Billboards criticizing US aid to Israel taken down under pressure

Israel/Palestine
on 60 Comments

Taking down the board 1

A few week ago we posted about ten billboards going up around Albuquerque, NM calling for congress to cut off aid to Israel. They were put up by The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, a multi-ethnic, multi-religious coalition working to “end to the ten year commitment of $30 billion in U.S. taxpayer-funded military aid pledged to Israel in 2007 by the Bush administration.” Today, the coalition sent out a press release saying that although Lamar Outdoor Advertising had signed a contract to run the billboards for eight weeks, they care coming down after three. From the press release:

On April 8th, the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel erected the billboards throughout the  Albuquerque area in order to inform the public about the misuse of their tax dollars, denominated in human lives. The group was motivated by concern for the Palestinian people who had recently been subjected to a massive invasion of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military. Over 1,400 Palestinians – mostly civilian, including three hundred children – were killed and over 5,000 were injured. In 2007 the Bush administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides $30 billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars to Israel over a ten year period beginning in 2008. The majority of these dollars will be used to purchase American-made weapons.

The design of the billboard had been approved by Lamar and the billboards’ wording and final image were suggested by Lamar’s graphics designer.

According to information from Lamar, it appears groups claiming to be pro-Israel have conducted a campaign to pressure Lamar to remove the billboards. The Coalition believes this is a deliberate attempt to silence its right to free speech because the humanitarian message of the billboards supports equal rights for the Palestinian people, thereby necessitating criticism of Israel. 

Members of the Coalition will be meeting with Lamar on Friday. We’ll be sure to post an update.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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60 Responses

  1. Mooser
    April 29, 2009, 6:33 pm

    You guys are burning up the wires here. A veritable spring blizzard of posts. Great work, and thanks.

  2. Jim Harris
    April 29, 2009, 7:01 pm

    This was an incredibly stupid move on the part of the anti-Palestinian hate groups behind the attempt to muzzle this debate and take down the billboards. The pro-justice people will now have an opportunity, much more than before, to take this to the public with the free publicity this will provide. All attempts to hide the truth will only make our job easier.

  3. Scott
    April 29, 2009, 7:04 pm

    This billboard story is amazing. How much business loss was Lamar threatened with, how was the threat made? There was a similar but different incident about ten years ago, when an immigration reform ((reduction) group posted on some billboards. The message was sober, dealt only with the population numbers caused by immigration, not even slightly racist. But of course it was attacked as hate. It wouldn't surprise if the SPLC/ADL complex played a role in both.

  4. Margaret599
    April 29, 2009, 7:09 pm

    What a great poster: the photograph of the young girl is beautiful, and the message is simple and to the point. Well done on the part of those who put it up. Very well done, indeed, for the removal is fuel for controversy. Questions will abound. How much business loss was Lamar threatened with, how was the threat made? And by whom?

  5. Margaret599
    April 29, 2009, 7:11 pm

    Sorry, forgot to check notify me of follow-up by email.

  6. Jim Harris
    April 29, 2009, 7:43 pm

    i can do without the anti-immigrant groups but do support free speech, even of those with whom i disagree.

  7. LanceThruster
    April 29, 2009, 7:50 pm

    This is absolutely shameful. There is no reason other than Zionist bullying that these billboards are being taken down.

  8. ThorsProvoni
    April 29, 2009, 8:05 pm

    As a matter of US civil and criminal law, Stop $30 Billion probably has grounds for complaints of middle market restraint of trade and interference with business relations in addition to breech of contract.

  9. LanceThruster
    April 29, 2009, 8:14 pm

    Got this message from the Stop30billion people. I just called (voicemail message to Mr. Mons): — The Stop $30 Billion Coalition believes the billboards were pulled in response to pro-Israeli pressure. A contract had been signed for eight weeks; the billboards were taken down after only three weeks. We, the members of the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, call on all people of conscience to call Lamar at the phone numbers below and tell them "I am calling to express my opposition to Lamar's removal of the Billboards advocating an end to U.S. military aid to Israel. I demand the billboards be re-posted immediately." Micheal Mons Lamar General Manager Abq/El Paso 1-800-334-2236 #106 [email protected] Lamar Albuquerque Headquarters 136 Louisiana Blvd NE Albuquerque, NM 87108 (505) 255-4460ý (505) 266-5985

  10. Jorn Barger
    April 29, 2009, 8:33 pm

    Is anyone creating good PDF factsheets and posters that anyone can download, print, and circulate?

  11. MRW
    April 29, 2009, 8:46 pm

    Since this is New Mexico, I wouldn't be surprised if the Pro-Israel groups that engineered this, and I believe I am correct in assuming this, got defense contractors in the state of NM to weigh in on this. The most dangerous piece of info right now is having Americans understand that $30 BILLION is going to Israel and not staying here. This has the potential to be a game-changer. What can we do to get it out?

  12. seethelight
    April 29, 2009, 9:08 pm

    Phil, We need specific details about pressure and threats, if any.

  13. Some guy
    April 29, 2009, 9:10 pm

    Zionists loathe the idea of a well-informed American electorate more than they loathe Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria combined.

  14. Citizen
    April 29, 2009, 9:22 pm

    It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize the Billboard company was faced with only making so much money from honoring its contract as to compared to the Jewish interests that threatened to take away far more contracts, and make no new ones. This is a direct interference with all traditional USA values hold dear. It boots out Free Speech and makes contracts nothing, so long as you have financial business clout. Hitler did it with storm troopers, these censors do it with money. This is a violation of the First Amendment using group crony capitalism as the means. Not a good sign for the health of USA. Wonder if this will appear in the MSM? LOL

  15. tommy
    April 29, 2009, 10:14 pm

    Call Lamar's other clients and tell them why you are boycotting their businesses because they advertise using Lamar, who does not honor their contracts and favors some minority ethnic groups over others. If you should see pro-Israel billboards, then the proper response would be to call the media company and ask them to remove the offensive filth. Identifying yourself as a valued Christian client might also help.

  16. Marion
    April 29, 2009, 11:17 pm

    I know that this is off topic, but can this be for real? If it is, this man is even sicker than I imagined….And I worry about those still in power that have similar mentalities… Vice’s Secret Vices By MAUREEN DOWD WASHINGTON ” target=”_blank”>http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/opinion/29dowd….

  17. duplicity
    April 29, 2009, 11:30 pm

    Israel Alliance says the contract allowed the billboard company to pull any billboard down–no mention of any conditions to that contract proviso, if it exists. This article also says poor Israel is the victim on a one-sided battle and the proof is the HAMAS charter, which made the non-Jewish mistake of laying all its cards on the table. ” target=”_blank”>link to dailylobo.com. target=”_blank”>http://media.” target=”_blank”>” target=”_blank”>link to dailylobo.com.

  18. Dale A. Sender
    April 30, 2009, 12:07 am

    who says that Israel doesn't control the United States?

  19. KAK
    April 30, 2009, 12:10 am

    Israel / Jews are Blood Sucking Parasites of the World, they are nothing more then Leeches feeding on Mankind. The sooner this World is rid of them the better. "Die Israel Die"

  20. Rabbitman
    April 30, 2009, 1:10 am

    People in America need to decide which country they are supporting and part of….this goes for politicians, ..everyone. Let those whose loyalties are with Israel go immediately to Israel and revoke their citizenship. Im tired of seeing this country led around by the nose by a terrorist, racist, apartheid hateful chancre of a state, that cannot support itself after 61 years. Time to kick this immature 61 year old baby out of the basement, and tell it that it is on its own. No more 15 million per day to these a-holes while Americans are living in the streets.

  21. stevieb
    April 30, 2009, 1:18 am

    I'd still like to here it from the horse's mouth – especially before I decided to support a boycott of Lamar…

  22. stevieb
    April 30, 2009, 1:19 am

    "hear it from the.."

  23. stevieb
    April 30, 2009, 1:24 am

    The sooner you realize that everybody know your a zionist provocateur trying – desperately and inevitably pointlessly – to shut down the site due to antisemitic content, the better.

  24. Alan Cabal
    April 30, 2009, 1:26 am

    I see that hideous squawk from KAK posted verbatim all over the place. Is "KAK" a Megaphone shill? Israel is not "the Jews." Phil Weiss is a Jew, Gilad Atzmon is a Jew, there are lots of Jews with guts standing up and protesting Israel's genocide against the Palestinians and their INCREDIBLY dangerous meddling with the US government. Anybody who hasn't been labeled a "self-hating Jew" or "anti-Semite" by now is either a coward or a collaborator, but genuine hatred of Jews is pathological and ultimately plays right into the Zionists' game. They thrive on that crap.

  25. Eli
    April 30, 2009, 1:30 am

    How can you people live with what you say? I understand being against Israeli funding by the American government, as other issues may seem more of a priority, but it is ridiculous how you people view Israel. The billboard says, "Stop killing children." Have you ever seen a vehemently disgusting billboard directed towards the Palestinians? I am in full support in taking down these billboards, as I find they incite hatred. I suggest you look up Israel's M.O. before you start making erroneous generalizations.

  26. Eli
    April 30, 2009, 1:36 am

    And let me further state that today is the Israeli day of Independence. You should all do your best to see the Israeli's side of such an unfortunate predicament; you will feel better that you made an effort in trying to judge fairly of this situation.

  27. tommy
    April 30, 2009, 1:39 am

    I was going to write about how this type of act could lead to a real resentment of the Jewish community, and was going to emphasize.zealous, militant Israeli supporters do not represent Jews. Then I saw some odd comments. It is a mistake to conflate a person's religious or ethnic community with the violent nationalism of a group who come from, and even claim, to represent those communities. Detesting violent Israeli expansionists and local obstructionists is legitimate, but should not be used to insult a people as a whole, which will make things worse. Killing people is what needs to stop and a better message. The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel is making that message.

  28. Mooser
    April 30, 2009, 1:57 am

    " There was a similar but different incident about ten years ago, when an immigration reform ((reduction) group posted on some billboards. The message was sober, dealt only with the population numbers caused by immigration, not even slightly racist. But of course it was attacked as hate. It wouldn't surprise if the SPLC/ADL complex played a role in both." I'm not gonna touch that with a ten-foot pole. I can smell it from here.

  29. LanceThruster
    April 30, 2009, 2:17 am

    Is "KAK" a Megaphone shill? — My guess is "Yes."

  30. rykart
    April 30, 2009, 2:25 am

    The majority of the American Jewish community support the filth of Israel. Until that changes, all Jews face a problem of negative association and it's silly in my view to put the blame on anti-Semites. Jews must clean the vomit out of our own backyard. Start with your local JCC or synagogue. Let them know you will not tolerate support of israel. Turn their lives into hell. Interrupt every effort to promote Israel. Never let pro-Israel comments stand. This is a matter of Jewish survival.

  31. Mooser
    April 30, 2009, 2:34 am

    Start with your local JCC or synagogue. Let them know you will not tolerate support of israel. Turn their lives into hell. Interrupt every effort to promote Israel. Never let pro-Israel comments stand. And get written out of the will? Not on your tin-type, Margery.

  32. Mooser
    April 30, 2009, 2:37 am

    " I suggest you look up Israel's M.O." Illegal occupation for forty years? Collective punishment? Settlement and land-theft, supported by the Israeli government and protected by the IDF? Brutal collective attacks with bombs and white phosphorus on civilian populations? Is that the "M.O." you mean? Or did you have something else in mind?

  33. rykart
    April 30, 2009, 2:47 am

    Paraphrasing edmund burke, all that is needed for Israel to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

  34. Eva Smagacz
    April 30, 2009, 5:18 am

    I called as well. Mr. Mons' voicemail box is full, operator says that they had many calls regarding this issue.

  35. moonkoon
    April 30, 2009, 5:32 am

    Behold the power of the lobby in New Mexico. So much for free speech, make sure you get a refund.

  36. Alan Cabal
    April 30, 2009, 6:03 am

    Rykart, you are absolutely right. American Jews have been brainwashed into interpreting warnings as hate.

  37. Alan Cabal
    April 30, 2009, 6:04 am

    Abe Foxman should be hung with the rope they've got saved for Demjanjuk.

  38. Margaret
    April 30, 2009, 7:43 am

    Eli: "The billboard says, "Stop killing children." I am in full support in taking down these billboards, as I find they incite hatred. I suggest you look up Israel's M.O. before you start making erroneous generalizations. Eli, what is wrong with the message "Stop killing children"? Hundreds of children were killed during Operation Cast Lead, none of whom were Israeli. Which is more likely to incite hatred, billboards or death? Have you looked up Israel's mode of operation? Do you think that killing civilians, particularly children, is activity to be supported?

  39. cyber_cohen
    April 30, 2009, 7:47 am

    Is there any law that will an ordinary(!) American from putting up a large billboard outside their home or business – do you need planning permission? If viable, then every American that can, might be able to put up these posters for the world to see… ps: I live in the UK, and we love out rules and regulations – we can't take three consequtive breaths without planning permission.

  40. Margaret
    April 30, 2009, 9:00 am

    Yes, there are regulations governing use of public media, particularly restrictive of advertising or other media in residential areas. However, always available is one's window. People do create personal messages using a variety of media, which can result in considerable controversy.

  41. Ian deMontfort
    April 30, 2009, 9:27 am

    Foxman and the rest of the pro-Israeli lobbies are a crime against Humanity. Israel is a racist parasite country. The American government is over-run by Zionists, as are all western governments. Zionists have no morals. Remember the USS Liberty and The King David Hotel bombings. Remember those who drove both the great wars and nearly every genocide. All of them Zionist NWO scum! Defy them at all times, because they are coming for everyone that has a drop of Humanity remaining. Defy them all regardless of the consequences.

  42. Tom
    April 30, 2009, 9:44 am

    To hell with Israel………………

  43. Citizen
    April 30, 2009, 2:12 pm

    Wanna compare how much unconditional support we give the Palestinians with what we give Israel? The Israelis don't need a billboard here–their billboard is our whore congress & white house & MSM plus the label of "terrorist" applied especially to Arabs, and most specifically in context here, to the palestinians.

  44. LanceThruster
    April 30, 2009, 3:24 pm

    Is "KAK" a Megaphone shill? —- I would have to say, "Yes."

  45. ThorsProvoni
    April 30, 2009, 4:12 pm
  46. Jacob B.
    May 1, 2009, 1:16 am

    KAK your bluff has been called , quit pretending to hate jews to get this site taken down. You fail .

  47. Jacob B.
    May 1, 2009, 1:35 am

    No one is taking sides except you. You convinced no one withyour arguement. I see it as working against us jews by taking the signs down, it makes us look worse. I at least face the fact that Israel does things in the name of us jews that I don't agree with. I'm not a self hater, so don't label me as such. I just think the state of Israel should take responsiblitiy for their actions , as anyone should . Either way , you are going to face the music and it is made worse by trying to hide ( taking down signs ) your screw up instead of being responsible. More screw ups should not be funded. What happens when the US no longer funds Israel? Because we didn't do what was right , we will face the repercussions. Let's be honest.

  48. VoxVeritatis
    May 1, 2009, 7:33 am

    Well stated, Rabbitman. The good news is that more and more, every day, people are growing disgusted with Israel and the undue amount of influence they awkwardly wield in such a heavy-handed and ridiculous manner. If they're screeching (usually in error) "anti-semitism" NOW, just wait until citizens are beyond the tipping point and start beating the ever living shit out of zionists in the streets. I personally volunteer to smash Abe Foxman's teeth down his throat and kick Dershowitz in his miniscule genitalia so hard that he poops his pants. People aren't fed up with, and hate, these assholes because of their religion, people are fed up with their BEHAVIOR.

  49. Margaret599
    May 1, 2009, 3:59 pm

    While I agree with your statement regarding behavior, I find your threats of personal violence unpleasant. Much as I dislike what I've seen of their activities, such threats do not seem purposeful, except to provide support for their defense.

  50. James C.
    May 1, 2009, 6:17 pm

    Actually, it is not 'for real'. The piece was a sarcastic, satirical bit of make-believe, and rather poorly done. If this Dowd prefers to concoct dialogue, such as in this article, perhaps she should be writing romance novels. Yeah, Cheney is a self-righteous bastard, but I would prefer that those writing for major newspapers would stick to the facts. She had me going too, briefly. Note that she begins by describing the session as 'closed door' and saying she had 'access'.

  51. ThorsProvoni
    May 1, 2009, 7:36 pm
  52. Tom
    May 1, 2009, 7:59 pm

    Israel's agents are controlling the US Govt. They are selling the country. It is their agents decisions to go for wars. They bankrupted the US and its economy. Please go to the following links of some of the current Israel's agents work. ” target=”_blank”>http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090501/ap_on_re_us/u… ” target=”_blank”>http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090501/ap_on_go_ot/u…

  53. Ojos Criollos
    May 2, 2009, 7:07 am
  54. Dan M.
    May 7, 2009, 3:59 am

    Jews have set their covetous eye on Palestine and have no intention to engage in meaningful debate on the proper and just dispensation of disputed lands and water bodies that exist between themselves and their ambitions. This salient fact belies any false posturing by "Isreali diplomats" toward supporting a peace initiative. Israel is stalling so long as possible to gobble up every piece of dirt and every drop of water internationally recognized as Palestinian, Jordanian, Lebanese, or Egyptian. As the lawyers among them are fond of saying, "possession is 9/10th's ownership."

  55. Jeff G.
    May 11, 2009, 11:43 am

    The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel should sue Larmar to court to have the contract honored. If they have a contract, the courts will surely find Lamar in breach of the contract and could force the signs back up for even a longer period of time.

  56. SydUSA
    May 24, 2009, 8:02 am

    First of all my many thanks to the Coalition, and also i'd like to thank all the bloggers who are reasonable and compassionate enough to see the outrageous injustice committed against their humane will. The US aid to Israel is nothing new, it 's been in the 100's of billions of dollars for decades now and nobody has been or, i'm afraid it's the sad truth, will ever be able to stop, the US tax payers money used to finance the aid basically has been responsible for the displacement, empoverishment, well documented massacres of innocent armless women children and men just because they were palestinians and didn't want to leave their lands, the aid was mostly in the form of lethal weaponry from deadly apache and latest cry F16 's to depleted uranium bombs and white phosphorous missiles which israel happily tested on palestinian civilians in its latest genocidal assault against palestinians in the GAZA strip… (pls see rest of comment below)

  57. SydUSA
    May 24, 2009, 8:03 am

    ( continued from above comment), if u think i am using inflated words to describe what israel is inflicting on the palestinians just check out UN, Amnesty International and most European human rights organizations reports, israel does all that with the excuse of stopping ''terrorists'', meaning the same people from whom it stole their lands from, scared them away by murdering scores of palestinians and wiping out whole villages since the turn of the 20th century, and if they resisted or launched a couple of home made amateurish bombs against it the zionist state will brand them terrorists, it is wrong to accuse all jews of the band things i saw on this blog, just like it's wrong to lump all Moslims or Arabs and call them vile names, but the real criminals are the zionists with their quasi Nazi ideology and their supporters. ” target=”_blank”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL4VBLa51GM ” target=”_blank”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKlE0cs56JM&fe…

  58. HarryLaw
    October 18, 2011, 9:59 am

    Has any pro Palestinian group thought of this method of advertisement,driving around New York or Washington.Hope I don’t go on Obama’s death panel list for suggesting this.

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