With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the widely expected vote at the U.N. on recognizing Palestinian sovereignty, September will be marked by important campaigns and events in New York City. One is an important Mass Transit campaign placing ads through the NYC Subways that raise public awareness and call for ending U.S. military aid to Israel. The campaign has already appeared in press (see the Daily News story, and others, below).
“Be on our side. We are on the side of peace and justice.” These words come from Palestinians and Israelis. Underneath this headline, the subway advertisements show an Israeli and Palestinian parent with their children, while the text calls to “End U.S. military aid to Israel” and directs riders to the national website of Two Peoples, One Future. There viewers can learn how U.S. military aid to Israel ($30 billion over the next 10 years) is bad for Palestinians, bad for Israelis, and bad for Americans.
According to the Congressional Research Service, Israel received $61.3 billion in military aid from 1949-2010. $30 billion in military aid has been promised by the U.S. through 2018, making Israel the recipient of more military aid than the rest of the world combined. Weapons purchased by Israel using U.S. aid have been used against civilians, in violation of U.S. law. All this while about 500,000 Israeli settlers live within the occupied Palestinian territory in violation of international law, and more illegal settlements are being built today. The website provides details sources for all these facts, and also documents how aid hurts Palestinians, hurts Americans by diverting tax money and fueling anti-American sentiment, and hurts Israelis by sustaining a militaristic culture and a right-wing minority who oppose a peaceful agreement.
The “Be on Our Side” media and education project promotes a positive, productive U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The goals of the campaign are:
- to encourage U.S. policies that promote peace, equality, and security for Israelis and Palestinians
- to inform Americans about the scale and consequences of U.S. military aid to Israel
- to promote awareness of the importance of ending U.S. military aid to Israel
The project uses media to reach a wide range of viewers, mostly the transit advertisements and the clear, detailed website, but also Facebook, Twitter, and 4×6 inch “fast facts” cards to hand out. The New York posters will be on display from now until October 3rd, see Press Release.
Over the past nine months this constructive mass transit advertising campaign has run successfully in four major U.S. cities. It has been brought to New York City in September to coincide with the U.N. General Assembly session. This campaign will reach a huge new audience of people who have likely only seen the distorted representation of the Israel-Palestine situation is the mainstream media.
Several of the stations where the ads will be seen are in Brooklyn. Brooklyn For Peace will be coordinating leafleting at these stations, providing further information and calling attention to the ad campaign. Please contact us for more information.
Financial contributions are also needed for the ads and for printing and supplies. Click here to make a tax deductible contribution through Pay Pal to the WESPAC foundation for the ad campaign. Or send a check referencing “Be On Our Side-NYC” to WESPAC Foundation, 52 Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603.
The subway campaign has already created some coverage, and controversy, in the press. Below are some sample articles:
- JTA, September 9, 2011: “N.Y. subway ads calling for end of U.S. aid to Israel“
- CBS-NY Evening News, September 14, 2011 (Segment on controversy caused by ad)
- Jerusalem Post, September 15, 2011: “NYC ads call to end US military aid to Israel”
- The Gothamist, September 15, 2011: “The ‘Dangerous’ Pro-Palestine Subway Ad Dov Hikind Doesn’t Want You To See“
- MondoWeiss.net, September 15, 2011: “Campaign to end military aid to Israel enters NY, underground“
- The New York Daily News, Friday September 16, 2011: “Subway station billboard battle is latest flareup in Israeli-Palestinian conflict“
- CNN, September 16, 2011: Pros, cons of U.S. aid to Israel argued in New York subway posters
- Y net, September 16, 2011 “Mideast ‘subway war’ in NY“
- The New York Times, September 19, 2011: “Welcome to the Annual Circus of Foreign Leaders“
- New York Daily News, September 20th, 2011: “Blogger Pamela Geller vows to sue MTA if subway ad calling Israel’s enemies ‘savages’ isn’t approved“