As pretty much everyone knows by now, relations between Israel and Iran are at an all time low, even by their usually grim standards. Though the entire issues has been greatly sensationalism – by media, politicians, and even the general public – a confrontation of some sort can’t be ruled out.
Indeed, it’s arguably already begun, albeit covertly – several Iranian scientists connected to the nuclear program have been assassinated, while Israeli some embassies were subject to bombings a few weeks ago. Neither side has taken responsibility, of course, but we can be reasonably sure they’re involved in taking deadly jabs at one another.
In any case, I won’t be focusing too much on the somber political dynamics of this issue (at least not yet). Instead, I want to raise attention to the better side of human nature in all this: efforts by average people in both nations to express peace and solidarity with one another, in spite of the militant rhetoric of their leaders.
Start with this campaign, created and led by an Israeli graphic designer who’s trying to reach out to Iranians and assure them that not everyone is on board with all this talk of war. He wants the entire world to get wind of this, too, in an effort to dispel the fear and hatred that precipitate every conflict. You can see the introductory video below, and visit the Facebook page (as well as the reciprocating Iranian page here).
People are naturally raising questions about whether this warmness and good will extends to Palestine. It’s a good question, but at this point I’m happy to see any sign on amiability towards any group. If anything, perhaps this will catch on and start a trend for other conflicts? (it’s already spawned more than a few parodies).
Either way, it’s reassuring to see people take matters into their own hand, and not allow their governments to speak for everyone when they purport to represent the national interest. Politicians, elected or not, don’t always reflect the will of their people, no matter how much they’ll insist it (as they should, given that even authoritarian regimes with contempt toward their people stake their legitimacy on reflecting popular will). Governments and citizens are two different entities, and it’s great that the latter can now make their own voices heard.
Finally, I’ll leave you a more heart-warming kind of Israeli-Iranian relationship:
Love is all you need.