WESTCHESTER, N.Y. – New pro-Israel billboards at dozens of Westchester County Metro-North locations are seeking to fire back at anti-Israel ads that recently popped up at several stations around the county.
The pro-Israel group StandWithUs launched the campaign Monday featuring seven billboards at more than 20 Westchester locations that are set to “counter the misinformation in anti-Israel posters currently on display” and will run until June 9, according to a press release from the group. The new campaign marks the third time a pro-Israel group has countered anti-Israel ads at the stations.
The latest message seeks not only to counter previous ads from anti-Israel groups, but also spread a message of peace, StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told The Daily Voice Monday afternoon.
“With all of the misinformation the other side keeps pushing out, it’s a great opportunity for us to make sure that people are informed about the great things that are coming out of Israel that people aren’t hearing about,” Rothstein said. “The focus should be on negotiations and Israel and the Palestinians coming together for discussion.”
One of the ads shows President Barack Obama meeting Miss Israel 2013 and another shows a Palestinian and Israeli boy arm-in-arm with the tag lines: “Say No to Terrorism” and “Say Yes to Peace.”
“The point is saying no to all of that terrorism and saying yes to that peaceful coexistence,” Rothstein said. “We’re hoping that people come away with information and a better understanding of the state of Israel. I’m always concerned when lies are promoted about the Jewish people and Israel and it has been a goal of ours to make sure lies are challenged.”
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a disclaimer on the ads that it does not endorse any of the ads or the views expressed.
One of the anti-Israel ads reads in bold letters: “Americans Give Israel $3 Billion Per Year! End Apartheid Now! Stop U.S. Aid To Israel.” American Muslims for Palestine, a grassroots advocacy organization, sponsors the anti-Israel ads .
A billboard sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative was put up in August 2012 throughout Westchester bearing the message “19,250 Islamic Attacks since 9/11, It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism.” StandWithUs officials said the latest campaign was not related to the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s campaign which stirred up controversy in Hastings and other Westchester towns.
Pro-Israel and anti-Israel ads have appeared at dozens of stations throughout Westchester, including Pelham, Harrison, White Plains, Mount Vernon, Ossining, Irvington, Ardsley, Hastings, Yonkers and Croton-Harmon.
The anti-Israel billboard campaigns were launched in 2007 in other parts of the country, including San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago and Denver, and StandWithUs representatives said they have made attempts to counter each one, according to the release.
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