Pro-Arab lobbies are funding anti-Israel posters that are to be placed at 18 New York City subway stations this month, part of a nationwide campaign supporting the Palestinian Authority and urging a halt to American military aid to Israel.
The slick advertising program includes pictures of cleanly scrubbed Arab and Jewish children as well as depictions of armed Israeli soldiers detaining Arab terror suspects.
The “Two Peoples, One Future” group is carrying out the “Be On Our Side” campaign.
The national campaign has sparked controversy over the definition of political advertising and whether public companies should accept such advertising. The Supreme Court, in a previous ruling, decided that the political advertising is protected under the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech. However, Seattle nixed an anti-Israel campaign earlier this year because it was deemed offensive.
The campaign includes a picture depicting an IDF soldier in a negative light, apparently threatening three Arab women with his rifle, and is accompanied by the headline, "Israel Putting Your Tax Dollars to Work."
The Two People group asserts, “A principal obstacle to peace in the Middle East is the US government’s uncritical support and funding of Israeli policies” and argues that “$61.3 billion in American military aid to Israel since 1948 has not brought peace, ended violence or achieved justice. Instead, these unconditional funds and our uncritical diplomatic support have helped perpetuate an illegal occupation, violence, and collective punishment via the Gaza blockade and ongoing seizure and destruction of Palestinian land.”
The month-long campaign will advertise on subway platform posters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee public relations director Faris Bouhafa told The Los Angeles Times, "Israel has censored press coverage over there, and the American public needs to know what's going on."
Ads already appear in Washington’s transit system despite dozens of complaints.
"This is doing nothing to bring about peace in the Middle East,” said Tom Neumann, executive vice president of B'nai B'rith International. It is not known whether Israel is planning a counter campaign, but the Americans For a Strong Israel (AFSI) organization is mobilizing to do so.