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Sunday, May 20, 2007

StandWithUs countering Washington subway campaign

Los Angeles-based StandWithUs is countering a four-week poster ad campaign in the Washington DC subway system.

The campaign, by a 'charity' called the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, began putting ads in twenty Washington DC subway stations last week asking people to attend a rally and march on the capital on Sunday June 10.
CBS Outdoor, the New York-based firm that places in-station advertising for WMATA, at first refused to consider the poster, but eventually relented to pressure from WMATA and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

According to an April 4 report in the Washington Jewish Week online, the U.S. Campaign contacted the ACLU, which then advised WMATA to order CBS Outdoor to place the posters, citing freedom of speech rights.
With the campaign going ahead, StandWithUs decided to respond to the posters with posters of its own:
Describing the ETO posters as "deceptive and emotionally manipulative," SWU's International Director, Roz Rothstein, said: "Israel is not fighting children. It is defending itself against extremists like Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad whose charters call for Israel's obliteration and whose terrorist attacks target civilians, including school children and toddlers."

A press release sent by SWU said the group "will launch a month-long ad campaign in mid-May through June 11, urging Palestinians to teach their children peace instead of hate, and urging Palestinian extremists to reform."

"SWU's ads will appear in 20 downtown Washington DC metro stations to counter the misinformation in an anti-Israel ad campaign scheduled to run in the stations concurrently," SWU added.

"The anti-Israel ads misinform the public about occupation, funding, and responsibility for violence," the statement said, adding: "Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005 and from over 40% of the West Bank almost nine years ago. The land was turned over to the Palestinian Authority and 98% of Palestinians are self-governing under its rule. Unfortunately, the 2005 withdrawal did not promote peace. Instead, rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel rose four-fold."

"America has also given billions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians either directly or through the United Nations over the years," SWU said.
StandWithUs may yet expand the campaign to other cities in the US and Europe.


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