An Israeli-Iranian Meme Lovefest
An Phung is a multimedia journalist based in New York City. She has contributed to NYTimes.com, Patch.com and City Limits. She also spent time reporting in Indonesia where she covered stories about the country's growing illicit drug trade. An graduated from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in international reporting.
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What is the Big Idea?
While Israel and Iran teeter on the brink of war, two Israeli graphic designers decided to reach out to Iranian citizens by creating a slogan that Internet users can impose over any photo of their choice. The text reads "Iranians, We Love You." Iran's netizens responded with their own memes, but their faces are less recognizable for fear of reprisal.
There is even an option for concerned Russians to create a "Russia Loves Syria" meme.
What is the Significance?
A recent survey showed that 50 percent of Israelis are opposed to war with Iran even though diplomatic efforts to stall an Iranian nuclear program failed, according to Dimi Reider of +972 Magazine.
"Quite simply, neither party has any appetite for a war right now." said Reider. "As an Iranian first strike on Israel is not even on the cards right now, Iranian opposition to war may come as no surprise."
Forty three percent supported the move, but 78 percent of those surveyed believes that a successful attack would only delay a nuclear bomb by a few years. Sixteen percent believed such an attack would wipe out the Iranian nuclear program for good.
The designers, couple Ronnie Edri and Michal Tamir, decided on Saturday "to cut across the growing anxiety and fear over the possibility of an Israel-Iran war, and address Iranian citizens directly," Reider said in his report.
They uploaded their own posters to Facebook, showing a smiling photo of themselves—ordinary Israeli citizens with their children—pledging their love and commitment to stave off war.
"I thought that when you're constantly surrounded by talk of threats and war, you are so stressed and afraid that you crawl into a sort of shell," Edri told Haaretz. "So I thought, 'Why not try to reach the other side; to bypass the generals and see if they [Iranians] really hate me?'"
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