out of fear from the Iranian authorities.
Last Saturday, Edry said that Iranian group members explained that they could be arrested if recognized in the photos.
“Dear Israeli Friends and World! Iranians love peace and we hate hate!…and we don’t need any Nuclear Power to show it!” one poster caption stated.
Protesters among the approximately 1,000 who flooded Tel Aviv.
“I’m from Iran and love your idea and your efforts against war and for peace. I am really happy to get to know you and people like you, and hope to find more people like you. Here in Iran the situation is complicated and many people hate the governments and their bullshit,” another anonymous Iranian wrote in a poster he published.
On Saturday, the protest against a strike on Iran – one, it should be added, that was not endorsed by the leaders of the Facebook campaign – began its march at Tel Aviv’s Habima Square, making its way to the city’s Meir Park.
Participants held signs with such captions as “No to War with Iran,” and “Talks, not Bombs.”