On March 21th, President Obama gave an amazing speech in Jerusalem.
I would love to thank him for his open and encouraging words. His main message to the young people was that peace is possible. “Therefore we – the young generation – should put pressure on our governments in the search of peaceful solutions, as Obama said: “Political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do.”
The same day ten years ago, President George W. Bush started an illegal war against Iran’s neighbour Iraq, without any approval by the United Nations because of alleged weapons of mass destruction which finally have never been found. George W. Bush claimed the threat of terror as a reason for his pre-emptive strike. In his war propaganda he devided the world into good and bad, and portrayed Iraq, Iran and North Korea as Axis of Evil.
As we see, there are different types of politicians: On the one hand we have those who talk much about God and Satan, they name whole nations “Big Satan” and “Little Satan” or “Axis of Evil”. To me the rhetorics are all the same, aiming to create a hostile atmosphere and to spread fear in the minds of the people. They often talk about their rights of self defense and pre-emptive strikes or about terrorist actions by the other side.
On the other hand there are those politicians who have a vision. But you can’t find them very often. That’s the reason why we, the people, have to act now. Let’s put pressure on our politicians… let’s push for peace. Right now we have an American President who supports that goal, so we really should use this opportunity, because who knows how the next President will think about peace…
Some may argue: Well, Obamas words are nice, but how could we achieve peace… the answer is as simple as the Israel Loves Iran story is.
Four months after the campaign was born, we had our first offline meeting in the real world. In Munich I met Ronny Edry – the man behind the Israel Loves Iran campaign – and Joujou from “Palestine Loves Israel” for the first time. It was unbelievable: an Israeli sitting together with a Palestinian and some Iranian friends on a table in a coffee bar in Germany. The whole afternoon we were sitting together laughing, talking, eating together – in peace! From the first moment I felt so connected to Ronny and Joujou as if I had known them for a long time. And they told me that they felt the same, so I decided to create a Facebook page that represents my feeling towards them: Iran Loves Israel & Palestine. Nobody can force me to decide between them. They are both a part of me, same as Israel and Palestine, both are part of the Middle East and will always be.
What we did in Munich was like a small model which could be applied to the whole region. So what did we do exactly? We got into direct contact on Facebook, we communicated via chat and skype, we built groups on Facebook, we shared pictures, experiences and our views. Through this exchange a real change happened in our hearts and minds. And I understood that communication is the way – as simple as it is. In a next step we met in real life: first Ronny came to Munich and met Joujou and me, then I went to Israel to visit Ronny and his family in Israel, and now Joujou went there too and came back two days ago. We took pictures and spread our message through our pages to make sure that our message is travelling fast.
So peace is possible in three easy steps:
- Real meetings
- Spreading the message through pictures and stories.
How did the change in our minds happen? Through communication, because we are able to distinguish now between propaganda and reality. We share first hand informations and make our own mind about the people we are told to consider as “enemy”. And now that we are connected we can plan how to fight warmongers together.
Roya Mobasheri, Iran
YaLa Young Leaders