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VIDEO: ‘Israeli War Crimes’ Signs To Go On Metro Buses

Seattle – “Israeli War Crimes,” the enormous advertisement reads. “Your tax dollars at work.”

To the right of the image is a group of children — one little boy stares out at the viewer, the others gawk at a demolished building, all rebar and crumbled concrete.

It’s an ad you’ll be seeing soon on a handful of Metro buses in downtown Seattle.

A group calling itself the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has paid King County $1,794 so that 12 buses will carry that message around town, starting two days after X-Mas. That’s December 27: the two-year anniversary of Israeli attacks on Gaza, aimed at stopping rocket attacks and weapons smuggling.

Ed Mast, a Seattle man who is a spokesperson for the group, says it’s not meant to be an anti-Israel message, but a message designed to generate discussion and awareness.

“I wouldn’t say it’s an anti-Israel message any more than any complaint about a country is anti-that country. We would like Israel to stop violating human rights. We would like Israel to give equal rights to its Palestinian citizens and its Palestinian subjects who live under occupation,” said Mast.

At the Pacific Northwest office of the Anti-Defamation League, the ad campaign is seen quite a bit differently.

“We’re dismayed,” says Community Director Hilary Bernstein, who calls the bus-born advertisement grotesquely one-sided. “Citizens young and old will be seeing this sort of propaganda, this very one-sided distortion. It’s unfortunate.”

So, is the side of a public bus the right place for this kind of attack? Are the issues that regularly inflame one of the most flammable hot-spots in the world appropriate fare for people strolling the sidewalks of Seattle?

As far as King County is concerned, it’s not really up to them what appears on the side of their buses, as long as it fits specific guidelines regarding:

•Tobacco, and
•As long as the images and material used don’t interfere with public safety or insult specific groups to the point that a riot could be incited, vandalism could occur or public safety could be threatened.

King County Metro Transit spokesperson Linda Thielke acknowledges some people will be offended by the campaign, but that is not enough to prevent the rolling billboards from hitting the streets.

“As a government, we are mindful of the provisions in state and federal constitutions to protect freedom of speech. So, we can’t object these campaigns simply because they offend some people,” said Thielke.

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has targeted their advertising so that the buses carrying their message will run mostly on Seattle routes.

(Source: K5 News)

16 Responses

  1. When you DElegitimize Israel, and focus on its so called lack of HUMAN RIGHTS – the door is open to violence, aggressive and attacks against anything and everything JEWISH in Seattle.

    If no action is taken against this blatant inaccuracy of Honest Reporting, get ready to greet the same ad campaign in a city nearer to you.

  2. This is blatant anti semitism at its best, why have there been no calls to stop billions of dollars in aid to egypt which is a dictatorship with awful human rights, and the $90 billion dollars that the obama admin wants to give the saudis who finance al qaeda and too have horrendous human rights.

  3. Counter advertising on a bus of all places wouldn’t even be challenging! On the other side, or the inside you can show a picture of a demolished Eged bus, R”L, and the caption could be “For Israelis, riding a bus like this one, is an act of bravery”

  4. The difficulty here is that it can not be an ad that will cause a riot – otherwise I would suggest a profit mohammed cartoon – but we know how the cousins react to perceived insults.
    Is there a reason why the ads can’t be banned because they will cause a distraction and the potential for traffic accidents is increased?

  5. Has anyone contacted the Seattle Federation (which, if you recall, was victimized itself), who could perhaps work in conjunction with the One Israel Fund? And where is Foxman when he could actually be useful. Oh yeah, this time of year he’s busy carrying on about X-mas decorations and public menorah displays.

  6. Here comes another case of “The Boy That Cried Wolf”

    Clearly this organisation is hostile to Israel but what is to be gained by whinning to the ADL and $PLC about this?

    The article stated clearly that these ads fall within the appropriate category and are able to be displayed on the buses.

    A better use of time and resources would be to either launch a counter campaign or to just ignore it. If your getting your worldview off the side of a bus, chances are you arent really all that intellegent anyway.

    Running to Foxman to save us from the “big bad goy” everytime someone says something we dont agree with is just ultimatley taking away the power that his organisation has (whether they should is a different discussion as the ADL isnt really a pro jewish/religious organisation in practice more then they are anti christian. Most of the time I’m ashamed that they speak in the name of the religious community)

    Klal Yisroel has survived hostile enviroments before, this incident doesnt even scratch the surface of what it would take to even begin to start the process of harming a single jew.

  7. There is a solution, although not so simple. The policy states that they will allow it “As long as the images and material used don’t interfere with public safety or insult specific groups to the point that a riot could be incited, vandalism could occur or public safety could be threatened.”

    Realistically that should mean that if enough people call them (anonymously I hope) and threaten riots, vandalism, and/or violence, they might reconsider and take the safe road by refusing the ads.

    I am not condoning actual violence, etc…

  8. That’s what struck me and the issue we could utilize to rid the buses of this particular ad -it is most definitely an insult to a specific group. That group is called Jews. Do I need to elaborate to anyone here that anti-Zionism is the new-antisemitism?

  9. #9 – I fervently disagree with most of your points.

    1) This is hardly a case of “The boy Who Cried Wolf.” I think this is a real danger. Now I don’t think that anyone is going to actually harm any Jews as a direct result of these ads, but the very permission to display them and the support it might generate for this hateful organization is bad enough. Somewhere in the future some meshuganah might murder a bunch of Jews (as has happened many times) in a misguided belief that was either planted or fueled by ads like these.

    2) While a counter-ad campaign might be effective, it takes a lot of money, which I don’t have, and I don’t see you offering. Getting third-parties involved to stop it beforehand is surely more effective, and cheaper.

    3) Ignoring it is certainly not a more effective use of time and resources!!

    4) We should get help from whatever (kosher) source we can, as long as it doesn’t contradict our morals. See the many commentaries on why Yosef was left in prison for two extra years after asking the cup-bearer for help – not everyone is on Yosef’s level.

    5) Exactly how openly hostile do you need them to get before you react? Do they have to actually burn your house down and put you in the hospital? The process of “starting to harm Jews” has probably on occasion started with far less than this. Some of those more hostile environments you refer to were also once friendly, until ads like these started spreading.

  10. Where is Meir Kahane when we need him?

    For starters everyone should call 800-201-4900 and express dismay at the transit systems decision to run the ads.

    Also, e-mail them. [email protected]; [email protected];

    If this happens in my city, I’m going to slap I LOVE ISRAEL stickers on every bus.

    Oh, and isn’t this transit system taxpayer subsidized? Is this not an issue here?

  11. Why not counter with an ad that shows a 13 year old girl being stoned in a stadium.

    Caption: Her crime? She was raped by three men.

  12. If only this young people and i saw there video in the best buy store knew what they were talking about anyone who is anti ISRAEL is an antisemite and anti closed helen thomas and oliver stone those jews in the media and hollywood made you plenty of money over the years.

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