Jews and Arabs refuse to be enemies: Social media campaign goes viral (PHOTOS)
As the Israeli operation Protective Edge has so far claimed over 1,000 dead, users have been flooding the web with dozens of photos of Jews and Arabs together showcasing peace and love, under the hashtag #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies.
Israel, Hamas agree to 12-hour pause in Gaza hostilities
The campaign was launched by Abraham Gutman (Jewish) and Dania Darwish (Arab), both students at Hunter College in New York, immediately after the start of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza - and this week it gained momentum.
“For me, it is hard to watch the current escalation between Israel and Gaza from afar. I wanted to find a way to be more than a passenger, to do something about it rather than just watch the news and hope for the best,” Gutman told Christian Science monitor.
Abraham and Dania took a photo of themselves in Washington Square Park. They started a Facebook group and by now have been flooded with photos from around the world. The page has more than 5,000 fans.
We need more of this. It's beautiful. #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemiespic.twitter.com/ypQ7wOzqFH
— joel rayner (@joe_n1nety) July 22, 2014
The hashtag #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies soon became popular. One of the most viral pictures turned to be the one that showed a kissing couple - Lebanese journalist Sulome Anderson and her Orthodox Jewish boyfriend.
“He calls me neshama, I call him habibi. Love doesn't speak the language of occupation,” wrote Sulome in her Twitter account.
The journalist also told NYmag that the selfie became a “viral symbol of peace.”
“This isn’t just about politics. This is about people. No one knows better than I the toll Middle East violence takes on ordinary people just trying to live.”
— Atila Özer (@Chapullogist) July 26, 2014
The ground operation in the Gaza Strip was launched by Tel Aviv on July 8, following more than a week of Hamas shelling Israel and the IDF responding with air strikes. Over 1,030 people, at least 40 Israeli troops among them, have died in the violence.
On Saturday, Israel and Hamas agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire in the Gaza hostilities that started on Saturday morning.
#JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies : la paix au Proche-Orient est possible http://t.co/1yU4YtL3W2pic.twitter.com/NHlMzq1Tmk
— M6info by MSN (@m6info) July 26, 2014
However, soon after the truce was announced, at least 60 bodies were recovered by rescue forces from buildings destroyed in Israeli strikes in Gaza, reported the Palestinian Authority's official radio station.
Early on Saturday – shortly before the truce – rescue crews recovered a family of 18 Palestinians killed by Israeli tank shelling in the southern Gaza Strip, according to the Gaza health ministry. The victims were members of the Al-Najar family, who had been trapped inside their house in Khuzaa village east of Khan Younis since Thursday.
Abraham Gutman & Dania Darwish both students at Hunter College in NYC #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies#GazaUnderAttackpic.twitter.com/0jASa42wXb
— Muhanad Alhassoun (@Muhanad97) July 23, 2014
— Ezio Savasta (@EzioSavasta) July 26, 2014
We demand a future of friendship, not violence "My future husband. Jewish Arab love."#JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemiespic.twitter.com/k7Sn4KhFss
— Abraham Gutman (@abgutman) July 24, 2014
Love this. #gaza #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemiespic.twitter.com/HcIpHAlPuM
— Nick Seymour (@nickseemore) July 23, 2014
Jasmin is Israeli, Osama is Palestinian. They are a happy family !#JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemiespic.twitter.com/Oy2Rjo08V7
— Abraham Gutman (@abgutman) July 21, 2014
— Ayana Haviv (@ayanahaviv) July 24, 2014
Photo: #interfaith Jewish and Muslim marriage pic.twitter.com/ziPjWpUlaR via @beingboth@sashasylvie #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies
— Abrahamic Forum (@abrahamicforum) July 26, 2014
pic.twitter.com/AMFpWxn5qg yes ! I'm an iranian and I want peace for all the world . #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies
— ســ ـیــ ــگــ ــما (@sigma_tata) July 22, 2014
— Karen Diaz Lima (@KarenkaRabias) July 26, 2014
RT @concettalarocca: #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies This is the future! pic.twitter.com/MhcCbWpsbk
— Hambledown_Road (@Hambledown_Road) July 26, 2014