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August 31, 2012 Off

Chapel Hill is Latest Town to Be Hit with Anti-Israel Advertisements

A new anti-Israel bus ad cam­paign was unveiled in Chapel Hill, North Car­olina, two weeks ago. The ads are part of the U.S. Cam­paign to End the Israeli Occupation’s national “Be on our Side” cam­paign, which pro­motes end­ing U.S. mil­i­tary aid to Israel. They read: “Join with us. Build peace with jus­tice and equal­ity. End U.S. mil­i­tary aid to Israel.”

The ads report­edly appeared on nearly 100 buses in Chapel Hill but have since been taken down by Chapel Hill Tran­sit, the munic­i­pal agency that runs the town’s trans­porta­tion system.

The cam­paign was spon­sored by the Salaam-Shalom group of the Church of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, a Pres­by­ter­ian church in Chapel Hill. The pas­tor of the church, Mark David­son, had announced on a strat­egy call orga­nized by the US Cam­paign sev­eral months ago that the ads were soon sched­uled to appear. While the church seems to be the pri­mary spon­sor of the ad cam­paign, other local orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing Jews for a Just Peace NC, the North Car­olina Chap­ter of Vet­er­ans for Peace and the Coali­tion of Peace with Jus­tice also helped co-sponsor the ads.

The ads were removed from the buses on August 24 because they vio­lated the trans­porta­tion agency’s adver­tis­ing pol­icy, which requires that issue-related adver­tis­ing con­tains a dis­claimer noti­fy­ing view­ers that the signs are “paid adver­tis­ing.” Although David­son has expressed will­ing­ness to add such a dis­claimer, it is still not cer­tain that the ads will be placed back on the buses.

The Chapel Hill ads are just the lat­est in a series of anti-Israel bill­boards and ads that have appeared in cities across the coun­try, includ­ing Den­ver, Detroit and Los Ange­les. The most recent bill­boards in New York fea­tured a mis­lead­ing series of maps of Israel that attempted to por­tray how Israel is inten­tion­ally swal­low­ing up Pales­tin­ian land.

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