Powered by WebAds

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Billboards, Sheehan, Amnesty and J-Street

Remember this billboard, whose picture I posted on Tuesday night?

Well, there's a lot more about it here.
Last week, after fielding hundreds of complaints about the billboard ads, Lamar Advertising, which owns the billboard space, covered or removed the ads. A company spokesman denied knowledge of the billboard content; yet, news reports stated that a Lamar graphic designer suggested the images subsequently used.

The billboard creator, the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, was founded by two Jews, Lori Rudolph and Rich Forer. It reports its mission as working "to inform the public and our elected officials how the Israeli military misuses American-made weapons technology and violates human rights." It also endeavors to report on the support provided to the Israeli defense establishment by the New Mexico state government, contractors and universities. In addition, the Coalition seeks to inform the public about the ongoing "illegal" occupation of "Palestinian Territories" by Israel which contributes "to unceasing conflict and suffering." The Coalition's literature refers sympathetically to the "indigenous" Palestinian population and explains how U.S. taxpayers are funding ongoing human rights violations and war crimes allegedly committed by Israel.

Apparently, the organization doesn't have a problem with U.S. aid to the Palestinian terrorist groups, Hamas and Fatah, which use aid money to indoctrinate children to hate and attack Israel, fund terrorist training camps, build weapons-smuggling tunnels and purchase weapons and missiles to fire at Israeli civilians. Nor does it appear that group members lose sleep over the impact of unceasing missile attacks, incendiary devices or suicide bombers that make their way into Israeli communities from Arab-Palestinian territories.
The 'Coalition' consists of a number of Leftist anti-war and decidedly anti-Israel groups. They include Amnesty International, Veterans for Peace, and the Middle East Peace and Justice Alliance. (The full list of sponsoring organizations is here).

But here's the most interesting part:
In planning-session minutes leading up to the billboard launch, the Coalition to Stop the $30 Billion to Israel cited two federal laws under which aid is provided to Israel: the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) and the Arms Export and Control Act (AECA). Group members concurred that the provision in the FAA to prohibit "assistance to countries that violate human rights" was applicable as a case against Israel. The group also noted the AECA requirement that "weapons purchased from the U.S. to be used for legitimate self-defense." Although the proportion of rocket attacks against Israel and those returned by Israel in the six-month period before the Gaza defensive was listed in the Coalition's minutes as "1,000 to 0," Coalition members astonishingly concluded that since, "No Israelis were killed, legitimate self-defense does not apply here."

They also concluded that Israel was "failing to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants" and "failing in its proportionate response." Recommendations were fielded to work with Israeli "peace groups" and the J-Street Lobby. The J-Street Lobby is a George Soros-funded, non-governmental organization that has criticized Israel's military action to stop Hamas terrorist attacks as well as Israel's efforts to topple the "legitimate" government of Hamas, even though Hamas denies Israel's right to exist.
I trust that you all remember J-Street - the Leftist pro-'peace' lobby funded by George Soros and promoted by Avram Burg. I wasn't able to substantiate a connection between J Street and this crew, but it would be interesting if there is one.

And despite the fact that the billboards have been taken down, that's apparently temporary:
Founded in 1902, Lamar Advertising, the company that produced and posted the billboards for the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, has 200 outdoor advertising companies and transit franchises across the United States and Canada. Its annual revenues exceed $1 billion and it employs over 3,000. Although V.P. and General Manager of Lamar's Albuquerque office, Mike Mons, stated that he reviews all billboards of a political nature for the company, he contends that by some fluke he missed this one. This explanation hardly seems plausible given that the billboard ads had already run for three weeks prior to being either covered or removed. When questioned about the number of responses received by Lamar about the controversial billboards, Mons stated that the number of calls and e-mails probably totaled close to a thousand so far.

However, Mons was unwilling to disclose whether the majority of responses were against or for the billboard message. His biggest concern appeared to be successful negotiation of ad guidelines with the Coalition to end the discomforting barrage of calls and emails to his company. Mons appeared unconcerned about the impact of the message and refused to comment on its political implications. Hal Kilsahl, V.P. of Governmental Relations at Lamar, said the company was concerned that the billboard message implied the U.S. military was killing children. Lamar was going to propose a revised message, he said, that would read "Tell Congress: No more military aid to Israel."

According to Coalition founder Lori Rudolph, the group met last night and voted to continue the billboard campaign. The Coalition is identifying new text and renegotiating the contract with the advertising company. They are wary, however, of attempts by supporters of Israel to pressure Lamar and may decide to postpone their billboard campaign. Apparently, Lamar agreed to honor the Coalition's contract as long as the words, "killing children," were eliminated. Lamar has stated that it will honor its initial eight-week contract with the coalition and pledged to cover all downtime and production costs to develop new ad copy and install new ads.
Lamar is a publicly-traded company.

Read the whole thing.


At 2:09 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

somehow I knew that the bilboard was run by kapo libs.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Interesting Israel is singled out in the federal budget. I don't hear similar criticism of Egypt which receives the same level of US funding as Israel. And yes, there's a connection among various leftist groups in the US when it comes to anti-Israel activism. In this case, follow the money.


Post a Comment

<< Home