Thursday, December 23, 2010

Jews of America and Concerned Americans – Do You Care About Israel? Maybe it’s Time to Do Something – Don’t You Think?

Alert and Background on the Anti-Israel Bus and Billboard Ad Campaign in Seattle, Houston, Albuquerque and San Francisco



The Facts:
As many of you may already have heard, a group calling itself Stop30Billion has purchased the following billboard and bus banner ads that demonize Israel. The bus ads will run on buses that serve downtown Seattle for at least the next four weeks starting on December 27. This is part of a growing campaign that has placed similar ads on buses and billboards in Houston, Albuquerque and San Francisco.

The Problem:
These ads, as you can see here, for the first time try to spread broadly into our community a message of hate against Israel.
In our culture of sound-bite news, what people will remember from this bus and billboard ad campaign will be the lead line, "Israeli War Crimes."
This is a well-funded effort to have our community reject Israel, an effort to have our friends and neighbors, co-workers and children's schoolmates see Israel as a pariah state, a country acting outside of acceptable norms.
The impression it leaves is false and wrong, destructive and divisive.
Jewish Community Reaction:
Friday, after learning that the press had contacted the Federation of Greater Seattle and the ADL to ask about the Stop30Billion advertising campaign, we coordinated a conference call that included the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, the ADL and AIPAC. This is part of the effort to battle the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (the "BDS Movement") that has been vilifying Israel throughout our region.
Federation put out a statement (see the link below) and the ADL was interviewed by KING 5 News.


What Will StandWithUs Northwest Be Doing?
StandWithUs Northwest will be running an advertising campaign on buses and billboards to counter these anti-Israel ads. We have responded to these types of anti-Israel ad campaigns elsewhere by running our own advertising in support of Israel, emphasizing Israel's desire for peace.
In the next few days, we will send out to you the likely ad copy and we very much want community input, suggestions and feedback on our proposed ads. Please email us at Northwest@StandWithUs.com with your ideas and comments.
In addition, StandWithUs Northwest will ask the other Jewish organizations to join with us in requesting a direct meeting with King County and Seattle officials to express how divisive and destructive this ad campaign by Stop30Billion is and will be. There is no reason the buses and billboard companies need to accept this advertising. There is no reason to allow the Stop30Billion campaign to inject the Mideast conflict into our community.
The First Amendment guarantees that this anti-Israel group can express its message, but the First Amendment does not require that any particular medium (the buses and billboard companies) carry such hateful and divisive ads.
Among the many suggestions we have already received are a bus boycott and picketing the buses and the billboard company.
If you have other suggestions, ideas or contacts, please let us know by emailing us at Northwest@StandWithUs.com.
What You Can Do Now

• Post a comment for Metro by clicking here.

• Call Metro Customer Assistance Office at 206-553-3060 206-553-3060 to register your disapproval.

• Vote against Metro ads on the KING 5 website. Click here to vote.

Thank you,
Rob Jacobs
Regional Director
StandWithUs Northwest
RobJacobs@StandWithUs.com

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