Maybe you didn't hear about it, but Ronny Edri posted a picture of he and his daughter - Israelis - on his Facebook page and starting a revolution in Social Media that is in the works as we speak. He did this in response to the pending possible conflict between Israel and Iran and the proverbial saber rattling over Iran's possible nuclear program. Here is what he wrote to the Iranian people:
To all the fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters
For there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate. I’m not afraid of you, I don’t hate you. I don t even know you. No Iranian ever did me no harm. I never even met an Iranian…Just one in Paris in a museum. Nice dude.
I see sometime here, on the TV, an Iranian. He is talking about war. I’m sure he does not represent all the people of Iran. If you see someone on your TV talking about bombing you …be sure he does not represent all of us.
I’m not an official representative of my country. I'm a father and a teacher. I know the streets of my town, I talk with my neighbors, my family, my students, my friends and in the name of all these people …we love you. We mean you no harm. On the contrary, we want to meet, have some coffee and talk about sports.
To all those who feel the same, share this message and help it reach the Iranian people.
Ronny, tel aviv
This sparked an online Facebook forum expressing love between the people of the two countries, a true grassroots movement for peace rather than for war. This followed peaceful marches on the streets of Tel Aviv. Now, don't mistake me here. I am totally against the development of nuclear weapons and a new kind of arms race with new players - now North Korea and Iran rather than the Soviet Union. However, I also believe that Jesus was pretty clear about how to deal with our enemies - love them and pray for them, and turn the other cheek. Now, I'm not saying anything about national security or how to deal with just war (those are for another time), but instead think this bears mentioning. What's awesome about this campaign is that it is the public expression of people - not governments or political parties - who are expressing a love for other human beings and a desire to avoid the kind of wars that have so divided us as a human race. I was watching a documentary on the holocaust just a few weeks ago, and was once again struck by how easily we can demonize our enemies and in our minds make them less than human. This documentary - as difficult as it was to watch - showed the human side of even the most horrendous of war criminals. One has to wonder what breaks down in us that turns us into monsters of violence and perpetrators of death on any scale? How can we feel good about making trained killers out of our youth, even as they defend our important freedoms? These are not easy questions, but the hard realities of life East of Eden that have raged since the violence of Cain against his brother. It is moments like this when the bright side of our humanity shines, and the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[ and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?"
Note that it is an Israeli citizen (probably not a Christian or follower of Jesus... I don't know) who has written these words and begun this campaign. I wonder, where are the Christians who are speaking and spreading love throughout the world and speaking powerfully for peace through the message of Jesus?
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