Bay Area billboards ‘thank’ the US for Israel’s blank check

on 74 Comments
CDC Billboard Correction
CDC Billboard Correction

From a "California Department of Corrections" press release:

New Billboard Alterations Salute Israel Following Raid on Gaza Flotilla

The California Department of Corrections (CDC) has unveiled a new campaign of billboard alterations on behalf of the State of Israel.

On July 28, 2010 a total of nine billboards were apprehended, rehabilitated and discharged throughout San Francisco, including the intersection of Guerrero and 18th Street (see attached photo). Additional billboards were discharged into Polk Gulch, the Tenderloin, South of Market, the Mission, the Haight, Potrero Hill and Bay View/Hunters Point. The nine billboards represent the number of civilian fatalities incurred during Israel’s May 31st raid on a flotilla carrying supplies to Gaza.

The CDC released the billboards to highlight the two month anniversary of the raid. The billboards also cap the month of July which saw a White House reception for Israel’s Prime Minister followed by an Israeli military investigation of the May 31 incident. The White House visit reaffirmed America’s unbreakable bond with Israel, and the army investigation exonerated Israeli soldiers of any wrongdoing during the raid. As a compliment to these public relations activities, the CDC has contributed its specialized services to defend Israeli soldiers facing international scrutiny.

The CDC recognizes that our colleagues in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) may require additional support and financing as they expand Israeli jurisdiction into international waters. Annual US aid to Israel will increase to only $3.15 billion by 2013. Although our Israeli allies are thankful for such generosity, the CDC believes that America can do better. In order to encourage additional tax-supported financial donations for Israel, the CDC launched the “Blank Check” billboard campaign.

The corrected billboards read, “THANKS FOR THE BLANK CHECK, AMERICA,” featuring a US Treasury bank note for $7,000,000. The amount is a daily average of America’s $2.70 billion aid package for Israel in fiscal year 2010.

Reflecting Israel’s national colors, the blue and white billboards also include the following caption along with a discreet Israeli flag:

“In May 2010, Israel was attacked by an unarmed flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza. Decisive action by Israeli soldiers stopped this assault. Though only 9 people were killed and hundreds were detained, Israeli prestige came under fire. With your support, Israel can prevent future attacks. Our troops are waiting to execute anyone entering Gaza, but the cost of ammunition will strain daily U.S. aid of $7 million. Your additional tax dollars can overcome this challenge. Please contribute generously and help us bring peace to the Middle East.”

As a private correctional facility, the CDC recognizes the need for control and security in areas under Israeli jurisdiction. Therefore, the department salutes our Israeli colleagues in their efforts to maintain Gaza as the world’s largest open air correctional institution, exposing Palestinians to the safety, efficiency and discipline found in California facilities.

The California Department of Corrections is a private institution dedicated to the alteration, rehabilitation and improvement of California’s most criminal advertising. Initiated in 1994, the department is operated by individuals who feel that California’s correctional facilities have been insufficiently managing the state’s most criminal elements.

74 Responses

  1. hayate
    July 29, 2010, 9:30 am


  2. marc b.
    July 29, 2010, 9:31 am

    I am being dense? Is this billboard supposedly designed to strengthen support for Israel?

  3. Antidote
    July 29, 2010, 9:48 am

    Holy shit. I can’t imagine anybody seriously believing that this will drum up support for sending more US foreign aid to Israel (or anywhere else, for that matter). An oversized blank cheque to a foreign country? Because Israel was ‘attacked’ by a ship carrying ‘humanitarian aid’ – for those who bother to red the fine print? Is this a subversive move to erode public support for aid to Israel? Either that, or they do need some better PR people in CA

    • Donald
      July 29, 2010, 10:03 am

      You and marc b need to develop your satire recognition skills. Not that I can criticize too much, since I made the opposite mistake with yedida’s song yesterday–for a few seconds I thought that was a parody. (Well, it was, but not an intentional one.)

      • marc b.
        July 29, 2010, 10:45 am

        yes, i do. things get a bit surreal with the arguments surrounding israel. parodies of satires of ironies of sarcasm. i’m dizzy.

      • Antidote
        July 29, 2010, 11:13 am

        I have the same problem, marc b. It’s practically unavoidable for anybody who hasn’t been in this mental swamp (the issue, not this site) for more than a few months. The line between hasbara and sarcasm/parody/satire are particularly thin and slippery.

  4. lareineblanche
    July 29, 2010, 9:51 am


  5. Mooser
    July 29, 2010, 9:54 am

    I had nothing to do with this. I sure as hell wish I had, tho.

  6. Chaos4700
    July 29, 2010, 9:54 am

    My local group has put together a billboard in my city as well. I think we’ve finally reached the tipping point on this.

    I remember when I was a kid, and the tipping point being reached for anti-apartheid (in South Africa) sentiment. Political cartoons and even a certain politically aware kid’s show I watched (called “Roundhouse”) were commenting regularly on it.

    Israel can no longer count on passive support from an American public held hostage from actual news and information on what Israel is doing with our money.

  7. Seham
    July 29, 2010, 9:58 am

    “Polk Gulch, the Tenderloin, South of Market, the Mission, the Haight, Potrero Hill and Bay View/Hunters Point.”

    These are the everyday people that need to be targeted. These are the people that should be contacting their reps daily asking for money for schools and education instead of Israeli wars and occupation.

    • Antidote
      July 29, 2010, 10:34 am

      “These are the everyday people that need to be targeted…These are the people that should be contacting their reps daily asking for money for schools and education instead of Israeli wars and occupation.”

      And how sophisticated do you think those everyday Americans are? Will they calmly and rationally reconsider why the US should continue to lend moral, political and financial support to Israeli wars and occupation, as they have done for decades, or will they think: ‘Those goddamn greedy and aggressive Jews have ripped us off for decades and made us fight their wars, and now we’re broke and they don’t give a shit and want our last drop of blood, and look at all those corrupt politicians in AIPACs pocket blah blah blah — hang them high!’

      Billboards, people!!!! Actually, my first thought when I looked at the picture was: incitement. That’s my third thought on this, too

      • annie
        July 29, 2010, 11:11 am

        And how sophisticated do you think those everyday Americans are?

        in san francisco? i love it when people reference san franciscans as everyday americans.

        my first thought when I looked at the picture was: incitement

        let’s hope it incites em bigtime.

      • Antidote
        July 29, 2010, 11:26 am


        link to

        Berliners were pretty sophisticated, too, in the 1930s, and mostly leftist. Cosmopolitan, vibrant avant-garde culture. Google ‘Weimar Culture’

      • Psychopathic god
        July 29, 2010, 11:14 am

        Thirteen rabbis whinge to Obama’s ziohenchmen Dennis Ross & Rahm Emanuel that Israel needs money for an anti-Katusha system.
        Take home: $203 million

        Joe Sestak demanded — DEMANDED that Congress include in its $70 billion defense appropriation bill $50 million to treat US troops suffering from PTSD.
        Take home: $50 million

        About 10 Israelis have been killed by Katushas in the last 5 years.
        US taxpayer contribution per Israeli life: $20.3 million

        An estimated 700,000 US troops suffer from PTSD.
        US taxpayer contribution per US soldier: $71.43

      • Philip Munger
        July 29, 2010, 11:33 am

        About 10 Israelis have been killed by Katushas in the last 5 years.

        Number of Israelis killed by drunk drivers in last five years? Hard to tell, as I cannot find those numbers available on the web. Just from the newspaper accounts I’ve been able to find of drunk driving deaths there in the past year – about 15 – that might make the DUI deaths over 5 years around 75. That’s 7.5 times as many people as the goddam rockets.

        Maybe the California DOC folks should start demanding more money from U.S. taxpayers, so the IDF can afford to bomb Israeli bars, liquor stores and breweries.

        I think the NYT needs to send an investigative reporter to Israel to check on whether Israeli bars, liquor stores and breweries are being secretly funded by IHH. Or Hamas.

        $71.43 per U.S. soldier undergoing PTSD. That is so pathetic.

      • Psychopathic god
        July 29, 2010, 11:58 am

        Jewish Israelis abort 50,000 preborn humans annually.

        Why aren’t teabaggers mad as hell about that?

      • Antidote
        July 29, 2010, 12:19 pm

        link to

        “According to the Israel Defense Forces, during the 442 days from the beginning of the current Palestinian intifada until the end of December, 2001, 120 Israelis were killed by terrorist suicide bombings, shootings, hit-and-runs, stabbings, or other means within “Israel proper,” that is, not including terror victims in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

        All of these murders are tragic, and I do not intend in any way to make light of them here. However, given that 6.3 million people reside within Israel proper, these deaths work out to an annual personal risk of death from terrorism of 16 in one million, within the boundaries of Israel proper, which would be the destination of most visitors.

        Is this a big risk or a little risk? Let’s compare first with the risk of death from motor vehicle accidents in Israel, since one thing tourists do is travel around. Again, excluding the West Bank and Gaza, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics reports 461 traffic fatalities during the 2000 calendar year. This adds up to an annual personal risk of 73 per one million, which is nearly four times higher than the risk of death from terrorism.

        So what, you say – this makes Israel look worse! Look again. The 2000 Statistical Abstract of the United States reports that about 41,500 traffic fatalities have occurred in each of the past several years in the US. With a population of 286 million people, the annual personal risk of death from a motor vehicle accident in the United States is 145 per one million.

        That’s right – the personal risk of road death is nearly twice as high in the United States as in Israel. And the risk of road death in the United States is nearly eight times higher than the risk of death from terrorism in Israel! Since we Americans readily accept the 145 per million risk of road death without worry, why has the US State Department warned us not to travel to Israel?

        Let’s put this into an even more direct perspective. My recent visit to Israel was one week in duration. Since I did not enter the West Bank or Gaza, my combined probability of dying from either terrorism or a car crash on this visit equaled 1.7 in one million.

        Had I followed the State Department’s guidance and canceled my visit to Israel, I would have instead enjoyed a 2.8 in one million chance of being killed in a motor vehicle accident at home. In other words, for those keeping score, my death risk would have been 65 percent higher in the US than in Israel.

        And I have neglected to note my 23 combined hours flying El Al, one of the safest activities available within the limits of Earth’s atmosphere. It seems that the most dangerous thing I did on this trip was drive from New Haven to JFK Airport!”

        No wonder Israelis score higher than Americans on the happiness-scale:

        link to

      • Avi
        July 29, 2010, 3:30 pm

        Psychopathic god July 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

        Jewish Israelis abort 50,000 preborn humans annually.

        Why aren’t teabaggers mad as hell about that?

        Their overlords at Fox Noise haven’t instructed them.

      • Mooser
        July 29, 2010, 6:25 pm

        “‘Those goddamn greedy and aggressive Jews have ripped us off for decades and made us fight their wars, and now we’re broke and they don’t give a shit and want our last drop of blood, and look at all those corrupt politicians in AIPACs pocket blah blah blah — hang them high!’”

        That could happen. I would suggest that AIPAC and ADL, and whomever else says they represent “the Jewish community” take steps to prove them wrong.
        Antidote, when the level of incitement and the results of that incitement reach a level comaprable to, or even barely approaching the level directed at Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, I’ll start to worry.

      • RoHa
        July 29, 2010, 7:22 pm

        I would suggest that the Jeweish community take steps to prove them wrong.

  8. Antidote
    July 29, 2010, 10:00 am

    Ok, I read the entire fine print now and the article.

    Never mind

  9. sherbrsi
    July 29, 2010, 10:01 am

    Good ad. But it’s a bit too subtle for its intended audience. And it should have mentioned the execution of the Turkish-American citizen, Dogan.

    But perhaps its best that the numbers alone do the talking.

  10. Chu
    July 29, 2010, 10:03 am

    ha, ha. Thanks for the check you dumb rubes.

  11. Citizen
    July 29, 2010, 10:08 am

    That reminds me, does the State Of Illinois pension system still fund Israel activities?

    • Citizen
      July 29, 2010, 10:17 am

      Yes, it does, along with half the other US states; seems Israel’s bonds are a much better investment that US bonds:
      link to

      Maybe the US needs a blank check too, along with some pittance of care for its own citizens–like the kid murdered point blank of the flottila and Rachel Corrie, not to mention the USS Liberty victims.

      • Psychopathic god
        July 29, 2010, 11:19 am

        from your wikilink, Citizen:

        Israel bonds will also help fund development of the Negev desert, Israel’s largest remaining open area, comprising approximately half the country’s land mass. In addition, plans are underway for industrial parks in the Galilee to further expand Israel’s hi-tech sector.

      • marc b.
        July 29, 2010, 3:27 pm

        it was reported on the local npr radio affiliate that the massachusetts treasurer recommended that the state divest from any investments with ties to iran as such investments are contrary to the interests of the US and israel.

    • American
      July 29, 2010, 12:09 pm

      This reminds me also…..does anyone have a source for exactly how much US pension and state, city, funds are invested in Israel? I can’t find a comprehensive one.

      But every day you can see a news item about this or that governor, state trade assoc, state treasurers, city financial officers and so forth hiddie hooing to Israel to set up some investment,trade or business deal to benefit Israel.

      I use to think that the fact that Israel’s draining off so much American investment monies into Israel might be one of the reasons DC can’t afford to let Israel crash and burn. But I pretty much ditched that theory since it’s fact that the politicians don’t actually care about what might happen to American’s financial well being.

      Considering the US aid billions, loans waived,special grants on everything from energy to resettling Russian Jews, military gifts,
      emergency fuel supplies paid for by the pentagon, US aid to other countries like the 60 million power plant in Palestine we paid for that Israel blew up or the aid money we gave to help Lebanon clean up the environmental mess Israel made when it blew up their oil storage facilities and infrastructure, the bribe billions to Egypt for make nice with Israel. And we hardly look at the domestic spending related to holocaust industry like the million we gave Poland for their Holocaust Museum , the millions we spend in a little know agency that maintains jewish graves overseas or the Israeli earmarks in the domestic spending bills like Ackerman’s allocation of 10 milion for a hospital in Israel this year during our own health care debate and crisis or like out of the $19 + million the DHS spends to ‘secure” civilian American targets annually 254 institutions out of 271 named to receive the money are Jewish, including synagogues, schools, community centers and offices. Which btw, begs the question, if the Jewish state and it’s supporters have nothing to do with why ‘they’ hate us why do we need to fortify all the Jewish community and not the non jewish community?
      * I will wait for Witty to tell me it’s because all the world is anti semitic and the Jews are being scapegoated and unfairly blamed ‘again’.

      But the real icing on the cake is..all those Israeli bonds….the US guarantees them. If Israel defaults we pay. The US also guarantees a large amount of Israeli government purchase ‘credit’ transactions, If Israel doesn’t pay for whatever they bought from France or whoever…we as their co signer have to pay.

      Have to stop now …cause I get murderous when I think about how the mostly decent people of America and decent people everywhere have been used and used and used by this insatiable parasite.

  12. rmokhtar
    July 29, 2010, 10:20 am

    Good one.

  13. potsherd
    July 29, 2010, 10:47 am

    Beautiful! This is the way to go!

  14. Amar
    July 29, 2010, 10:48 am

    I have a feeling that many viewing these billboards may miss the sarcasm and actually believe it. I wouldnt be surprised if we even see some donations to Israel, lol.

    • hayate
      July 29, 2010, 10:52 am

      “I wouldnt be surprised if we even see some donations to Israel, lol.”

      Or maybe aggressive protests against israeli chutzpah. ;D

    • lysias
      July 29, 2010, 10:55 am

      Don’t you think most people who miss the sarcasm would be put off by what they interpret to be outrageous statements?

      • Seham
        July 29, 2010, 11:00 am

        Hope so!

      • Amar
        July 29, 2010, 11:07 am

        If they examined the words, statements closely yes. But perhaps the psychological impact of a ‘legitimate looking’ billboard may fool some to not examine or look close enough. Many are still quite ignorant about the I/P conflict and are apt to be conditioned by the media, politicians to look at Israel in a positive light. ;)

      • annie
        July 29, 2010, 11:19 am

        most people driving by are not going to see the fine print anyway. the psychological impact is perfect. plus the added benefit is ‘what’s to complain about?’ re aipac. it has to float under the radar enough to remain up. albuquerque ran those 8 billboards that were so graphic they had to take them down. i hope these stay up permanently.

    • Berthe
      July 29, 2010, 11:13 am

      Theres an old story that back in the 50’s, there was a can on the counter of a coffee shop in Manhattan for “The Restoration of King Farouk” and by lunchtime they’d collected $50.

  15. potsherd
    July 29, 2010, 10:55 am

    Or maybe aggressive protests against israeli chutzpah

    All the better.

  16. joer
    July 29, 2010, 10:55 am

    I don’t know how effective this ad is. If I was driving by, I’d probably think it was some public relations ad from the IRS to expect your stimulus check soon. Also, pro-Israel propaganda is so bizarre, that there is a real possibility that some people will nod approvingly at Israel publicly thanking American tax payers.

    A better ad would be to have one of the gut wrenching pictures from the Bedouin village being destroyed the other day-with the same caption: Thanks for the blank check America!. Of course, the easier the message is to understand, the less likely it will be publicly displayed.

    • rmokhtar
      July 29, 2010, 11:06 am

      “Of course, the easier the message is to understand, the less likely it will be publicly displayed.”

      Yep, that sums it up.

    • Bumblebye
      July 29, 2010, 11:27 am

      In your ad scenario, the complacent citizenry (of almost any country) would see agents of the state, clearly so in uniform, and their response would be “They must have done something wrong, there’s no smoke without fire.”

  17. Berthe
    July 29, 2010, 11:23 am

    This billboard ad is the first time I have seen a campaign, an actual campaign, to directly attack Israel. Having watched US politics for my adult life, I am convinced that this is what is effective, going for the jugular, not mealy-mouthing it but making Israel the target, the enemy. Thats how the American public CAN take a stand. Otherwise, they’re in the position of “what are we supposed to do?” Here’s what: oppose that money going to Israel.

    I saw an NBC show with Ann Curry the other night that had these families in poverty in Ohio and I had to turn it off it was so upsetting. How does the state allow the children to live like that? Living in tents in the winter, 14 people in a house, etc. For one day of Israel money, how many families like that could live decently?

    • annie
      July 29, 2010, 11:33 am

      berthe here is the albuquerque billboard. this current one doesn’t ‘directly attack Israel’ in facts it requests americans donate more.

      • potsherd
        July 29, 2010, 11:43 am

        It’s time to Just Say No to the pressure.

      • Psychopathic god
        July 29, 2010, 11:50 am

        every time Mooser talks about ziocaine, I picture two eggs in a fry pan: this is your brain on ziocaine.

      • Mooser
        July 29, 2010, 6:30 pm

        It’s wonderful to have somebody else repeat my jests, instead of me always being the joke-thief. But you can’t steal something I’m more than happy to give away. I’ve waited, literally, half a lifetime for this.

      • Psychopathic god
        July 29, 2010, 11:49 am

        the message on the Albequerque billboard is more direct but the photos are confusing and ineffective: the little girl looks appealing, shouldn’t we send money to her? And the Israeli weaponry didn’t register until I’d studied the billboard for several minutes.

        The California billboard image of a blank check/$7 million per day is powerful and so is the banner headline, but the message is too subtle; who can read all that fine print while driving past?

        The direction is right; gotta get our Luntz on to refine the image and the message and plaster these billboards all over the country, starting in Joe Sestak’s backyard.

      • Berthe
        July 29, 2010, 11:52 am

        I think that is the REAL Tea Party, not the people they put on TV worrying that Obama is going to ban fishing or the Sarah Palin fans or the “birthers.” How curious that number one Birther Orly Taitz is a Russian Jew! Thats a media-aided distraction campaign from what ordinary Americans who do care about the future of the country are trying to talk about.

    • Psychopathic god
      July 29, 2010, 11:55 am

      exactly right, Berthe: candidates & legislators have got to be made to understand that kissing Israeli/AIPAC ass is a political kiss of death (not to mention a disgusting image. uggh.) Candidates need to fall all over each other pledging their undying opposition to further US tax dollars to Israel.

  18. annie
    July 29, 2010, 11:28 am

    whoever did this


  19. American
    July 29, 2010, 1:15 pm

    I wonder if the NYT would run a full page ad headlined..

    “How much Harry..for Americans to Buy Back the US Congress from Israel and AIPAC?”

    Some billboards around DC saying …”You are Now Entering Israeli Occupied Territory” would be appropriate.

    Although it’s true we have some very wealthy Jews that spend huge sums influencing congress for Israel and are very public about it, it’s also true that in reality they would be just a drop in the bucket if the US gentile establishment and the likes of Gates, Buffet and other non Jewish wealth holders decided to take off on Israel. Non jewish wealth, unlike jewish wealth , is now typically non tribal, non ideological and strictly ‘bizness’, but if they saw a threat to that from the Jewish State and it agents of influence that indifference could change overnight.

    Phil has written a great deal about jewish wealth and politics but we’ve never really disected it. I may be wrong, I am talking mainly from an overview of what’s public on the subject, but it appears to me that jewish weath is based primilary on the’ use of money’, not the actual ‘creation of the original money’. Original money is created by those who control innovation and lead in industry and production. Without a strong base in the actual “creation” of what produces the original dollar of profit that is then used to make more profit , they could be ‘cut out’ much as they were back in the days when Jews were shunned and discriminated against in the business world and socially even here in the US. That is one form of blowback I could see happening if it ever got down to a sort of domestic cold war of Americans against the Jewish State and their suporters.
    That’s the kind of ‘boycott’, the curtailing of Israel’s only real power by neturing the Jewish wealth necessary to influencing the US government in Israel’s behalf, …. that would send the ultimate shivers down the Israeli spine.

    • American
      July 29, 2010, 1:20 pm

      Come to think of a reply to myself…I think Phil as given some small examples of just that as in the protest and boycotting of some pro Israeli settler jewelery store owner in NY.

      • potsherd
        July 29, 2010, 1:41 pm

        Lev Leviev. Who is not, unfortunately, totally bankrupt.

    • Antidote
      July 29, 2010, 4:35 pm

      “it appears to me that jewish wealth is based primilary on the’ use of money’, not the actual ‘creation of the original money’. Original money is created by those who control innovation and lead in industry and production. ”

      ‘Jewish wealth’ vs. ‘original money’ was much debated in the ‘original money’- man’s (Henry Ford) Dearborn Independent series ‘The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem”.


      link to

      The combination of growing anti-Israel sentiment, financial crisis and neocon ‘Bomb Iran”-campaign sends shivers down my spine. It is starting to feel like the 1920a/30s. As Chomsky pointed out recently, all it needs is some charismatic figure to mobilise and direct this growing frustration, despair and anger of the American people. We’ve all seen them turn against Arabs (NOT just terrorists) within little more than a day.

      • Shmuel
        July 29, 2010, 5:01 pm

        It is starting to feel like the 1920a/30s

        In that case, it is comforting to know that someone is taking the trouble to dig up and dust off the old racist crap that helped make those years such a warm and cuddly time in human history.

      • Mooser
        July 29, 2010, 6:36 pm

        American Jews are going to have to make some choices. If that causes any anxiety, there’s lots of comfort in reading about the struggles of other minorities in the US. We’ve got a long way to go before we need to worry. When there’s a wave of Gentiles divorcing Jews, and being granted complete custody of minor children on the basis of the other person’s Judaism, I’ll start to worry.

      • American
        July 29, 2010, 7:53 pm

        I am not familiar with the Henry Ford writtings, never read them, althought I have seen it referred to when speculation on jewish connection to money comes up……but I’ll follow the link and take a look..

        The theory I advanced concerning Jewish money power and original money vrs. use of money was strictly my own observations in these modern times, and as I said may or may not be a correct observation. Besides perhaps applying to the Jews, it’s no secret that any and all WS ‘ers are referred to as sucker fish by the industry corps frequently….if not publically.
        But the Jewish relationship to money and making it makes sense to me if we can believe the conventional history that jews were forbidden or prevented from being land owners and other avenues to wealth in those days. And the history of what were called court Jews, and that because of restrictions on them Jews were forced into or drawn into the “commerce of money”….and it’s a trend that has continued.

      • MHughes976
        July 30, 2010, 2:51 pm

        Marx remarx somewhere that without centralisation of capital (what Jews are supposed to be good at) the world would still be waiting for railways. Centralised capital is in some ways a hoard of gold, built up by not being used while it is being built, ie money added to money. So I think we can see that money hoarded (some say, Jewish money) and money saved for useful application (some say, Christian money) are in reality the same thing. Good money and bad money aren’t so easy to distinguish.

      • Antidote
        July 31, 2010, 2:36 am

        American — I didn’t mean to accuse you of anti-Semitism or plagiarism. Your question is important, and central, I believe, to the problem of anti-Semitism. As somebody pointed out elsewhere, racism is about subjugation. Is anti-Semitism any different from other forms of racism? Subjugation no doubt plays a role in the history of anti-Semitism, but one recurrent theme is fear or resentment of Jewish power/control. This is why anti-Semitism is different from racism against Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, which, as mooser correctly points out above, are arguably much more virulent in the US today than anti-Semitism (as subjugation). I do suspect that resentment of Jewish wealth and political influence, or, over the past few centuries, anti-capitalism, is the core of recurrent waves of anti-Semitism.

        You wrote: “The Jewish relationship to money and making .. makes sense to me if we can believe the conventional history that jews were forbidden or prevented from being land owners and other avenues to wealth in those days.”

        This is a myth. Jews practiced usury not because they were prevented to own land in the Middle Ages, but because their religious laws allowed them to do so – not with fellow Jews, but with Gentiles. This is one major reason why Jews, rather than Christians, for whom the (pagan) practice of usury was strictly forbidden) became the money-lenders of Europe – until the rising merchant class took over and the Christian laws on usury were relaxed during the Renaissance and the need for credit to build ships for exploration (and exploitation) of the New World. Usury reliable produces both great wealth and plenty of enemies. If one distinguishes usury and banking, the Jews both, even though Catholic families like the Italian Medici or the German Fuggers stole the show before Jewish bankers like the Rothschilds acquired comparable wealth and influence.

        Worth reading:

        link to

  20. joer
    July 29, 2010, 1:48 pm

    Everyone has an opinion on this ad and what a better ad might be(as we say in my hometown, an opinion is like a certain posterior orifice-everybody has one.). I just wonder if the producers of this billboard went beyond their opinion and actually focus grouped it to see how effective it is. Expressing your opinion is great, but if you really want to influence attitudes and behavior(as in voting behavior), you really have to know which groups may be receptive to your message, and how to reach them. I doubt Israeli spokespeople open their mouths without checking with market research. It seems like no research went into this ad-that is was produced by a bunch of like minded people who all thought it was a witty idea and they just assumed everyone else does too. I really believe if you showed a picture of this billboard to a sample of the population, most would not know what it was about.(like I said earlier, it looks like a government reminder about stimulus checks to me, and I would probably not even read it.) But I may be totally wrong. But there’s no point on debating on how effective it is if no one has any research on the reaction to the ad.

  21. jimby
    July 29, 2010, 2:50 pm

    What beggars my already pauperized brain, is that this is put up by the California Dept of Corrections. These are the people who run the largest prison system in the US and maybe the entire free world (excepting Texas of course). This is an official state agency that has the largest and most powerful union in the state. I doesn’t compute, why them? Doesn’t Arnie (Gonad the Barbarian) have anything to say about this? Or is it the Calif branch or the Center for Disease Control? Anyone have a clue?

    • Bumblebye
      July 29, 2010, 2:55 pm

      Is it really? Or is that part of the spoof? I doubt tax money could be legally used that way.

      • Antidote
        July 29, 2010, 3:25 pm

        It’s part of the spoof and this “CDC” has nothing to do with the real thing (CDCR)

      • Philip Munger
        July 29, 2010, 3:55 pm

        They are trying to correct things. The California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation – less so.

  22. jimby
    July 29, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Also brilliant is that they can’t be accused of “Anti-Semitism

  23. Tuyzentfloot
    July 29, 2010, 3:20 pm

    From the CDC statement it appears there should be some billboards around from ‘before correction’ for us to better savor the contrast.

  24. jdfsau
    July 29, 2010, 3:41 pm

    Here is a rather revealing aside to the the issue of state employee retirement funds being pressured to buy Israeli bonds, which are, comparatively speaking, a terrible investment choice.

    Several years ago my friend Ed Miller, and only after much effort, finally got to speak before a committee of the California State Assemby about the California State Employees Retirement Fund (CALPERS,the biggest retirement fund in the US) and its long long time practice of purchasing, under obvious pressure, Israeli bonds despite the fact that they were markedly inferior in return and far less safe than other investment choices.

    He started speaking and to his amazement soon noticed that the previously attentive assemblymen and women had suddenly started reading newspapers and gossiping with their neighbors while he gave his presentation. They ignored him completely. It was as if he had suddenly become invisible.

    These Assembly people were so terrified of even giving the slightest appearance of lending serious consideration to the opinions of this obviously derrainged (to them) speaker that they pretended like he wasn’t there. This was obviously done out of fear that their Zionist moneybags and media moguls might take offense if they were to fain even the slightest interest in what Ed had to say, let alone actually ask him questions about what the information he had presented to them.

    This happened several years ago. The Zionist influence over these retirement funds continues unabated today. These funds will not invest in any entity that doesn’t have the seal of approval of the Israeli government.
    The country of Turkey will soon find this out.

  25. thankgodimatheist
    July 29, 2010, 9:07 pm

    What I learned working in the advertising industry as an illustrator( stopped now, thank “goodness”) was that the message should be very clear and instant in its delivery. If it’s too subtle or complex, a significant fraction of the population could miss on it and thus becoming less effective..Unless the ad targets only those of “superior” cognitive abilities, of course.

    • Antidote
      August 15, 2010, 8:03 pm

      That’s soooo Bauhaus, Constructivism, New Typography. The fascists loved this, too, including the Nazis.

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