Buses, Billboards, and Digital Displays: End military aid to Israel ad campaign goes national


From coast to coast, the movement to end military aid to Israel has an emerging public face. In Chicago, CJPIP (www.cjpip.org) has launched Phase 2 of our successful public transportation advertising campaign on the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) system.

And in this “End Military Aid to Israel Spring”, we have been joined by activist groups from coast to coast – with new ad campaigns going live in Boston and Washington DC (to coincide with Move Over AIPAC ) over the past couple of weeks.

ABQ photo web
Billboard in Albuquerque, NM

In Chicago, Phase 2, we have placed advertisements on the backs of CTA buses that travel surface streets from one end of the city to the other. Thousands of Chicago drivers and pedestrians see the signs daily. Our Chicago supporters are texting and emailing us pictures of the buses that they encounter on the streets.

Boston exterior
Advertisement in Boston.

From our first Chicago success in the fall of 2010, the “Be on Our Side” advertising campaign has expanded to U.S. cities and campuses in the southwest and the east and west coasts. The campaign has been picked up by activist organizations in several U.S. cities, each of whom have a separate presence and donation mechanism on the campaign website,www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org  — which has had about 7,000 unique visitors and almost 28,000 page views since October.

The regional campaigns include:

Our success in working with our regional partners shows that it is “do-able” for groups with modest resources to have a tremendous public impact. The website page, “Bring the campaign to your city,”  offers first-stage advice for activists exploring the feasibility of launching a local campaign. Here at the “Chicago hub”, we’re ready with technical support and the capacity to produce professional-quality advertising materials that meet the technical specifications of almost any medium. 

And if you are coming to Move Over AIPAC, Chicago, Albuquerque, and Washington, DC activists will share our tips at the workshop: Buses, Billboards, and Digital Displays: Creative Tactics to Oppose U.S. Military Aid to Israel.

We have also produced 4×6 inch full-color pocket cards for guerrilla marketing of the campaign, based on the popular Fast Facts feature of our website. We have already distributed around 7,000 cards to people in the Chicago area and around the country – who leave them behind in high-traffic public spaces such as airports, libraries, university buildings, doctor’s offices, etc. (I always have a pack in my purse or coat pocket.)

Sure, the usual suspects have raised their bogus, tired accusations about the campaign being “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israel,” but our experience is that the “Be on Our Side” imagery and messaging is succeeding because it promotes a positive, productive U.S. policy that appeals to common sense and decency.

The “Be on Our Side” campaign is catching on because public awareness is shifting. Many Americans are questioning old assumptions and are hungry for information beyond what’s available in the mainstream media.  We’re excited that groups around the country are using our advertising materials and supporting website —to bring this message past the politicians and directly to the people.

Follow Be On Our Side on Twitter and Facebook to receive updates and press coverage regarding the campaign, news about ending U.S. military aid to Israel, and more!

6 Responses

  1. Citizen
    May 16, 2011, 9:31 am

    Let’s see how long this lasts now that Rahm Immanual is Chicago’s mayor (“piece of cake, it was”)

    • MRW
      May 16, 2011, 10:55 am


      QR Codes, baby. Can you get someone to tie a great 1.5 minute video to a QR code? Great for whiling the time away on a bus or train.

  2. Howard
    May 16, 2011, 11:14 am

    The Chicago campaign says “End Military Aid to Israel” while the Boston campaign says “End Unconditional Military Aid to Israel .” Why the difference? Isn’t the latter slogan a watered down? Aren’t there conditions already imposed that are just not enforced? just curious.

  3. Justice Please
    May 16, 2011, 1:31 pm

    Thanks to everyone who made this possible and defend the project – dollars paid, letters to the editor written etc.

  4. Jeffrey Blankfort
    May 16, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I’m not sure what these ad campaigns cost but they are a much more effective means of getting those with no vested interest in either side to pay attention to the issue than marches and rallies that produce nothing but substance and probably the larger events cost as much or more.

    I would have preferred seeing more information than these ads provided, In 1993, the Middle East Peace Network, of which I was a part, produced ads that ran on the SF Bay Area BART that showed a graphic photo of a Palestinian being beaten by an Israeli soldier with the facts about how much aid we had given to Israel and how its actions had been condemned by Amnesty and the Red Cross which people standing by the tracks had plenty of time to read before their trains arrived.

    Under pressure from “unidentified quarters” the ads were removed under the false claim that they had been vandalized. With the help of the ACLU, we were able to get them back up not only free for another month but with the agency that contracted with BART paying for updated copy. Total cost for 16 large ads was under $5,000. A picture of the ad ran previously on Mondoweiss.

    • Justice Please
      May 17, 2011, 5:11 am

      Good point Jeffrey, and kudos on your mentioned efforts.

      Of course one shouldn’t stop the marches and rallies, but they are mostly preaching to the converted and are easily falsified in the media.

      Whereas people have to think for themselves how to interpret the content of such an ad, and might actually come at the right conclusions.

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