Five days after an Israeli couple professed its love for the Iranian people over Facebook, the campaign continued to make waves in the global media.
CNN's website dedicated a prime spot for the campaign Tuesday, exposing its readers to what was quickly turning into the week's most heartwarming story.
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"It is not possible to dial an Iranian number from an Israeli telephone," the article read. "It will simply not go through… That is why it was so difficult for Ronny Edry, an Israeli graphic designer based in Tel Aviv, to get his message across to the people of Iran."
CNN put the story front and center (Screenshot)
The message, put together by Edry and his graphic designer partner Michal Tamir, was simple: "Iranians, we love you. We will never bomb your country." A poster bearing the slogan was posted on Facebook, prompting thousands to share it, comment on it and make their own versions.
The CNN article itself was recommended by more than 1,000 readers over various social networks, but was only one indicator of the widespread exposure that the initiative received. The Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network put aside its notorious criticism of the Jewish state, publishing its own coverage of the campaign, under the headline "Israel hearts Iran."
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"Amid growing tensions between Israel and Iran, two Israeli graphic designers have created a Facebook campaign aimed at challenging the warmongering rhetoric," the article read, raking in over a thousand "likes" on Facebook.
Initiative draws praise, skepticism
Al-Jazeera listed examples of posters and comments made by Israelis and Iranians in response to the campaign.
"Wow, I am an Iranian (who lives in Canada), I cannot express my feeling when I read this," one web surfer wrote in response to a photo of an elderly Israeli couple posing with Edry and Tamir's slogan. "I promise you (that) Iranians have the same feeling about you too, I have met a couple from your country and we had a great time talking and eating with each other. I wish one day we can all live in peace."
Like any popular campaign, Edry and Tamir's initiative was not spared from parody. One image shown on Al-Jazeera featured Israeli comedians posing as Iranian nuclear scientists, with the slogan "Israelis, we will never bomb your country. We love you."
Al-Jazeera covered campaign as well (Screenshot)
Readers' opinions on the phenomenon were split.
"I love the initiative of those peace loving guys, and I appreciate their efforts," one reader commented on the Al-Jazeera article. "But I really hope that the Israelis are saying: 'Palestinians, we will not bomb you any more, we love you!' I'm more than sure that Palestinians, and the whole Muslim world will respond with much more respect and gratitude."
Another reader's response was more skeptical: "I believe their 'Initiative' is more like this saying I once heard. 'Every once in a while, be NICE to your enemy, as it confuses the hell out of them!'"
The story was covered by several Turkish, Lebanese Egyptian media outlets, including the newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabe.
"Israel doesn't love anyone," one reader responded on the Egyptian daily's website. "Since when do Israelis love anyone but themselves? These are prophet murderers, violators of agreements; they are the world's cancer."
While the campaign drew many responses from Iranians on Facebook, Iranian media outlets, which are closely monitored – if not regulated – by the regime, did not mention the campaign.
Many Iranian expatriates, however, received the initiative with open arms, making their own posters, some bearing the slogan: "We love you, Israeli people. The Iranian people do not like any war with any country."
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