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WCBSTV Reports About Anti-Israel Ads In NYC Subways, But Doesn’t Mention Critical Part

Three days ago, YWN published a letter written by NYC Councilman Lew Fidler to the MTA, urging them to disallow and/or remove a series of planned anti-Israeli subway ads. The ads, by a group called Two-Peoples-One-Future, beautify an ugly political message and the Councilman requested, in the interests of not provoking subway riders, that these ads not be allowed in our subways.

Now, the story is being reported on WCBSTV. It is interesting to note that in their report they make no mention of the letter that Fidler sent in protest, just a quote from NYS Assemblyman Dov Hikind.

One part of Fidler’s letter which is of utmost importance to fighting these ads was the following:

A few months ago, a group affiliated with TwoPeoples (not only does two TwoPeoples link directly to the other group, Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, calling it a ‘related’ campaign on their website but they are also both member organizations of the same coalition, dubbed ‘The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’) tried to put their own ads up, as part of this same general campaign, in the Seattle transit system. There, after a public outcry, the transit system properly rejected the ads and a Federal Judge, in February 2011, supported the denial, noting in his decision that the Supreme Court has upheld the discretion of transit systems to accept advertising or not, since a bus or a subway station is about commerce and not per se a public forum.

Here is the WCBSTV article:

New billboards went up across New York City on Wednesday night with a message that could have subway riders doing a double-take.

They’re paid for by a group that wants the U.S. to stop funding for the Israeli military.

CBS 2’s Dave Carlin talked to both sides of this billboard controversy.

The ads greeting subway riders across the city feature smiling dads and kids. Palestinians and Israelis pictured together, with the headline “Be on our side.”

“It says be on our side, so it’s like who’s side are we on?” resident Kayla Sanders said.

That “side” is revealed on a smaller line of the ad.

“‘End U.S. military aid to Israel,’ that is going to cause some controversy,” Jessica Hover said.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind said the group behind the campaign, “Two People’s, One Future” is pro-Palestinian and is seeking to weaken Israel by having the U.S. cut billions of dollars in military aid to its closest ally in the Middle East.

“I see this as something very, very dangerous,” Hikind said. “This is a one-sided mean-spirited attempt to undermine the security and well being of the people of Israel.

“They say this is for peace. This is not for peace. This is for war.”

New Yorkers got their first look at this campaign on Sept. 5 when the billboards were installed in 18 subway stations. A Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman said it didn’t take long for some complaints to roll in.

Carlin asked the publicly funded MTA why it agreed to the controversial campaign.

“We have specific guidelines for advertising. It cannot promote anything illegal, be obscene or imply the MTA’s endorsement. This campaign adhered to the guidelines,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.

(Moshe Altusky – YWN)

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