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July 11, 2012

New Biased Billboard Campaign in Westchester

Several misleading billboards featuring maps of Palestine/Israel from 1946-2010 sponsored by a local anti-Israel group are currently on display in Metro-North train stations in Westchester.

The billboard at a Metro-North train station  

The billboards attempt to showcase that all of Israel was owned by Palestinians pre-1948 when, in reality, much of the land was owned by non-Palestinian absentee landlords who lived in Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut.

They also try to convey that Israel is rapidly taking control of land that would comprise an eventual Palestinian state. ADL issued a statement on the billboards, describing them as “deliberately misleading and biased.”   

The group that placed the ad, the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine (COPIP), and its chairman, Henry Clifford, have a record of advocating against Israel. The group, for example, recently endorsed the Jewish Voice for Peace-led divestment campaign targeting TIAA-CREF for investing in companies that allegedly help Israel maintain the occupation.

In the past, Clifford has inflammatorily alleged that Israeli leaders have “always planned to take over all or most Palestine and to expel as many Arabs as would be necessary.”

What is perhaps most troubling is the group’s attempt to explain Palestinian terrorism as a result of Israeli policy or U.S. aid to Israel. A post on COPIP’s blog from May 2011 includes a flier that reads, “Mothers do not raise their children to be terrorists. Only when all hope is lost for a decent, secure life is a terrorist created.” It later asks, “Could it be that billions of dollars in U.S. aid to Israel is actually helping to create terrorists?”

COPIP is a member group of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a large anti-Israel coalition based in Washington, D.C.

In the past year, anti-Israel billboards have appeared in several cities across the country, including Denver, Detroit and, most recently, Los Angeles.

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June 15, 2012

Anti-Israel Billboard Campaign Hits Los Angeles

A Billboard Displayed in Los Angeles

Update: As of June 24th, CBS Outdoor advertising took down the 23 anti-Israel billboards because the Coalition to Stop 30 Billion to Israel used the ‘CBS Outdoor’ name in their publications without permission. Nonetheless, the group said, “we hope to continue our L.A. campaign, but regardless we will be looking at other cities to continue this important work in the future.”

In a continued effort to marginalize Israel through advertisements, a new billboard campaign was launched in Los Angeles this week by the anti-Israel organization “Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel.”

According to a press release issued by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, there will be 23 billboards displayed in the Los Angeles area that read, “Tell Congress: Spend Our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military.”

The US Campaign’s press release asserts that the “Israel lobby” might try to put an end to the campaign, but that supporters of the billboards’ message “cannot allow them to stifle dialogue.”

U.S. aid to Israel is critical for Israel, but it is critical for the U.S. as well. Israel is required to spend most of the aid on American-made products and military equipment, which benefits the American economy. In addition, the U.S. government rightly considers providing a key ally in the region with aid to be in its own best interests.

The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel was first created in 2009 in New Mexico. The group has been responsible for anti-Israel billboards and ads in Albuquerque, Seattle and, most recently, Denver.

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March 14, 2012

Anti-Israel Billboards Surface in Denver and Detroit

Pay much attention to the billboards you see on the highway? Well, some anti-Israel groups in the United States are betting you do and paying to advertise their message on prominent billboards.

Last week, three anti-Israel organizations  – If American Knew, Deir Yassin Remembered and Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends – responded to a pro-Israel billboard in Detroit by securing billboard space of their own with the message, “$8 million/ Day to Israel? Our money is needed in America!” Another billboard that recently appeared in Denver read, “Tell Congress: Spend Our Money at Home Not on the Israeli Military.” The Denver billboard was paid for by the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion, a New Mexico-based group that first displayed a similar message on a billboard in Albuquerque in 2009.

In addition to these new billboards, anti-Israel signs and advertisements have regularly appeared  on buses and subways in large metropolitan areas since 2010, including New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Chicago. The ads, which call for an “End [to] U.S. military aid to Israel,” were organized by a coalition of national anti-Israel organizations operating under the umbrella of a campaign called “Be On Our Side.”

It seems likely that the activists paying for and placing these ads are newly optimistic that their message will resonate in light of the fragile state of the U.S. economy and the national debt. The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion, for example, explains: “All this money is flowing away while America is suffering the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression.”

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