Billboard calling for an end to aid to Israel prompts rage, and rally, in Houston

Israel/Palestine
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Screen shot 2013 01 08 at 10 27 48 PM
Houston billboard

There’s going to be a ‘victory’ rally today in Houston to celebrate the accomplishment of raising funds for, and negotiating, the installation of a bright new Stop $30 Billion to Israel billboard. If you’re anywhere near Houston you might want to join the rally under the billboard: 9294 Richmond (west of Fondren). 2 PM. Take some photos of the crowd/action and send them along– we like videos of ordinary citizens making a difference* too.

Houston’s Stop $30 Billion to Israel billboard has hardly been up a week and already it’s stirring controversy. I.e., there may be some people at the gathering who don’t consider this billboard a victory.

Jewish Herald-Voice, sans byline, contains the usual smears without any supporting evidence:

A new anti-Israel propaganda campaign is polluting the streets of Houston……According to online records, the local nonprofit that purchased the billboard is registered to a longtime anti-Israel activist who politically identifies with the extreme left. This fellow, over the past several years, has helped organize various public demonstrations and other events across the city that routinely demonize Jews as Nazis, that perpetrate anti-Semitic blood libels and that single Israel out as an illegitimate, criminal state, whose lifeline is American tax dollars.

……

Our First Amendment guarantees the right of free speech, including the expression of opinions that any decent human being would deem abhorrent and that verifiable facts easily prove as deceitful lies…….Propaganda preys on ignorance and prejudice.

In an email exchange with me, Houston Co-organizer Bob Carter explained:

We expected a counter response to our billboard but not anything this vicious. However it is OK. The dialogue has started and the truth will prevail.
We know who we are and what our motives and methods are. We have a clear conscience and the motives and methods of the opposition are becoming very clear. Our group desires justice for the Palestinians. They should be as free as the Israelis. The U. S. should stop the financial support of 64 years of brutal oppression by Israel.
I cannot identify a single person among our group who would fit the description as outlined in the last 3 lines of the third paragraph of the article. Shame on the unidentified writer’s use the word Nazi. As I said, the motives and methods of some who oppose the billboard are becoming very clear…….He has a great imagination and that is being kind. What is blood-libel? Never heard of it.

It says something that whoever wrote this hit job did so anonymously. Sometimes anonymity is just a cloak for cowardice.

*(This post is dedicated to the memory of Todd Lindblom. A humble, giving, dedicated human rights activist and dear friend to many in Albuquerque, New Mexico whom I had the honor of meeting. His passing has deeply saddened and stunned the local community “Sweet sweet man. very quiet and soft spoken. hardly said a word. always showed up. always. every Saturday for six years on Tulane and Central.”  RIP Todd, you are surely missed.)

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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