IMPACT
03/09/2015 03:26 pm ET Updated Mar 09, 2015

How Social Media Is Bridging The Gap Between Israelis And Iranians

After rhetoric about Iran's nuclear energy and reports of a soured relationship between President Obama and the Israeli Prime Minister took over the news cycle last week, Iranian and Israeli citizens took to social media to have a completely different conversation.

Israeli graphic designer Ronny Edry joined HuffPost Live to discuss how the people of both Middle Eastern countries have reclaimed their stories and reached out to one another online.

Edry shared the backstory of posting an image to Facebook in 2012 that read "Iranians, we love you, we will never bomb your country." Little did he know, the photo would have a tremendous reach.

"In a matter of a few hours it reached people in Iran," he told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani.

Within one day, responses of peace started pouring in from Iran. Edry decided to spin his positive message into a public awareness campaign, all fueled by social media. His Facebook page, Israel-Loves-Iran, has more than 100,000 likes and has spawned other versions, like Palestine Loves Israel. Edry even created a non-profit organization called The Peace Factory dedicated to helping citizens of warring Middle Eastern countries communicate with each other on the web.

So last week when Benjamin Netanyahu headed to Congress to give his controversial address, Edry had other priorities.

"While Netanyahu was talking, I was on the street making those kinds of images, of Israelis with the logo ... sending the love to the Iranians," he said. "So it's not only Netanyahu talking, but also we, the people of Israel, have a say. And we're not always agreeing with what he is saying."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation about the way that Israelis and Iranians are embracing a more peaceful future here.

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