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For Immediate Release: May 19th, 2008

Ads Commemorating Palestinian Dispossession Go Up in NYC


Washington, DC - Advertisements commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba (or "catastrophe" in Arabic) were posted throughout Manhattan this weekend by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

In 1948, Israel destroyed hundreds of Palestinian villages forcing hundreds of thousands of Palestinians to flee. These Palestinians and their descendants remain refugees to this day because Israel has denied them their right of return. Palestinians recall this record of dispossession, forced exile, and ethnic cleansing as the Nakba.

More than 1,000 posters will appear in Manhattan over the next four weeks. The advertising campaign is timed to coincide with both the internationally-commemorated Nakba Day on May 15 and the June 1 "Salute to Israel Parade".

Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, stated that the ad campaign "is designed to educate New Yorkers that the establishment of Israel in 1948 was accompanied by the widespread and purposeful ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands. Participants in the 'Salute to Israel Parade' will see our ads and be forced to confront the reality which they deny, namely, that Israel's continued existence as a 'Jewish State' is only possible by refusing Palestinian refugees' their right of return home."

The ad was designed by Hungarian-born graphic artist Ildiko Toth, who resides in Portland, OR and is married to a Palestinian man who has been trapped in the Gaza Strip for more than one year due to Israel's siege. The poster features keys, the symbol of Palestinian refugees' desire and right to return home, parachuting in above a skyline of Jerusalem and a list of names of Palestinian villages destroyed by Israel in 1948. To view a high-resolution image of the ad, please click here.

Commenting on her design, Toth stated, "My artwork explores creative ideas on how to express the Palestinian struggle publicly and draw attention to its existence. I hope the poster will help bring national and international recognition to the refugees' right of return. I am very happy for the significant effect the poster could have on many people."

Toth's poster was selected as the winning poster design entry in an international multi-media arts competition sponsored earlier this year by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Additional winning entries and honorable mentions from the competition-entitled Expressions of Nakba-can be viewed in an on-line gallery by clicking here.

Additional information about the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation is available by clicking here.