Have you heard of PalAd yet? Otherwise known as the Palestine Advocacy Project? While it may seem there’s a new kid on the block who just burst on the scene launching major ad campaigns in seven major U.S. cities protesting Netanyahu’s historic assault on Congress and the minds of Americans, that would not be the case. Ads have appeared in public transit systems, billboards, and mobile billboard trucks in Washington, DC, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, San Diego, and San Antonio synchronizing with AIPAC’s annual D.C. conference. Take a look:
Due to the overwhelming response and support to the “ONE WORD” campaign that “swept social media like a tsunami“, Ads Against Apartheid went national, and through a crowd funding campaign raised over $100,000. Then, they did what they said they would do and came through supporting dedicated activist groups all across the country to get these and similar ads in their cities. They also transformed their website (check out their informative new digs which includes a blog).
Yesterday, referencing the D.C. leg of the campaign, PalAD board member Richard Colbath-Hess informed Mondoweiss mobile billboards were circling congress. Board member Clare Maxwell emphasizes “This is a critical time for Palestine — since the bombings in Gaza last summer, the public better grasp the extent and seriousness of Israel’s human rights abuses. Lawmakers need to hear the clear message that U.S. military aid to Israel is no longer acceptable.”
Plus, a giant banner at the Convention Center Metro station greeted attendees at AIPAC’s annual conference.
The Palestine Advocacy Project is not acting alone. The D.C. campaign is in coordination with local affiliates JVP-DC and End the Occupation. The San Francisco campaign is in partnership with Northern California Friends of Sabeel (NorCal-FOSNA). Colbath-Hess told me PalAd “is working closely with dedicated activist groups from all across the country to give Americans facts they probably won’t hear today and need to know in order to make informed decisions. We want them to know their tax dollars are helping fund a brutal military occupation that has lasted 47 years. “
And lest one think these are minimal advertising efforts, think again. PalAD and FOSNA’s large San Francisco campaign in the Bay Area Rapid Transit system, endorsed by American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) and by Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace, will be on 52 San Francisco Muni buses and will running through the month of March.
amNEWYORK, a free daily newspaper in New York City, reported “Palestine Advocacy Project bought space for 141 posters in 44 subway stations that will be displayed through March, costing $30,000, according to the MTA and the group.” That’s impressive.
The ads feature the words “Stolen” and Homeless,” while criticizing U.S. aid to Israel. They are part of a nationwide campaign across seven cities timed for the U.S. visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Basically, it’s a way to reach a large mainstream audience,” said Richard Colbath-Hess, a board member of the group. “We feel like the news in this country is pretty biased.”
The New York City Council’s Jewish Caucus called the ads a “gross distortion of the facts.” They’re wrong. As we reported in our first coverage of the “ONE WORD” campaign last June the facts in all the ads are backed up with citations from credible human rights and international organizations, including the United Nations.
Yesterday I asked Colbath-Hess about the broadening of their campaign on a national level and how PalAD’s current initiative is enhancing the conversations Americans are having all over the country in response to Netanyahu’s speech. Passionate as always, here’s his response:
We want them to know their tax dollars are helping fund a brutal military occupation that has lasted 47 years. The average American would be shocked to know the Israeli government on average is killing one Palestinian child every 3 days for the last 14 years. One every 3 days! I think Americans would be shocked to know Netenyahu has presided over the biggest theft of Palestinian land in generations. The dialogue in congress is about Israeli security, but Isreali government behavior makes them less secure and peace more difficult. We say to Congress “Look our tax dollars are funding Israeli government human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.”
The Palestine Advocacy Project is a clarifying fresh feature of Pro-Palestinian activism here in America. Thanks to their determination and a great team of advisors.
Love these subway ads. I’d love to see them keep up this momentum.