The love Iranians meme isn’t new


The social media campaign launched by an Israeli pair of graphic artists, proclaiming love for Iranians, has a commercial precedent — one that even forecasts the current campaign.

An Israeli long distance/Internet company, 013, ran a similar ad campaign a year or so ago. Its message is that the embraces denied us in real life are sometimes attainable in the virtual world.

Incidentally, a lot of the coverage I’ve seen of the latest outpouring suggests that it seeks to overcome the prejudices that inhibit each nation from considering "the other" as human. See Robert Wright here, at the Atlantic, for instance.

I can’t speak for Iran. And it is true that Israeli feelings for Arabs are complex (not necessarily racist, although it can certainly devolve into that.)

But my experience is that Israelis feel very positively about the Iranian people, and have for decades, a sentiment evidenced in both these campaigns. Israelis do not identify the Iranian masses with the regime.

Also notable: Virtually all the affection the young Israeli elicits in the 013 ad is from devout Muslims.

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