Dovid Efune, the editor of the Algemeiner newspaper and a frequent op-ed contributor to Arutz Sheva, has criticized the ads which recently appeared in New York train stations and which insinuate that Israel steals Arab land.
Billboards on Metro North train stations in Westchester County include four maps of Israel and show Israel growing at the expense of its Arab neighbors. The posters also note that 4.7 million people are classified as “Palestinian refugees.”
“Many Jews found this to be exceptionally offensive,” Efune told Arutz Sheva. “Of course it was a false depiction. We saw it as anti-Israel but as anti-Semitic as well.”
There are several reasons why these ads are anti-Semitic as well as anti-Israel, Efune explained.
“First of all, it was an existential attack on the Jewish State,” he added. “Second of all, the ads specifically mentioned Jewish land, implying that Jews were guilty of some sort of crime. Additionally, of course, we know that a majority of people associate Jews with the Jewish State, and unfortunately throughout our history, when people have had problems with the Jewish State they’ve taken it out on Jews and vice versa.”
These ads, which falsely portray Jews as aggressors or thieves, paint Jews in a bad light, Efune said, warning that this could lead from thought to speech and from speech to action.
“This could incite people to commit hateful acts as well, which of course is a great cause of concern to the Jewish community,” he said.
Efune expressed doubt that the ads would be removed, due to the First Amendment which protects free rights of speech.
“What some people have considered is to combat these ads with pro-Israel ads of their own,” he said. “They can tell the counter-narrative and counter-message and show people that this is not the correct story whatsoever.”