Anti-Israel ads in U.S. capital
By israelinsider staff April 29, 2007
The Washington-area subway system will soon be flooded with brashly biased anti-Israel advertisements, the Canadian Jewish News reported.
According to the report, the 46-by-60-inch poster ads show an Israeli tank pointing its gun at a child carrying a backpack on a dirt road, reading "Imagine if this were your child's path to school. Palestinians don't have to imagine." The ad then calls for the U.S. to stop aiding "Israel's brutal military occupation... paid for by U.S. taxpayers like you."
The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is the organization responsible for the campaign, which is scheduled to run in 20 subway stations across the capital for a month starting May 13. The campaign will advertise a June 10 rally to end "Israel's illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem."
"If past events by this organization are any indication, it will make no attempt to present a balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and this ad is a pure reflection of that," spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League, Oren Segal, was reported as saying by the Washington Jewish Week online.
An icon on the organization's website reads "Apartheid: Wrong for South Africans. Wrong for Palestinians."
CBS Outdoor, the New York-based company responsible for Washington's in-station advertising, originally refused to run the campaign, but later consented, citing the rights of free speech.
CBS Outdoor's executive vice-president in charge of marketing, Jodi Senese, who is Jewish, explained the firm's decision.
"I'm very proud [of being a Jew]," Senese said. "I thought the image was inflammatory, but I also believe in our First Amendment rights. As Jews [in America], we thrive on that right as well."
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of Washington-based pro-Israel think-tank, the Israel Project, said her organization's stance was that the campaign would have "minimum impact."
The group was originally worried about the campaign, but after performing several focus groups concluded that it wasn't worth countering.
According to the Canadian Jewish News, Laszlo Mizrahi said that among the focus groups, "upon first glance most thought the tank was an American one surrounded by Iraqi children. And even when they read the poster's words, participants had little sympathy for the cause, she said."
According to Laszlo Mizrahi, most of the focus group participants mistook the tank as American and the child as Iraqi, and felt minimal support for the cause even after reading the ad's text.
"It's a poorly run... poorly executed campaign and the American people are onto [the U.S. Campaign's] game. There are real, legitimate threats to the U.S.-Israel relationship -- this is just not one of them, stated Laszlo Mizrahi.
"If these guys want to build support for their cause, they need to have something to sell that doesn't encourage children to blow themselves up."
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