The graphic above, long distributed on postcards at Palestinian solidarity events, is a work of genius; it explains the history of Israel and Palestine better than any other quick summary. Andrew Sullivan published it last year. My wife saw the postcard once and was soon citing it at dinner parties. “Have you seen the maps? Well I have!”
Now this graphic has made the bigtime. It’s part of an ad on train platforms aimed at the elite in the New York suburbs. Here’s reporting by Bob Ryser in the Journal News in the Hudson Valley. (A photo at the link shows how the graphic is used in a larger ad). Note the conflation of the “Jewish community” with Zionism, and the claim that ad-buyer Henry Clifford has “little following.”
“This is anti-Semitic because when people think of Jews they think of the Jewish state,” said Dovid Efune, editor of the Manhattan-based Jewish newspaper, The Algemeiner. “Jews have seen this happen so many times. It always starts with messaging that says Jews are committing a crime.”
The ads, which show a succession of shrinking Palestinian territory in four maps and contain a headline stating that 4.7 million Palestinians are classified as refugees by the United Nations, were paid for by an 84-year-old ex-Wall Street financier who lives in Connecticut.
“If the facts are inflammatory then they are inflammatory,” said Henry Clifford, the chairman of a 10-member group called the Committee for Peace in Israel/Palestine. “All of the Middle East is infected with the virus of the Arab-Israeli conflict. People need to know the truth of the matter.”…
“As far as we know, this is the work of individuals with little following who don’t deserve additional airtime, particularly because they present a distorted and skewed view of a complicated conflict,” said Rabbi Joshua Davidson, the Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, a Reform congregation. “Obviously for all of us who love Israel and yearn for peace in the Middle East, it is incumbent upon us to recount the history and portray the conflict honestly and in its full context.”…
“The message has to be delivered to people succinctly,” said Clifford, who has carried out similar ad campaigns in Connecticut.
Leaders in the Jewish community could not object more.