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‘Equal rights for Palestinians’ billboard is deemed offensive in Seattle

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I have only one theme today: the denial. The denial that my country and my community are engaged in, on a core issue of foreign policy. Writes a friend: “This censorship in Seattle is really something. It’s so flagrant you hope people not involved will start wondering what’s going on.” Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner:

The same group that failed in a bid to place controversial ads alleging Israel “war crimes” on Metro buses is now losing billboards with a softer message decrying U.S. aid to Israel.

The billboard company doesn’t run ads that offend people. What do the ads say?

The ads show a Palestinian boy behind a fence and call for “Equal Rights for Palestinians” and for the U.S. to “stop funding the Israeli military.”

In canceling the ads, Clear Channel [Outdoor] did not object to those slogans. Instead, the company pointed to stronger language on the group’s website, www.stop30billion-seattle.org, which was prominently promoted on the ads. That site calls Israel’s Palestinian policies “war crimes” and “apartheid.”

I remember in November 2000 I was covering the protracted Gore-Bush election battle, before the Supreme Court stepped in, and there were big demonstrations near Blair House in Washington where Gore was living as vice president. There was a Catholic church in that avenue, and a guy picketing. He was old and a little odd, and he told me he came out every week, and he got a dogeared photograph from his shirt pocket of the priest who had molested him as a boy. I remember how disturbed I was by his story and I told an editor I wanted to write about it and she said, there are a million stories like that, and I didn’t write about it. And now the Palestinian issue is also going to burst into our national consciousness.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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