Campaign to end US aid to Israel expands to San Francisco cable cars

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Ad calling for end to u.s. aid to israel on a san Francisco cable car           

A new series of ads calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel now greets commuters, tourists, students, and shoppers traveling on the San Francisco Bay Area’s public transit systems.

The ads, part of a growing national campaign, went up this week on the Powell Street cable car, a popular tourist attraction in downtown San Francisco; in three of the busiest stations on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) – San Francisco’s Civic Center, 12th St. Oakland, and Downtown Berkeley; and on the Muni level of the Embarcadero station in San Francisco. Next week the same ad will be posted in the 16th St./ Mission station in San Francisco.

Chief sponsor of the local ad campaign is Northern California Friends of Sabeel, the local affiliate of an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians to bring justice and peace to the Holy Land through non-violence and education. Co-sponsors include Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, and Bay Area Women in Black.

The new ads now feature photos of Jeff Halper, a Minnesota-born Israeli professor; 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. The two men and their families have become close friends. They have toured the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, speaking out against Israel’s 44-year occupation of the Palestinian territories.

A previous round of similar 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.”

Shortly afterwards, a group of anonymous activists surreptitiously posted unofficial – i.e., not paid for – ads in several BART stations calling on passersby to help “Stop Israeli Apartheid” and to “Boycott Israel.”

Northern California Friends of Sabeel’s campaign is 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. 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.  

Sabeel ad 2011
The new Bay Area ads feature ICahd’s Jeff Halper and his Palestinian friend Salim Shawamreh

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Posted in Israel/Palestine

{ 19 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. Dex says:

    I am curious to see how long these ads stay up. I recall they tried a similar campaign in Seattle several months ago and those ads got pulled quickly!

    I would have preferred the ad to say “END ISRAELI APARTHEID.” Maybe on the next cable car?

  2. eljay says:

    >> Chief sponsor of the local ad campaign is Northern California Friends of Sabeel, the local affiliate of an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians to bring justice and peace to the Holy Land through non-violence and education. Co-sponsors include Jewish Voice for Peace, American Muslims for Palestine, the Middle East Children’s Alliance, and Bay Area Women in Black.
    >> The new ads now feature photos of Jeff Halper, a Minnesota-born Israeli professor; 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) … The two men and their families have become close friends. They have toured the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom, speaking out against Israel’s 44-year occupation of the Palestinian territories.

    Sweet mother of jeezus, can you feel the waves of maximalist destabilization (or perhaps even destabilizing maximalism) emanating from this campaign? Talk about “dissent”!

    Why do these seemingly peace- AND justice-oriented people hate Israel so much? Why do they want another holocaust of the Jews?!

    Damn you, Hamas!!!

  3. POA says:

    Just recieved in an email from AIPAC….

    Important update on Palestinian U.N. bid

    Your urgent action is needed

    Please reply immediately

    Dear Friend of Israel:

    Next month, the Palestinian Authority plans to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.

    The United States has strongly objected to this approach, with Congress overwhelmingly passing resolutions threatening cuts in aid if the Palestinians continue to shun peace talks and go forward in their harmful efforts at the United Nations.

    However, the Palestinians have not yet abandoned this path and more action is now needed to persuade them to change course and return to the negotiating table.

    If America fails in this effort, the consequences could be immense: Israelis could be dragged into foreign courts and charged with human rights violations…nations could implement sweeping economic sanctions…the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem could come under severe international challenge.

    That is why I am writing to ask for your help by joining the work of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee today.

    In the coming weeks AIPAC and its members will be working with our leader in Washington to:

    Ensure the United States makes clear to the Palestinians that it will veto any such resolution at the U.N. Security Council.

    Urge our government to press the PA to return to the negotiating table with Israel.
    Urge the United States to press foreign leaders to oppose Palestinian intransigence and support direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

    By joining AIPAC today with a gift of $50, $75, $100 or more you will help AIPAC work with Congress and the administration to address these vital issues in the weeks leading up to the September meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.

    For nearly 60 years, AIPAC has worked to make Israel more secure by ensuring American support remains strong.

    As an AIPAC member, you help us work year-round with both Democratic and Republican political leaders to enact public policy that strengthens the vital U.S.-Israel relationship.

    Thank you for your support. Please watch for additional updates on the Palestinian U.N. bid in the coming weeks.

    Onward Together,

    Lee Rosenberg
    AIPAC President

    • Dex says:

      “If America fails in this effort, the consequences could be immense: Israelis could be dragged into foreign courts and charged with human rights violations…nations could implement sweeping economic sanctions…the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem could come under severe international challenge.”

      EXACTLY!

      • Chu says:

        Translation:

        Many Israeli leaders will be charged with human rights violations, so we ask you support us in continuing humans rights violations.

        >This smells like desperation. Asking people to support an organization that is well aware of human rights violations is pretty appalling. Should a senator or any other hack donate with such a poorly-worded request?

      • Shingo says:

        Israelis could be dragged into foreign courts and charged with human rights violations…nations could implement sweeping economic sanctions…the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem could come under severe international challenge.

        Of course, none of this would be an issue if as Danny Aualim claimed on that propaganda video a few weeks ago, nothing Israel was doing was illegal.

        It’s hugely satisfying to see AIPAC admit to Iarael’s criminality.

        If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime

    • Kathleen says:

      Thanks. Sending to Medea Benjamen of Code Pink/ Move over Aipac. Unless you want to POA

  4. Bumblebye says:

    “If America fails…” – that para says it all, really. The consequences of Israel’s crimes would come home to roost! The whole effort to stop the Palestinian UN move is in order to prevent justice and continue crime.

    • eljay says:

      >> “If America fails…” – that para says it all, really. The consequences of Israel’s crimes would come home to roost! The whole effort to stop the Palestinian UN move is in order to prevent justice and continue crime.

      Like the man said: “Peace, not ‘justice’.”

      (I love the implication that justice is somehow a bad thing.)

  5. Chu says:

    Will we ever see these ads in NY subways?

  6. Real Jew says:

    God sent! Just another indication that unconditional American support of Israel is on the decline, and its about time! I am absolutely shocked that AIPAC was unable to prevent these ads from going up. We all know damn well they tried. Just as they’ve recently done in Washington state (of all places), where the Lobby successfully removed bus ads critical of Israel days after they appeared.

  7. stopaipac says:

    One should note that since the cables cars “climb halfway to the stars”, the struggle for peace and justice in the Middle East may even get more celestial support. Great work.

  8. Bumblebye says:

    TubaSkinny response over at EI = they’d come to the decision that tho they wanted to pull out over the issues, felt they had to go ahead as it was so late, then Eilat so they did pull.
    link to electronicintifada.net

  9. CigarGod says:

    This surprises me.
    Unfurling banners on the GG bridge, marches, etc….all normal/common.
    But, this is like planting a flag on occupied territory….and it fills me with pride and a certain amount of hope.