For the second time in 2013, the education and advocacy organization StandWithUs is countering anti-Israel messages with pro-Israel posters in Montana.
The posters, highlighting the benefits of the special Israel-US relationship and celebrating Israel's diversity and religious freedoms, are aimed at refuting recent billboards placed in the state capitol that question American support for the Jewish state.
StandWithUs teamed with Har Shalom Synagogue in March and placed pro-Israel ads in Missoula to counter a similar campaign.
"Anti-Israel groups continue to misinform the public in an attempt to erode American support for Israel. Their ads hope that well-meaning viewers will conclude that the cessation of US support of Israel will result in peace. They fail to inform viewers that the funds are earmarked primarily for defense with contracts to US manufacturers thereby creating jobs and an exchange of a strategic relationship. They fail to mention that Israel must defend itself militarily against an enemy sworn to its destruction,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs a twelve year-old international Israel education non-profit organization.
“As with all the anti-Israel campaigns we've encountered, context and facts are left out," he said.
"The importance of maintaining the relationship with the Middle East's only Democracy should be obvious. The United States and Israel share common democratic values and individual and religious freedoms that are denied in many Middle Eastern nations. Both countries continue to prosper as a result of a healthy exchange of culture, business and society," added Gary Ratner, the group’s senior executive.
"StandWithUs has countered anti-Israel ads placed throughout the United States since 2007 and will continue to do so. We cannot let hostile messages, with their deceptive, velvet-gloved rhetoric, influence unsuspecting commuters. We will continue to stress Israel's contributions to the world and the advantages of a strong US-Israel relationship," Rothstein concluded.
StandWithUs has countered anti-Israel billboard campaigns including Missoula, San Francisco, New York, Denver, Washington DC, Portland, Albuquerque, Houston, Chicago and Seattle.