American university students Abraham Gutman, a Jewish Israeli, and Dania Darwish, a Muslim, decided to create a campaign to show that tolerance and coexistence is possible between their people. They aren’t wealthy business people or a large brand, but they have made their voices heard through the power of social media.
Using the hashtag #JewsandArabsRefuseToBeEnemies, they tweeted an image of themselves holding a sign:
— Abraham Gutman (@abgutman) July 11, 2014
This hashtag campaign is a real, honest way to emphasize the humanity and the people who are suffering from the politics fueling the conflict between two countries.
The hashtag has taken off, and Twitter users all over the world are posting their support.
— Sulome Anderson (@SulomeAnderson) July 13, 2014
— ABC World News (@ABCWorldNews) July 21, 2014
— Nicole L Shevloff (@NicoleLeyla) July 23, 2014
— Ayana Haviv (@ayanahaviv) July 24, 2014
— Jessie Downey (@JDown1) July 24, 2014
— ســ ـیــ ــگــ ــما (@sigma_tata) July 22, 2014
— Claire Hajaj (@clairehajaj) July 20, 2014
The Israeli/Palestine conflict is a complicated matter and has a long history filled with anger and sorrow. If anything can spark a change, it’s going to be love and social media. We’ve seen how social media made a huge difference in Arab countries around the world in the last few years with the Arab Spring.
Social media’s widespread, instantaneous reach can help propel revolutionary movements, brand messages and sincere messages of all kinds. Information and communication, especially via social media, are weapons of sorts, which can be used for good or bad. Big brands can also use this tactic by coming together and forming unlikely partnerships. Say Coca-Cola and Pepsi, two brands that have been at war with one another for a while, came out with messaging that you don’t have to choose one or the other. Perhaps they can be drunk together. Or perhaps when they are mixed, they make an entirely new product that is amazing. You get the idea, right? A simple, yet positive, campaign that promotes peace and an unlikely friendship can go a long way in reaching consumers in a positive manner.
Perhaps this simple, grassroots social campaign #JewsandArabsRefuseToBeEnemies will be the start of a new era and bring some hope of peace to an area that needs it.