September 16th marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in Iran. The Iranian “morality police” arrested Amini, a 22-year old woman from Kurdistan, for allegedly not wearing her hijab correctly.
Iranian police said that Amini died after falling ill in custody and slipping into a coma. Her death resulted in mass protests across Iran, with many women refusing to wear the hijab. These protests were supported by many around the world; and the slogan “Women Life Freedom” became a clarion call.
To coincide with the anniversary, a social media campaign launched this week, called #IsraelisloveIranians. The campaign is led by grassroots, pro-Israel female activists, with the aim of supporting the Iranian protesters.
Emily Schrader, Israeli journalist, activist and co-founder of the campaign, told JNS, “As the global day of solidarity for the Iranian people is on Rosh Hashanah, it was important for us to have a strong showing of support for the people of Iran directly from the people of Israel. Iranians are not our enemies, rather our allies in the fight against their own government, which spreads violence and terror everywhere. As Israelis we proudly stand with the people of Iran.”
Dozens of Israeli organizations and public figures support the campaign.
Among those participating are Israeli Olympian Sagi Muki, MMA fighter Natan Levy, model Orin Julie, actress Swell Or Ariel of The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem, creator of Fauda Avi Issacharoff, Arab Israeli social activist Yoseph Haddad, model Nataly Dadon, businesswoman Ashley Waxman Bakshi and Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan.
Organizations taking part include the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), StandWithUs, Combat Antisemitism Movement, the Women’s International Zionist Organization, the Tel Aviv Institute, the 49%, Arab Israeli organization Together Vouch for Each Other and many others
“WIZO is proud to stand with our Iranian sisters,” said WIZO chairperson Anita Friedman. “Throughout our 103-year history of advocating for the rights of women and children, we have campaigned for women to have equal rights, for their voices to be heard, their basic human rights respected and to be free of the gender-based violence they endure regularly as the result of a brutal regime.
“I am proud that Israel’s foremost women’s organization, supported by our Federations around the world, honor Mahsa Amini and the women of Iran who are defiant against the erosion of their rights. Women. Life. Freedom,” she said.
Michael Dickson, executive director of StandWithUs – Israel, said his organization will be supporting the campaign as well.
“Like many Israelis, I have cherished meaningful encounters with Iranians abroad, and there is a deep will among many for an engagement and partnership between our peoples,” he said. “Israelis are also concerned and seek to help those who are under the jackboot of the Iranian regime—which doesn’t just threaten Israel, but is a risk to the region and to ordinary Iranian people and their freedoms,” he added.
“That is why StandWithUs is proud to leverage our vast social media network to partner on this campaign and take that message to the world,” he said.
Adam Levick, a resident of Modi’in, told JNS, “Iranian women, who suffer from systemic oppression and human rights abuses from the authoritarian Islamist regime—particularly since the murder of Mahsa Amini—deserve our unequivocal moral support.”
Supporters of the campaign are encouraged to post the hashtag #IsraelisloveIranians with a few lines explaining why they stand in solidarity with the people of Iran. The campaign will run for the month of September.