Can Facebook & The Power of Pop Culture Delay War?

Last Friday a media frenzy took over the Internet, from Yahoo! News to the Washington Post, and everything in between discussing what seems to be imminent war between Iran and Israel. The tension between the two countries has been brewing for many years, and some political analyst have predicted a war to be inevitable since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Who would have guessed that a Facebook Page and a bunch of Madonna fans could have the power to delay that war? Last week Israeli Madonna fan, Kobi Zvili, created a Facebook Page begging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hold off any plans of war with Iran until after the Madonna concert on May 29, 2012. When I first came across this piece of news story, I was livid. I could not believe that in a time when people’s lives are at stake someone would create a Page asking to delay war for a concert. It made me wonder if we have come to a time where war has become so trivial? Have we in a way become desensitized to war due to the images and videos we are exposed to via social media? Has the power of pop culture become so large that it has taken over our psyches and blinded us to basic humanity?

I obviously don’t have the answers to my own questions, but wanted to share my thoughts and hear your perspective. After receiving a bit of backlash for creating the Page, Kobi Zvili did post a message stating: “War of any kind is bad, we call our leaders, prime minister Netanyahu and Barak, to avoid any attack of any kind against Iran or whatever, at least until Madonna’s tour visit in Israel. god save the queen!” I understand their admiration for the Queen of Pop, but what about “God save innocent people in both Iran and Israel” who will tragically suffer from any kind of war between the two countries? Is a pop icon’s life valued more than a regular citizen? The Facebook Page currently has 790 “likes”. It will be interesting to see if the Israeli government responds to this Facebook plea and whether it will have a hand in delaying war with Iran.

Maryam Mehrtash