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Israelis, Iranians meet to 'share love' on Facebook

April 11, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
Israel_Iran_Peace_Love_World_Gathering.jpgFew Iranians make it past the censors in the unique people-to-people dialogue forum

March 26, 2012 by Niv Elis via ISPR
-- Israelis may not be allowed to travel to Iran in person, but virtual reality may be the next best thing. In the most recent grassroots attempt to build civil society ties between the two peoples, Israelis and Iranians met Monday in a Facebook forum dubbed "ISRAEL <3 IRAN PEACE & LOVE World gathering."

Having created an online sensation with their online forum called "Israel-Loves-Iran" in recent weeks, 41-year-old Ronny Edri and his 35-year-old partner Michal Tamir organized the event to provide everyday Iranians and Israelis who oppose a war between the two countries a space to interact.

Over six thousand users were invited to join the forum on the "Shaker" software platform, in which participants received avatars that could meet, buy one another "drinks," and chat with one another.

Well, at least the Israelis could.

Despite a healthy showing from Iranians living abroad or in exile, Iran's heavy Internet censorship and potential criminal charges meant only a handful of people in Iran could join.

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