Showing posts with label ads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ads. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

More cities join SeaMAC’s Equal Rights bus ad campaign, while Seattle protests the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

Check out US Campaign member group SeaMAC's growing ad campaign in the Seattle area calling for equal rights for Palestinians, along with its commemoration of the Nakba. 

May 7, 2013
Contact: Edward Mast, 

More cities join SeaMAC’s Equal Rights bus ad campaign, while Seattle protests the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

Palestine: Stolen Homeland
Sunday May 12, 2013
12:00 - 5:00 pm
Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine downtown Seattle

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has started running its bus ad campaign EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS: THE WAY TO PEACE in Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland this week.  Those ads began on May 1 and will run on six buses for four weeks, along with ads on six buses in Seattle at the same time.  The Equal Rights ads are also running on buses in Port Angeles and Clallam County, and have appeared in buses and newspapers in Tacoma and Olympia.

Photos available on request; also at

SeaMAC will also cosponsor Palestine: Stolen Homeland, a theatrical installation of over 100 small tents inscribed with the names of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948.  The display will commemorate and protest the events of 1947-9, when two-thirds of the Palestinian people were forcibly displaced and over 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed.  The new state of Israel created laws to prevent the return of those Palestinians after the war, and now Palestinians are one of the largest and longest-suffering refugee populations in the world.  To describe these events, Palestinians use the word “Nakba” which means “catastrophe.”  

In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has described the events of 1947-9 as "a crime against humanity that Israel has wanted to deny and cause the world to forget."  Pappe also observes that Palestinians in the West Bank and Greater Jerusalem are undergoing ethnic cleansing today, as Israel continues to drive them out to make room for more Israeli settlers.

PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND is organized by Palestine Solidarity Committee, Voices of Palestine, and Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign.   

To observe Mothers Day -- originally an anti-war holiday -- PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND will also include a booth for MOTHERS AGAINST ETHNIC CLEANSING.

For more information about Palestine: Stolen Homeland, contact

Local Human Rights Group in Albany, NY Posts Billboard to Stop Military Aid

For Immediate Release:

May 6, 2013

Local Human Rights Group Posts Billboard to Stop Military Aid

New Billboard and Web Site say unconditional aid to Israel deterrent to peace, harmful to both U.S. and Israel. Endorsements arrive.

Contact: Mary Folsom 

What: Billboard

Who: Sponsored by the NYS Coalition to Stop 30 Billion, a grassroots collection of peace and human rights activists

Where: Billboard is located on Fuller Road, between Cherry Street and Dorlyn Road, visible when travelling on Fuller from Central Avenue toward Washington Avenue.

How: Billboard is funded by donations.

Why: Because unconditional aid to Israel siphons funds from domestic use, and supports hard-line Israeli factions, thwarting a just peace.

Endorsements: The coalition has received the following statements endorsing the Board and its message:

“The billboard and web site communicate that huge grants of aid to Israel, unique in international affairs, are harmful to prospects for peace in a region in turmoil and encourage elements in Israel that are most dangerous - to its own future as well. They are also an outlandish drain the US budget, depleting funds need for constructive purposes, at home and abroad. They are a scandal that should be ended.”

Professor Noam Chomsky - Nationally known author, speaker, and political expert

"By placing a billboard in Albany calling on the United States to end $30 billion of taxpayer-financed weapons to Israel, Stop $30 Billion--New York State is providing a valuable resource to people in New York, educating them about how our tax dollars could be better spent on unmet community needs rather than on enabling Israel's oppression of Palestinians."

Josh Ruebner - National Advocacy Director, US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

“I support the billboard calling for no military aid to Israel. Israel has not only continually violated the rights of the Palestinian people but has attacked it’s neighboring states, maintains nuclear weapons yet has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and today pushes for war with Iran and Syria.”

Joe Lombardo - Co-coordinator of the United National Antiwar Coalition

“Sending $30,000,000,000 of our money as military aid to a country with the 10th most powerful military in the world may seem like a good idea to politicians looking for campaign contributions from members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. But to Americans who are struggling to feed their families here at home or who care about health crises in less developed countries, it sends a message of indifference towards people who are in genuine need of help.

Paul Rehm, Christian Peacemaker Teams reservist

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

URGENT: Chapel Hill Town Council Meets Thu. to Review Our Ads on Aid to Israel

For those of you who live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina:

Join Us at the Town Council Meeting Thursday to Support Our Ads & Free Speech

By now, you’re probably aware of the controversy generated when the Church of Reconciliation, along with other Chapel Hill-based groups, posted ads this summer in 98 Chapel Hill buses to “End U.S. military aid to Israel.”

This Thursday, October 11, at 7:00 pm, the Chapel Hill Town Council will hold a public forum on the town’s bus advertising policy at Town Hall, 2nd Floor, 405 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd

The town council will receive a petition, organized by Triangle Voice for Israel, to prohibit all political ads on Chapel Hill buses, including ours. Rather than engage us on the issues, the local pro-Israel advocacy organization is trying to censor our message and chill free speech

But we’re organizing our own petition in support of our ads and the right to freedom of speech. Please take a moment to sign this petition so that we can show the Chapel Hill Town Council that there is broad-based community support for our ads.

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina strongly defended our right to advertise in Chapel Hill’s buses. “The freedom of citizens to express political beliefs without being censored by their government is one of the most basic and cherished rights protected by our Constitution,” said the ACLU’s Legal Director Chris Brook. “We urge Chapel Hill officials to stand up for the free speech rights of their citizens by keeping the town’s bus ads open as a forum for public dialogue free of government censorship.”

We agree and we hope that you will come to Thursday evening’s town council public forum to stand in solidarity with us as we continue our struggle to keep these ads in Chapel Hill buses, but, even more importantly, as we continue to successfully spread our message that we must change our country’s policies toward Israel and the Palestinians to support human rights, international law and equality rather than the status quo of Israeli military occupation and domination of Palestinians.

If you would like to speak at the public forum in support of our ads and/or the right to freedom of speech, then please contact Rev. Mark Davidson so that we can coordinate.

Thank you for signing our petition to the Chapel Hill Town Council and we hope to see you on Thursday evening. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

ACLU-NC Defends Our Right to Post Ads Opposing U.S. Aid to Israel

In advance of a controversial October 11 hearing that could result in Chapel Hill amending its advertising guidelines to prohibit political ads, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of North Carolina has issued a vigorous defense of our First Amendment right to place ads in city buses calling on the United States to end military aid to Israel.

As the ACLU eloquently put it:
removing the ad solely because of disagreement with its content, as some officials have proposed, would constitute subject matter and viewpoint discrimination in violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
According to the ACLU's October 1 press release:
“The freedom of citizens to express political beliefs without being censored by their government is one of the most basic and cherished rights protected by our Constitution,” said ACLU-NCLF Legal Director Chris Brook, who authored the letter. “In fact, speech that may be unpopular, controversial, or incite strong emotions is exactly what the First Amendment was designed to protect. We urge Chapel Hill officials to stand up for the free speech rights of their citizens by keeping the town’s bus ads open as a forum for public dialogue free of government censorship.”
Read the ACLU's press release and the letter it sent to Chapel Hill officials here.

The ads are being paid for by the Chapel Hill-based Church of Reconciliation and feature Salim Shawamreh and Jeff Halper calling on us to "Build peace with justice and equality. End U.S. military aid to Israel."

Israel has demolished Salim's home in Israeli-occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem five times! Yet each time Israel illegally destroys Salim's home, he rebuilds it to defy Israel's attempts to drive him off of his land. Jeff's organization, the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, acts in solidarity with Salim and his family to help rebuild his home.

Salim and Jeff's ads are a powerful call to Americans to change our governmental policies that underwrite and enable Israel's oppression of Palestinians.

These ads are currently running in all 98 of Chapel Hill's buses and, with the backing of the ACLU, we are confident that they'll remain up for the duration of the contract.

Chapel Hill is the ninth U.S. city in which this ad campaign has appeared. Read more about the Chapel Hill ad campaign here.

Do you want to bring this ad campaign to your city?  If so, let us know and we can help out.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Appeals court to hear SeaMAC lawsuit over King County’s refusal to run Metro bus ads

So let's see if we have this straight...notorious Islamophobe Pamela Geller can go to court to force the New York subway system to run her vile and racist ads, yet when one of member groups--Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign--wants to run an ad like this on Seattle's buses, their First Amendment claims are dismissed in court.

Hopefully the ACLU will prevail in this appeal so that everyone can exercise their right to freedom of expression and not only Islamophobes.


On October 3, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) lawsuit over King County’s cancellation of a contract with SeaMAC to run ads on Metro buses. The hearing will take place at Gonzaga University School of Law, Barbieri Courtroom, 721 North Cincinnati Street, in Spokane beginning at 1:00 pm.  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington is representing SeaMAC in the suit.
The bus ads, reading “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work,” were examined, approved, and accepted by King County and Metro officials.  SeaMAC signed a contract and paid the full cost in advance, and the ads were printed and scheduled to run for four weeks starting on December 27, 2010.  The date was chosen because it was the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week military offensive against the captive population of Gaza in 2008-09, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians -- most of them non-combatants and more than 300 of them children. 
The language of the ad was chosen to reflect the fact that investigations by Amnesty International, the United Nations and others found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel during the assault on Gaza.  Other war crimes have been documented during Israel’s long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
At the last minute, on December 23, 2010, King County reversed course, cancelled the contract, and refused to run the ads.  Filed in U.S. District Court in January 2011, the lawsuit (SeaMAC v. King County) asserts that King County’s action violated SeaMAC’s First Amendment right of free expression and seeks to have the court order the ads to run on Metro buses, as originally approved. A trial in the case had been scheduled to begin on October 31, 2011, but a District Court judge granted King County’s motion for summary judgment and on October 10, 2011 dismissed the case.
The plaintiffs will ask the Court to reverse this decision. If the Court of Appeals overturns the lower court’s decision, the Court will either direct a verdict for plaintiff (or defendants) or the lawsuit will go back to the trial court to be heard before a jury. After the hearing, there is no deadline for a Court of Appeals ruling, and it typically takes 90 days or longer to reach a decision.
Photo of original SeaMAC bus ad available on request.

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated in Washington State.  

For more information:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Take Action: Tell the Chapel Hill Town Council to Keep Our Ads Running!

If you live in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC area, then please sign the petition to the Chapel Hill Town Council to keep the bus ads running that call for ending U.S. military aid to Israel.

Town Councilwoman Penny Rich is really banging the drums to kill these ads. She told Indyweek that the ads are a "manipulative way to essentially call for the destruction of Israel." Check them out below and judge for yourself.

Please read on for an appeal by Rev. Mark Davidson, of the Church of Reconciliation, to help mobilize political support for next week's key Town Council meeting, whose outcome might determine whether the ads are allowed to continue running, or if they will be censored.


By now, you’ve probably heard about the controversy that was generated by our Chapel Hill bus ad campaign to end U.S. military aid to Israel. In case you missed it, here’s a sampling of local media coverage.

The congregation I serve, the Church of Reconciliation, with endorsements from the Coalition for Peace with Justice, Jews for a Just Peace NC, and North Carolina Veterans for Peace, put these ads in the entire 98-bus fleet in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. They read: “Build Peace with Justice and Equality. End U.S. Aid to Israel.”

After a few weeks, the ads were temporarily taken down by the transit authority because its officials wanted us to add more contact information to the ads.  We did so and we’re happy to report that the ads are back on the buses as of last weekend.

However, we’re concerned that the Chapel Hill Town Council might take action next Wednesday, September 12, 7PM at its next meeting to change the advertising guidelines to prohibit non-commercial ads. If this happens, then our ads might get taken down again!

We can't let that happen. I need you to sign this petition to the Town Council calling on it to maintain non-commercial ads on Chapel Hill's buses and to continue running our ads for the one-year duration of the contraction we signed.

After you sign the petition, you’ll be given the chancto forward it via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Please share this petition far and wide so that we can show the Town Council how much community support exists for these ads.

We’ll deliver your petition signature at next week’s Town Council meeting. At the meeting, we’ll also be speaking about U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians and the importance of keeping these ads running.

These ads to end U.S. aid to Israel have sparked an important community conversation around this issue. It’s an important conversation that we need to have. Please keep this conversation going by signing the petition to the Town Council to keep the ads running.

I hope to see you at next Wednesday’s Town Council meeting.


Rev. Mark Davidson
Church of Reconciliation, Chapel Hill

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What Goes Down, Must Go Up!

Defying the laws of gravity, ads in Chapel Hill, North Carolina calling for the United States to end military aid to Israel are now back up after having been temporarily taken down.

These ads, sponsored by the Church of Reconciliation and cosponsored by several local organizations, were placed on the inside of all 98 Chapel Hill-Carrboro buses last month.

Activists pose with copies of the ads appearing in Chapel Hill buses.
After the city received a few complaints about the ads, they were removed because the transit agency determined that the church needed to put some additional contact info on the ads.

The church gladly complied with this directive and the ads went back up on the buses last weekend!

These ads have generated a huge amount of community conversation about U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.  That conversation needs to be replicated in communities all over the country. Check out all of the media attention these ads have sparked.

We couldn't help but notice that the Anti-Defamation League, which has been opposing our ad campaign, rejoiced a bit too early that the ads were temporarily pulled.

Also, goofball Islamophobe Pamela Geller was predictably apoplectic that the US Campaign and so many of its member groups are raising awareness through these ads. Check out her screed against us.

With these ads, Chapel Hill became the ninth U.S. city in which our ad campaign--"Be On Our Side"--has appeared. Contact us if you're interested in bringing this ad campaign to your city!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ad Responses Expose Racism

Compare billboards and ads from supporters of Palestinian rights...

Billboard from US Campaign Member group Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel in Los Angeles. 

Ad from US Campaign Member group The Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine in New York.

with ads from pro-Israel groups. 

Ad from StandWithUs in New York, which deliberately distorts facts in an attempt to deny Palestinian claims to their lands.  

Ad from the American Freedom Defense Initiative in San Francisco. It's nice when those who want to deny Palestinian rights put their racism and hate out there for all to see. The local ABC station has a good report on these ads as well as Mondoweiss. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Maps of Palestine Stir Controversy

Fifty ads at commuter rail platforms around New York state have caused quite a controversy over the past week. The ads, set to run for 30 days, feature maps of shrinking Palestinian territory from the foundation of Israel in 1948 to 2010.  Henry Clifford, chairman of the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, a member group of the US Campaign, paid for the ads. He says that the maps are "historically and geographically the truth" and can only serve to inform people of facts. 

The ads have come under attack from NY council member Robert Castelli, who described them as "anti-Israel" and argued that they would not contribute to peace in the region. Ron Meir, New York regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said: “The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps."  To such criticism, Clifford has responded: "Those who disapprove of these ads, if they want to show they're inaccurate, they should bring that proof forward."  

The ads, run by CBS outdoor, come in the wake of that company's removal of Los Angeles billboards questioning U.S. military aid to Israel last month.  Despite the opposition, Clifford thinks the ads will not be removed since he has a contract, and he can take legal action of its terms are violated.   

What do you think of these ads? Should they be removed? Contribute to the conversation by voting in a poll by the Chappaqua Daily Voice. 

Backer of NY ads exposing Palestinian land-loss says response has been ‘astounding’ and news ‘coverage is pouring in’

by Philip Weiss on July 13, 2012

Henry Clifford's advertisement at the Chappaqua Metro-North train station July 10, 2012.
(Photo: Seth Harrison / The Journal News )

"Last night I talked to Henry Clifford, the 83-year-old Connecticut man who paid for the smashing ads on New York commuter train platforms that describe the dispossession of Palestinian lands over the last century...."
Read more here

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why Were these Billboards to End Aid to Israel Torn Down in L.A.?

As we marked our country’s independence yesterday, we recall the ringing, aspirational words of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” that all people “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The long struggle for equality in the United States isn’t over.  As we continue to struggle today for equality here, our country’s $30 billion in military assistance and our invaluable diplomatic support for Israeli occupation and apartheid denies Palestinians that same equality, the very principle on which our country was founded.
A few weeks ago, the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, a member group of the US Campaign, drew attention to how our taxes bankroll Israel’s inequality toward Palestinians. They erected 23 billboards in the Los Angeles area to tell Congress to end aid to Israel. 
Guess what? Almost as soon as the billboards went up, the billboard company—CBS Outdoor—took them down.
Why? Could it have been for the laughable reason that CBS Outdoor provided for breaking the contract, which was that we, along with the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, set up a petition to thank them for running these ads? Doubtful.
Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that the Anti-Defamation League didn’t take a shine to the ads? Or, maybe, it was because Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) complained about them in a press release? 
Berman, who seems to have had no more important matter to take care of, such as helping to solve the national economic crisis or ending the war in Afghanistan, was agitated because he “must drive past” the billboards “every morning.” And, as Berman noted, he believes that he was elected to Congress by his constituents “in large part to fight for a stronger U.S.-Israel relationship. This has been, and will continue to be one [of] my top legislative priorities in Congress.”
Really, Rep. Berman? According to our website, your constituents are paying nearly $57 million of their hard-earned tax dollars from 2009 to 2018 to bankroll Israel’s illegal military occupation. We’re betting that you didn’t ask the 20 percent of families with children living below the poverty line in your district whether they sent you to Congress to fund the Israeli military?
Whether Rep. Berman is your Member of Congress or not, we need you to take action this July 4th and stand up for the principle of free speech by signing this petition supporting the message in these censored billboards.
From now until July 9, which is the seventh anniversary of the Palestinian civil society call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel and corporations that profit from its oppression of Palestinians, help us collect 10,000 signatures to deliver to Rep. Berman letting him know that you support sanctions against Israel, including ending U.S. military aid. 
This is not just another lame internet petition that won’t go anywhere. We deliver our petitions to their intended targets and put effective political pressure on them. Just last week, we organized a delegation to the State Department headed by Sandra Tamari, a Palestinian-American, who was discriminated against both by Israel and the United States when she was recently denied entry at Ben-Gurion airport. 
Together with member groups Jewish Voice for Peace, St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, and our friends at the Arab American Institute, we delivered more than 17,000 signaturesto the State Department protesting U.S. and Israeli discriminatory policies.  Check out the video from Palestine Studies TV as Sandra discusses our meeting with the State Department.
We’ve got a creative delivery planned for these petitions to Rep. Berman on July 9, but only if we have enough signatures to really show our strength. Help us reach our goal of 10,000 signatures by signing today, and then forwarding it to all your friends, and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for standing up for free speech, and working to end U.S. aid to Israel! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Make Up Your Mind, ADL!

It seems that the so-called Anti-Defamation League, which spends most of its time defaming anyone who speaks out in support of Palestinian rights, is having quite a difficult time figuring out if we're effective or not.

Two years ago, the ADL put us on their Top Ten list of most influential organizations advocating for Palestinian rights in the United States. We took that as a badge of honor.  (By the way, thanks, ADL, for including us on your list. We raised a ton of money off of it!) Unfortunately they alphabetized their list, so we weren't sure exactly where we stood in their rankings, but, hey, the top ten is the top ten, right?

Then on June 5, the ADL announced they unlocked the mysteries of the universe by managing to infiltrate one of our conference calls.  It was undoubtedly very difficult to do and their donors should be very proud of them (we had publicized the call-in number and code for the call and didn't require any RSVP). Yet, in the hour-long call, the ADL didn't manage to find one word of anti-Semitism.  If they did, surely they would have trumpeted that fact. We were very disheartened though to learn that the ADL thinks that we might be slipping off their top ten list when they opined that "none of these efforts [our campaigning to raise awareness about and organize to end U.S. military aid to Israel] seem to have much legs."

Bummer.  Maybe, ADL, we need to learn from you as to how to be effective? According to the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg, here's how your organization operates:
The ADL sent spies into the American anti-apartheid movement, as well as other movements critical of right-wing American foreign policy. Eventually, the organization was surveilling much of the American left. In 1993, a California police raid on the offices of the ADL and one of its investigators yielded files on Greenpeace, the NAACP, Act Up, New Jewish Agenda, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and several Democratic politicians, among hundreds of others. The ADL eventually settled a class-action lawsuit brought by several of its targets.
Then again, nah, we don't want to take any lessons from you.  We'll keep our organizing efforts principled and above board.

But, lo and behold, our spirits picked back up again last Friday, when we saw that the ADL had reversed track and is now very concerned about our "continued effort to marginalize Israel through advertisements," noting that we helped publicize a new billboard campaign in Los Angeles undertaken by the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel to raise awareness about ending U.S. military aid to Israel.

Oh yeah, thanks for ripping off our picture, ADL, and not even bothering to credit us. We noticed.

By the way, you can check out the ad campaign and sign a petition to the advertiser thanking them for running these ads here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Member Group Embarks On Los Angeles Ad Campaign

Yesterday, the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, a member group of the US Campaign, launched a major billboard advertising campaign in the Los Angeles area. The campaign, which already features nearly two dozen billboards reading “Tell Congress: Spend Our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military,” takes a strong stand against U.S. military aid to Israel. We applaud this effort as a step forward in bringing public attention to the major role the United States plays in funding Israel's misdeeds rather than our community needs (read our policy paper on U.S. military aid to Israel here).

However, this ad campaign will not be welcomed by those in the Israel lobby, who may use their influence to try to stop it. We cannot allow them to stifle dialogue on this crucial issue. Help ensure this campaign will continue by letting the billboard company, CBS Outdoor, know that the people of Los Angeles stand behind these advertisements and the dialogue they represent. Join us in signing the petition to thank CBS Outdoor for running these ads and share it with friends in the Los Angeles area. Once you sign, you will be able to donate to the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel in order to maintain and strengthen the billboard campaign. For every $365 contributed, another billboard will carry the message for four weeks.

These types of ads have been sprouting up all over the country recently. Check out a slide show of some of them here. This spring, the US Campaign took over from its member group the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine a very successful ad campaign that has run in multiple cities. Check out this ad campaign—“Two Peoples, One Future,” here and let us know if you’d like our help in bringing this ad campaign to your city.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SeaMAC launches new ad campaign on King County Metro buses

Check out the latest bus ad by US Campaign member group SeaMAC.



Peter Lippman (206) 432 1669
Edward Mast   (206) 633-1086
Carla Curio (206) 450-0706

SeaMAC launches new ad campaign on King County Metro buses

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has launched new ads on King County Metro buses as part of a continuing effort to expose the misuse of U.S. taxpayer money to support Israel’s ongoing discrimination against the Palestinian people.

With the slogan “I’M A PALESTINIAN - EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL”, the ads will run on twelve buses for the next four weeks.  Photo available on request.

SeaMAC’s new ad campaign is also part of Israeli Apartheid Week, February 27-March 2.   Local Israeli Apartheid Week events are being held at the University of Washington, Antioch University and Seattle University. Visit for information.

“Palestinians want equal rights,” says Carla Curio, volunteer with SeaMAC.  “Israel’s discrimination and apartheid are basic causes of the ongoing conflict.  Equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis will be the foundation of a just peace.”

Israel controls the lives of over five million Palestinians, most of whom have neither voting rights, political rights nor civil rights.  Israel has separate sets of laws, rights and opportunities for Israeli Jews and non-Jews.  Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are denied basic civil rights.  Palestinians citizens of Israel are subject to segregation and discrimination, with central provisions of Israel’s Basic Law explicitly denying equal status to non-Jews.

The US gives several billion dollars of military aid to Israel each year, plus political, diplomatic and military support, in spite of US laws forbidding such aid to any country that has a consistent record of gross violations of human rights.

SeaMAC designed the new ads to fit King County Metro’s revised and restricted advertising policy.  SeaMAC continues to pursue a lawsuit against King County for censoring SeaMAC’s Metro bus ad campaign launched last December, “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK,” which was approved, accepted, printed, then cancelled by King County.  With legal representation by the ACLU, SeaMAC has filed an appeal to overturn a recent dismissal of the lawsuit.

SeaMAC has also been running a series of print ads exposing Israel’s ongoing discrimination and war crimes against Palestinians.  The complete series of SeaMAC ads is available at

Press packet available on request.

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State and as a 501 (c)(3) organization under Federal tax code.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Silenced in Seattle, SeaMAC presses on with ads against settlements, child imprisonment and collective punishment

Seattle Middle East Awareness Campaign is a coalition member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. A few of our past blog posts about the group's pioneering efforts to change Palestine-Israel discourse through advertising are here and here and here and here and here.

by Annie Robbins on January 12, 2012

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC), the same organization who battled it out with King County Metro over the “Israeli War Crimes” bus ads last year, has been running half-page ads in both the Seattle Weekly and The Stranger since Dec 28th, commemorating the Gaza massacre. The next campaign of print ads, Collective Punishment, (above) will be running over the next several weeks.

Press Release:
King County first approved and then censored SeaMAC’s bus ad on December 23, 2010. King County Metro then twice revised its advertising policy to prevent any “public issue advertising expressing or advocating an opinion, position or viewpoint on matters of public debate about economic, political, religious or social issues”. In spite of that policy, King County Metro has since accepted advertisements for the Mormon religion and a labor rally, as well as a recent ad that said “Buy American”.
“It’s hard to see how King County has been unbiased or ‘viewpoint neutral’ when they have continued to run other political and religious advertisements while censoring ours,” said SeaMAC volunteer Edward Mast.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for breach of contract and for violating SeaMAC’s First Amendment right of free expression. The trial was scheduled to begin in federal court on October 31. King County lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and a federal judge granted King County’s motion on October 10. SeaMAC has filed an appeal with the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Another SeaMAC ad, with the slogan EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS, was accepted and put up on billboards in April 2010 by Clear Channel Outdoor, a private firm. Clear Channel then censored SeaMAC’s ads. Clear Channel had also run other controversial ads which caused public outcry, including an ad that advocated laboratory testing on live animals.
“Why should criticism of Israel be singled out for silencing?” says Peter Lippman, another SeaMAC volunteer.
SeaMAC’s print ads about Israeli war crimes are part of a series that began last August in Seattle Weekly and The Stranger. The ongoing series draws attention to Israel’s policies of segregation and apartheid, as well as the treatment of Palestinian child prisoners and Israel’s attempt to impose a non-viable fake state on Palestinians living under Israel’s illegal military occupation.
So here’s a huge shout out to SeaMAC for relentless and untiring activism to bring awareness to Seattle and the entire Northwest, and, more than that, for serving as an example of how communities across America can pressure our government to stop funding Israel’s occupation and war crimes.

Below are two more ads from SeaMAC’s ongoing series. The complete series of print ads can be viewed at


Mideast conflict spills onto BART walls

Jewish Voice for Peace is a coalition member of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

12 January, 2012
San Francisco Examiner

Thousands of miles removed from the political tinderbox of the Middle East, a controversy has broken out between Palestinian and Israeli advocacy groups over dueling advertising campaigns on BART.

Since 2010, a consortium of Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups has sponsored three BART train ad campaigns, each of which feature slogans asking for an end to United States military support for Israel.

For every one of those campaigns, Stand for Us, an Israeli education group, has countered with its own ads. The latest campaign, which starts Monday, features taglines urging Palestinians leaders to accept Israel as a peaceful neighbor.

Cindy Shamban, a member of Jewish Voices for Peace, one of the groups sponsoring the original ads, said their campaign was intended to spur people’s interest and provide information. She said BART was an ideal option for the campaign since so many people take public transit.

“When we first put these ads up, I really didn’t think they’d elicit any reaction,” Shamban said.

Roz Rothstein, president of Stand With Us, said the group felt compelled to counter the original ads because they were one-sided and placed blame exclusively on Israel. She said her organization would normally not advertise on public transit vehicles such as BART, but since the original campaigns were placed on the trains, they had little choice except to respond with their own ads nearby.

In reviewing Stand With Us’ proposed counterads, BART General Manager Grace Crunican acknowledged that they might provoke comments. However, she said the campaign complied with the agency’s advertising consent guidelines, and she offered her support for the ads in a memo to BART’s board of directors.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said once ads are approved by the agency, they are not taken down early, even if public complaints arise about their content.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who's Afraid: The Several Messages of SeaMAC's Ad Campaign

Edward Mast, of US Campaign member group Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC), explains below the rationale for his group's series of ads protesting U.S. support of Israeli war crimes and details the censorship they have faced in trying to get the message out.  

SeaMAC's latest ad, at left, ran last week in two Seattle weekly newspapers. Check out all the great examples of US Campaign member groups' ad campaign to end U.S. military aid to Israel and learn how to run an ad campaign in your community.

The Several Messages of SeaMAC’s Ad Campaign
By Edward Mast

In memory of Israel’s 2008-9 assault on the captive population of Gaza, Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has published a half-page ad this week in two Seattle weekly newspapers with the slogan ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK.  The slogan and design are based on SeaMAC’s bus ad which was censored by King County last December 2010.

The newspaper ads are part of SeaMAC’s ongoing series of print ads drawing attention to Israel’s policies of segregation and apartheid, as well as to the treatment of Palestinian child prisoners and Israel’s attempt to impose a non-viable fake state on Palestinians. The whole series of ads can be seen at

SeaMAC’s bus ad about Israeli war crimes made international news last December when it was first approved and accepted by King County Metro, then censored after pressure groups mounted a campaign to silence the ad.  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stepped forward immediately and is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for violating SeaMAC’s First Amendment right to free expression.  A trial was supposed to begin in Federal Court in Seattle on October 31.  However, despite considerable evidence that King County’s decision to censor the ads was neither reasonable nor neutral, a federal judge dismissed SeaMAC’s lawsuit on October 10.  SeaMAC is now appealing that decision at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  ACLU will continue to represent SeaMAC in the case.

Even though the appeal will probably take a year or more to come to hearing, SeaMAC has decided to pursue the issue.  SeaMAC’s ad was attacked as inappropriate speech for a public forum, and King County’s cancellation of the ad gave implicit validation to that complaint.

Those who complained about the ad brought a variety of arguments, including the claim that Israel is being unfairly singled out for criticism.  In fact it is the U.S. government that singles out Israel for special treatment, giving Israel unequalled financial, political, diplomatic and military support.  This special treatment by the U.S. government makes many U.S. citizens feel a special responsibility to resist Israel’s ongoing crimes and violations of international laws.

The question is not why Israel is singled out for criticism, but why criticism of Israel is singled out for censorship.

After the bus ad was censored by King County, SeaMAC contracted with Clear Channel Outdoor to run several billboards with a different message: “Equal Rights for Palestinians - Stop Funding the Israeli Military”.  The billboards were approved and several of them were put up and displayed. However, after a week, Clear Channel cancelled the contract and took these billboards down as well, in response to complaints from unidentified individuals or groups. There was no public controversy about the billboards. As it happens, there had been considerable public controversy the previous week about another unrelated set of billboards that advocated laboratory testing on live animals, but Clear Channel did not cancel those billboards.

The censoring of billboard ads with an unimpeachable call for equal rights also seems to refute another common complaint: that the “Israeli war crimes” ad was censored only because it was needlessly severe.  In fact, when developing the ad, SeaMAC rejected stronger language and settled on the term “war crimes” because of its specific legal meaning: grave violations of the Geneva Conventions. Such violations by Israel have been well-documented throughout its lengthy occupation of Palestinian territories. Violations by Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination have also been documented, though violations by Israel are far more numerous and far less reported in this country. The bus ads were an attempt to correct that imbalance.

During the public controversy, there was surprisingly little argument about the allegation that Israel commits war crimes.  Rather, the issue seemed to be that some people believe it’s inappropriate to discuss Israel’s war crimes in public, for fear of collateral consequences not only for Israel but for members of the Jewish community in Seattle.

Some friends and allies, along with King County officials, took this claim very seriously; and of course SeaMAC needs to consider people’s real fears even when those fears are misplaced.  In this case, however, people’s fears are being exploited, and the State of Israel is using Jews everywhere as virtual human shields to defend Israel from accountability for ongoing crimes. An increasing number of Jews are denying Israel’s claim to represent them, and many are angry at Israel’s distortion of traditional Jewish values and exploitation of Jewish history to justify ongoing persecution of Palestinians.

It is not criticism of Israel but Israel’s actions themselves that are creating hostility toward Israel. That hostility is sometimes mistakenly directed at the Jewish people generally.  For this reason, we should increase our efforts to distinguish between Israel and the Jewish people of the world, as well as continuing our efforts to stop Israel from committing more criminal actions.

Some have argued that SeaMAC should be satisfied because more people saw the bus ad on TV or in other news media than would likely have seen it on twelve buses for a month.  However, SeaMAC’s message was not merely the eight words on the bus ad.

SeaMAC chose a mainstream advertising venue because words on a bus ad not only reach beyond the usual audience, but also reach those people in a different way than the same words on a protest sign or banner.  Bus ads and billboards on this issue demonstrate that there is a wide and increasing spectrum of people that are concerned and angry about Israel’s ongoing crimes and our U.S. government’s unilateral support for them.

The message of our bus ads was not just that Israel commits war crimes, but that some people in the United States actually care about Israel’s war crimes, and that we care enough to risk talking to our neighbors.

No billboard or bus ad will convert people by itself. Instead, the ads are trying to change people’s perception: using the fewest possible words and images to help members of our community see the conflict in a new way.  Even those who don’t immediately understand or agree with the ad might look differently at Israel’s next attack on an aid convoy, or the next bombing of Gaza, or may take a step toward understanding that the conflict is not about religion or ancient feud, but about one people having power over another.

While debate and protest and large-scale education must continue, public opinion in this country will ultimately be changed by all of us speaking to our friends and neighbors and engaging them with our concern and our sincerity as well as our knowledge.   For all the furor, our ad campaign is an attempt to share the intensity of our concern with our community in Seattle, risking disapproval, hoping that our neighbors and colleagues will respond to our caring with caring of their own.  Our right to share those concerns in a public forum needs to be defended, no matter how long it takes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NY Times Blogs about Ads to End Military Aid to Israel

In yesterday's New York Times blog City Room, Clyde Haberman notes that:
For the past two weeks, billboards in 18 subway stations have carried posters calling on the United States to end its military assistance to Israel, which comes to about $3 billion a year. The advertisements, sponsored by a group called Two Peoples One Future, show Israelis and Palestinians beneath these words: “Be on our side — we are on the side of peace and justice.”

Haberman notes that various political advertisements have been censored in the NYC subway before, but states:
At least with these subway posters, the transportation authority dug in its heels. “It’s a First Amendment issue, obviously,” said Kevin Ortiz, an authority spokesman. Obviously.

Add your comment to the blog entry. You can note that according to our website, NYC residents are being asked to fork over $1.75 billion of federal taxes in weapons to Israel between 2009 and 2018.

Learn more about how to bring this ad to your city by visiting "Be On Our Side," a project of US Campaign member group the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine.

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Ads on San Francisco Cable Cars, Buses, and Bay Area BART!

Friends of Sabeel-North America, American Muslims for Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace, Bay Area Women in Black, and the Middle East Children's Alliance -- five member groups of the US Campaign coalition -- are some of those involved in bringing back Bay Area ads calling for end to U.S. military aid to Israel, this time on BART, Muni, and San Francisco cable cars!

Commuters in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco stations will see Israeli and Palestinian grandfathers urging aid cut-off for the sake of peace and justice.

Part of a year-old national campaign, the ads depict Israeli and Palestinian grandfathers, each holding a grandchild, calling for an end to the military assistance in the interest of building "peace with equality and justice." They went up today in three of the busiest stations on the Bay Area Rapid Transit system - 12th St. Oakland, Downtown Berkeley, and Civic Center San Francisco - as well as on the Muni level of the Embarcadero station in San Francisco and on a Powell Street cable car. Next week the same ad will be posted in the 16th St./ Mission station in San Francisco...

The ads are part of an initiative launched in October 2010, by a Chicago-area community group called the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine. NorCal Sabeel followed with ads in several BART stations last December. Since then similar ads have appeared in transit stations, on buses, or on billboards in Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ; and Albuquerque, NM. More cities are planning their own campaigns soon.

Jeff Halper and Salim Shawamreh
The previous round of ads in BART stations not only garnered considerable coverage in the local media, but also provoked a series of counter-ads sponsored by an Israel Lobby organization called Stand With Us. In response to complaints about those ads, BART removed them on the grounds that they appeared “disparaging or demeaning to Palestinians as a whole” and violated the district’s advertising standards; they were then replaced with new ads accusing the Palestinian leadership of "teaching hate and violence.”

The new ads now appearing in the Bay Area feature photos of Jeff Halper, a Minnesota-born Israeli professor, and Salim Shawamreh, a Palestinian construction supervisor born in Jerusalem, and a grandchild of each. Halper is co-founder and coordinator of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD); Shawamreh's Jerusalem home has been destroyed by Israeli wrecking crews, then rebuilt by volunteers organized by ICAHD, four times since 1998... 

For more information about the overall campaign, visit
For more on the Bay Area campaign, see