Hot on the heels of the Facebook love fest between everyday Israelis and Iranians, the social media-savvy Israeli President Shimon Peres is sending out special videotaped Nowruz greeting to the Iranian people. Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is being celebrated today.
In his taped message, Peres comes across as genuinely concerned about the Iranian people. But let’s not kid ourselves — given the tense situation over Iran’s nuclear build up, it is not just by chance that the president is making this gesture now.
Acting like a stern grandfather, he simultaneously scolds and encourages the Iranians with statements like:
If you won’t hate, you won’t be hated. If you won’t threaten, you won’t be threatened. If you show friendship, you’ll get friendship. Iran was an empire of culture, of great thinkers, of great poets, of great painters —an outstanding nation. What are you doing now? What for do you need all this hatred, all these exaggerations, all those bombs? Are you going to bomb? And if you are going to bomb, is no one going to bomb you back? That’s a total illusion. Bombs will open your doors? Bombs will make you great? Bombs will make you free? Bombs will make you happy? No one understands what your leaders are doing. They’re oppressing you. They hang innocent people. They spend your money for introducing terror all over the place.
Just in case all this was way too much of a downer for the Iranians on their special day, Peres made sure to close on what he clearly hoped would come across as a warm wish.
I wish you a happy holiday that you will come back to yourself, that you will remember your great culture and use the permit to enter a world of freedom, a world of dignity, a world of peace, a world of understanding.