Advertising campaigns target AIPAC and US aid to Israel across Washington DC

VP Bombs Diorama 2013 03 04
(Image: Visualizing Palestine/ US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation)

The following press release was sent out by the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Visualizing Palestine:

As the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) gathered for its annual policy conference in Washington, D.C. today, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and Visualizing Palestine launched an advertising campaign calling on the United States to end $30 billion of military aid to Israel.

A three-day mobile truck ad highlighting the devastating impact U.S. weapons have on Palestinians will follow AIPAC attendees during their conference and as they lobby Members of Congress for more weapons for Israel.

VP Housing Diorama 2013 03 04
(Image: Visualizing Palestine/ US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation)

In addition, beginning Monday, ads at three Washington, D.C. Metro train platforms—Pentagon, Mt. Vernon Square/Convention Center, and Foggy Bottom—highlight the budgetary trade-offs of providing weapons to Israel at the expense of failing to fund local community needs.

Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, stated: “At a time when the sequester is cutting billions of dollars from programs to help those in need, it is grotesque that AIPAC is lobbying Congress this week for ever-increasing amounts of military aid to Israel, especially as these U.S. weapons are used by Israel—in violation of U.S. laws—to abuse Palestinian human rights.”

Ahmad Barclay, Lead Information Architect with Visualizing Palestine, stated: “We see visual media as an essential tool in communicating marginalized social justice issues to a mainstream audience. We hope that this ad campaign will spur U.S. taxpayers to question more actively where their money is being spent at such a critical time.”

VP Green Jobs Diorama 2013 03 04
(Image: Visualizing Palestine/ US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation)

And Jewish Voice for Peace and Avaaz announced the following ad campaign in Washington DC during the AIPAC conference:

JVP Avaaz AIPAC DC Metro Ad
(Image: Jewish Voice for Peace/ Avaaz)

“AIPAC Does Not Speak for Me” say 100 billboard ads in DC Metro, highlighting gap between AIPAC’s peace-killing policy positions and most Jewish Americans

Today, Jewish Voice for Peace and Avaaz unveiled 100 billboard ads in major subway stations across downtown Washington, DC, showcasing the faces of Jewish Americans saying boldly: “AIPAC does not speak for me. Most Jewish Americans are pro-peace. AIPAC is not.”

The ad campaign is timed to coincide with the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and is designed to challenge the lobbying group’s influence on US foreign policy in the Middle East.

Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said:

“AIPAC is the NRA of foreign policy lobbies, pushing a right-wing agenda that does not represent the majority of Jewish Americans: Its support for military build-up and endless settlement expansion makespeace impossible. It cannot claim to speak for all American Jews.”

Noah T. Winer, Jewish Voice for Peace Board member, said:

“AIPAC represents the views of a few big political donors, not most American Jews. What’s the price tag for the rest of us to get a vote on AIPAC’s agenda?”

Hundreds of lawmakers and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend AIPAC’s annual gala this week. Considered one of the most powerful lobbying forces in Washington, a number of AIPAC’s hawkish positions put it at odds with the majority of American Jews.

According to a recent poll by pollster Jim Gerstein, 82% of Jewish Americans support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — while last year AIPAC aggressively lobbied the US government to oppose UN recognition of Palestinian statehood. In another poll by Zogby, a majority ofJewish Americans listed Israeli settlements as illegal or a problem for future peace deals — but AIPAC has refused to publicly condemn any settlements. That poll also found that 33% of Jewish Americans identify with pro-peace Jewish groups, while only 23% identify with AIPAC.

The 100 ads can be seen throughout the Washington, DC Metro system at Union Station, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Archives, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center, Farragut North, Eastern Market, and other stations. The ads will be on display for two weeks, including at the two Metro stops closest to the Washington Convention Center, venue of AIPAC’s conference: Gallery Place and Convention Center.

The ads are echoed in the moving video declaration of Jewish Voice for Peace’s “Young Jewish and Proud” youth wing.

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, Occupation, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics | Tagged

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

  1. seafoid says:

    Rabbi Eric Yoffie

    link to haaretz.com

    “The simple fact is that power – or more precisely, influence – is a good thing. To the extent that Jewish Americans have influence, they should nurture it and use it responsibly. But they should never minimize it, apologize for it, or be squeamish about it. And they should avoid the trap of thinking that the exercise of influence in our political system is contrary to some abstract notion of American interests; it is
    not.”

    They can’t use it responsibly.

    I got a taxi last night in Switzerland. The driver’s name was Haim. I thought he might be Israeli. We started talking about languages . He said he spoke Hebrew, German, Swiss German. Israeli. He had the accent as well.

    I was thinking about him all the way home. Very decent man. His country is run by sociopaths and the whole setup he knows is going to fall apart. That’s Jewish power and dysfunction. Ordinary little guys will be the ones who lose most. Victims of history.

    link to youtube.com

    Yoffie has no clue.

    • Citizen says:

      Wonder if Yoffie thinks Israelis should avoid the trap of thinking that the exercise of influence by Arabs in Israeli’s political system is contrary to some abstract notion of Israel’s interests?

      I agree that big donor Jews are simply taking advantage of the American campaign finance system, like any other special interest group. And our SCOTUS ruled donations to political office seekers’ campaigns through the corporate shield are constitutional because corporations are people too–it’s just that they don’t literally bleed, or have sex for that matter. And I predicate this will not change because congress critters gain the most influence and power, not by analysis and representation of what’s truly in the best interest of their home population, and, in a larger vein, American people as a whole, but by what’s commonly known as special interests “pork.”

      I think Yoffie would change his tune if it were Palestinian Americans who had cash to throw at American political candidates such as the likes of Adelson and Soros.
      Meanwhile please don’t piss on my head and tell me its raining, i.e., don’t tell me rubber-stamping Israel’s tunnel vision makes the world fond of the USA, or serves it’s actual strategic interests in the Middle East.

  2. Citizen says:

    Will we see these ads and a discussion of them on America’s cable TV breaking news-entertainment shows? CNN, No. MSNBC, No, Fox, No. PBS, No. CSPAN? Slim odds.

    Local network news channels? No.

  3. pabelmont says:

    Most beautiful ads I ever saw. Warm the heart.

  4. just says:

    Thank you US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Visualizing Palestine, Jewish Voice for Peace /Avaaz.

    Powerful stuff. So much more effective than Geller’s “hate- speak”.

    This is how to move forward.

  5. seafoid says:

    Yoffie’s money shot :

    link to haaretz.com

    “AIPAC should be an inspiration here because it understands power like no one else and because it gets things done for Israel and the Jewish people. This is a time to admire and learn from AIPAC (even if you don’t completely agree with every word that it says). This is a time to put aside Oscar night jokes and SNL skits, and to focus on how to best wield influence in this dangerous world in which we live. “

    • K Renner says:

      Ha ha- “AIPAC gets things done for Israel and the jewish people”
      Makes them look like racist hypocrites, Yoffie means- more prominently then usual.

      • seafoid says:

        Gets some very dirty things done – but not for the Jewish people as a whole. For the sociopaths maybe but certainly not for people like Mooser.

  6. Citizen says:

    JLTV live streaming and TV showing Phoenix AIPAC delegation.
    Beiden is announced to speak before AIPAC 20113:

    Intro: U don’t have to be a jew to be a zionist. Joe Beiden is a zionist. Transition in ME, but constant is US-Israel’s commitment to security of Israel. United that Iran must never be allowed to have a nuclear capability. Iran suffering biting sanctions, but remains threat to security of US and Israel. Thank Beiden for taking stand at UN against Palestinian statehood. Want demilitarized Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. $400M us dollars invested in Iron Dome; Beiden supported this, which worked. Mr Beiden, Pls thank Mr Obama for going to Israel in a few weeks, which will send message to world of America’s commitment to Israel.

    Beiden:

    Thank U Mr President. Great to be here. What a difference 4 years make. Ms Lantos, hello. Your husband was my foreign policy advisor. I did more fund raisers for Israel in ’70s & ’80s than….. There’s Ehud Barak–a stand up guy! Continuing to defend the values we all share! I’m a fan of the man! (camera shows Barak). I see 2,000 young AIPAC members here! This is the life blood, the connective tissue, the reason why no American will ever forget to defend Israel. Zionists mentored me, but my father started my view at the dinner table–the phrase “Never Again!”–he told me that after WW2 if he were a jew he wouldv’e never left defense of jews to another country other than a jewish one, when it was being debated way back then. Iran’s dangerous nuke program and support of Hamas and Hezbollah, attempts to delegitimize Israel–all put enormous pressure on Israel–we understand if we make a mistake, it won’t threaten our existence,but if Israel makes a mistake it could. It’s in US naked self-interest to stand behind Israel, not just a moral imperative–the strategic imperative is Israel must do it alone, but we must always stand behind her! No POTUS has done as much to secure security of Israel as Pres Obama has done. He requested $3.5 B for Israel last year, and there is more coordination under Obama between US & Israel than under any of the last 8 presidents i served under. Everybody gets it. The world saw Y its so critical, Iron Dome made the difference last November alone and US funded it.
    Now we are supporting a long-range missile defenses system for Israel in addition.

    What worries me the most in last four years is wholesale seemingly coordinated effort to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state–most pernicious thing going. Only US opposed
    UN Human Rghts agency resolution to investigate settlements. Israel had a right to stop the Gaza flotilla. Kerry spoke out against anti-semitic language last Friday in Ankara. We vigorously opposed Palestinian statehood via UN; we will continue to do this–there’s no short cut to looking in the eyes of the other to make peace. It takes two to tango. Rest of Arab world needs to get in the game. It will require hard steps on both sides to make peace. It’s not only in Israel’s interest that Iran get no nukes; it’s in interest of entire world. Presents existential threat to Israel, and to all of us as threatens a nuclear arms race in the region. Obama is not bluffing. (standing ovation)

    We are not looking for war, but all options, including military one, is on the table, but our preference is diplomatic solution, though window is closing; we share all our info with Israel. World must know we did all reasonably to be expected to avoid military confrontation because its important the rest of the world is with us. We have isolated Iran when it was on the ascendancy. Sanctions are to pressure Iranian leaders to give us ironclad assurances, or face world opposition. Iran is using proxies to get its way, like Hezbollah, everywhere. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. We are urging all other countries to forcefully name it as such. This is about world terrorism. US & Israel have a shared interest in Syria. Assad must go, but we are not signing up for one murderous gang to replace another in Damascus. We are carefully vetting those to whom we give assistance. We set a clear red line re Syria’s chemical WMD threatening Israel. We must engage with Egypt, especially re its peace treaty with Israel. There’s no certainty of anything with Arab Spring. Obama will discuss details in Israel very soon. He’s looking forward to hearing from the people of Israel, especially Israel’s young folks. He wants to know their hopes, aspirations, hi-tek achievements, difference between what they faced, and what their parents and grandparents faced.
    All politics is local? No, all politics is personal, building personal relations, particularly in foreign relations. The special relationship is a practical, strategic one, not only a moral one. We must remind our children. A never ending requirement: the preservation of an independent jewish state is the only certain need for the jews of the world. I met Golda Meir when she was the PM, first trip I ever made to Israel. She had maps behind her, behind her office desk. I sat there, with Rabin; she sat there, chain-smoking, reading letters from the front to me…. she could tell I was getting depressed, and said, “Senator, would you like a photo opportunity?” So we stood there, looking at the photo-journalists, and she said to me, “Don’t look so sad, we have a secret weapon. We have no place else to go.” Our job is to make sure there is always a place for jews to go, the only guarantor of jewish security, the state Of Israel. Thank you. (now shakes hands with top Israelis–waves to all in attendance.)

    • Theo says:

      Excuse me, but I had to run out to puke!
      And this traitor is only a heart beat away from becoming the most poerful man on this globe? Obama, watch out for the banana peels, they should not be on the stair in the WH.

  7. Citizen says:

    Next up on AIPAC 2013
    Three man Israeli panel extolling Israel’s scientific achievements and aspirations in space exploration and technology.

  8. EUR1069 says:

    Good going! Looks like the tide is turning, after all.. A++!

    On this cheerful note, let me insert Rabbi Dov Weiss here. He’s the Mensch!

  9. theralphuwe says:

    Israelis should know more than most that, given enough time, the meek shall inherit the earth. :-/

  10. Powerful ad campaign images. Very enlightening.

  11. Les says:

    The latest from MJRosenberg:

    “Nor the likes of New York Democrats like Chuck Schumer or Kristen Gillibrand who never give the Middle East a thought; they are on AAP, AIPAC Automatic Pilot.”

    link to mjayrosenberg.com

  12. Citizen says:

    @ Les
    Kristen Gillibrand, at AIPAC Conference today, mouthed every hasbara cliche imaginable today, and kept looking towards McCain for approval as she spoke, and she also kept saying how much she agreed with McCain. Total AIPAC bot on auto-pilot is accurate description of her contribution.

  13. JVP’s money would be better spent trying to educate Americans about the I-P situation, than on burnishing their own self-image.

    The claim of being more “pro-peace” than the other guy actually just clouds the issue in Americans’ minds. As my log-in name suggests, if it’s just “peace” that’s your goal then you should be helping Netanyahu turn the screws on the Palestinians. Because Netanyahu definitely wants peace too; it’s just that his peace is the peace that follows surrender.

  14. Citizen says:

    Full text of Biden’s speech at #AIPAC policy conference today–He thinks the lesson of “Never Again!” does not apply to Palestinians, that Jews should not trust any country but Israel with their lives and fortunes, including USA, and that rubber-stamping Israel is both a moral imperative for Americans, and a key aspect of US practical and strategic foreign policy: link to haaretz.com

    As to being in the USA’s best practical and strategic interests, he did not say why except by talking about Iran as a threat to US interests because if Iran got the bomb it would cause a nuke arms race in the region, and because Iran spreads terror and conflict in the region via proxy agencies like Hamas and Hezbollah.

    Remember when he got pissed about those illegal Israeli settlements back in the day?

  15. Citizen says:

    Oliver Stone: Jewish control of US media is preventing free Holocaust debate, US rubber-stamping Israel’s crimes right now: link to haaretz.com

  16. One of these things is just like the other.

    link to ft.com

    The last bastion of colonialism lies, as he said, in the corporate world.
    Zuma warns west’s ‘colonial’ corporates
    By Alec Russell in Cape Town
    March 3, 2013 9:30 pm

  17. Stone says:

    link to mondoweiss.net

    I know this is somewhat out of context(but this is a new thread0 but I want to see if my reading was correct since I’m a little late to the discussion about Zero Dark Thirty and the whole issue of torture. Am I correct in my assumptions? I would like people’s opinions on here since I largely agree with Philip and others on the whole issue of Zionism and Palestinians. Am I too hopeful for consciousness raising from the American people? They won’t say “Hey, that was awful how we got Bin Laden.” But they’ll think the ends justify the means? If so, then I feel sorry for them.

  18. American says:

    MJ Rosenberg on the AIPAC Dems….although I think he’s dreaming about the Dems ever moving away from AIPAC

    AIPAC Pandering: The Democrats Are Much Worse Than Republicans

    It’s hard to watch the AIPAC conference for more than a few minutes at a time. For me, the worst part is the pandering (and lying) by Democratic politicians eager to raise money for their next campaign.

    So far, Joe Biden has been the worst. He is heavily funded by the Adler family of Miami Beach (he even brought President Obama to their home for a fundraiser), one of the big AIPAC families. Here is Biden talking about how the head of the Adler klan and another AIPAC mogul gave him his “formal education” on the Middle East. (Not to mention all that money.

    And, of course, Biden (like John Kerry) knows better than his AIPAC speeches indicate. I have talked to him about Israel and Palestine.He can name the top Palestinian leaders in Fatah and Hamas and tell you the differences between their respective positions. He believes Israel needs to end the occupation and talk to Hamas. He would not dare say it publicly, although he has said it so often privately that it is amazing the media never reports it.

    But Biden does what he thinks he has to because, for politicians like him (that is, pretty much all politicians), nothing is more important than keeping donors happy. Call him a hypocrite but he cries all the way to the bank.

    The Republicans are different. Supporting the occupation and threatening war with Iran come naturally to them. They don’t need lobby money for their campaigns and they don’t get Jewish votes anyway. (This is not to say that they don’t like Sheldon Adelson’s money, just that as the pro-business party, they don’t need it). They support Netanyahu because they believe that the west needs to crush the Muslim world. They do not feign Islamophobia. It’s them.

    The good news is that as the country gets “browner,” as the black, Latino, and Asian vote continues to grow (and moves into the Democratic party), the lobby will have a harder time keeping the Democrats in line. No matter how many free trips AIPAC gives up-and-coming minority politicians. it cannot keep up with the disdain progressive voters feel for Likud Israel. Combine them with the Democratic party’s large left and soon the Democrats tip…toward justice. That means playing the role of honest broker and peace maker, not bloviating Israel lover.

    Does this mean the Jews will go to the Republicans. No way. Only 5% of Jews vote with Israel in mind. But the big money controlled by the lobby will. As will the whole AIPAC crowd that puts Israel’s interests above America’s.

    AIPAC knows this is happening. They know its future is with the GOP. Happily, America’s future isn’t, which means the lobby will soon be on the permanently losing side.

    As for Israel, the decline of AIPAC is only good news. It needs peace with the Palestinians. It does not need empty rhetoric from empty politicians. As the segregationist left the Democrats for the GOP after LBJ’s civil rights laws, so will the AIPAC crowd go to the Republicans. It is inevitable.

    And it’s good news. Biden’s bloviating for Israel will soon be history.”

  19. Stone says:

    I agree. It’s atrocious the way we give in to AIPAC. But it begs the questions, why? It’s all about money and perceived power. If we take the money out of politics then we will lessen the power of the NRA and AIPAC. Now the power of the NRA has been somewhat overhyped. For them it’s more of an issue of our weak-kneed politicians but why should AIPAC have any power at all? I mean it’s not like there are so many members who support them throughout the country. It’s like the Cuban people of Florida. It’s strategic and it matters in certain places. But without the money to stifle debate(and politicians) then things will bend towards the views of the majority of people around the country on MW for example. If more Americans learned how we give in so easily to Israel on so many things then their own patriotism will be impugned and maybe they’ll stand up and say “Hey, you can’t do this or that. You can’t offend me and my country like that.” But that can only work there is free speech and equal time and money does not make that happen. Money doesn’t talk, it swears.

  20. RoHa says:

    Overall, great ads. They present a lot of information, so I hope the truck will be going slowly to give people time to take them in. Perhaps a follow up campaign with the ads on billboards, in newspapers, etc.?

    The one about housing is particularly good, since it gives a specific example of how the cash for Israel could be better used in the US.

    The “invest in our future” ad should remove the wind turbines, though. Wind turbines are an environmental and economic disaster, and are widely hated as such. Better to include things everyone will feel positive about.

  21. Stone says:

    “But without the money to stifle debate(and politicians) then things will bend towards the views of the majority of people around the country on MW for example.” I wrote that incorrectly. Maybe the views of the people around the country will be more like the majority of those on MW.

  22. sardelapasti says:

    “Jewish and proud”, eh?
    Proud of what?

    Of a religion, that may be justifiable because that is supposed to be acquired (even though personally I couldn’t see being religious as an advertisement, that’s just one guy…) but these guys aren’t religious in general.

    It means they are nationalists: Kamchatkan and proud, Hoosier and proud, Lower Ruritanian and proud… An Alligator and proud…
    So what is the difference between them and the Zionists? Has anyone explained clearly? What kind of policy is theirs in the boycott movement?

  23. Citizen says:

    Beiden needs to take a look at The Hill’s recent article on how sequestration is really going to hurt Americans, e.g., kids, students, seniors, etc–but all AIPAC is pushing for is more money, arms, war equipment for Israel, which is not a Third World economy: link to thehill.com

    I wonder how many congress critters read The Hill? And does the WH?

  24. Citizen says:

    Beinhart says Beiden pandered to #AIPAC, speaking their language even better than they have done: link to thedailybeast.com