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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘disappearing Palestine’

Toronto Transit Rejects Anti-Israel Ads

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

It happened in New York City and Washington, D.C.  It happened in Denver and in Los Angeles. Transit agencies accepted virulently anti-Israel and misleading ads for billboards and posters.  In a few places, and only after great expense and perseverance, some of those billboards were removed, or at least countered.

But in something that seems to happen with increasing frequency these days with respect to Israel, Canada has once again pulled ahead of its southern neighbor in exercising prudence, obviating the need for private individuals to duke it out with the Israel haters. At least that’s the case in Toronto.

Here’s what happened:

Last week the Toronto Transit Commission rejected what it determined were inaccurate and misleading anti-Israel ads.

The ads were placed by the group Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East.  CJPME looks to be very much a Jewish Voice for Peace clone – all anti-Israel, all the time.  In fact, the ads that were submitted to the various Canadian transit systems were the same as ads that were placed in several places in the U.S., including on transit signs in parts of outer New York City. Those ads were largely sponsored by a comrade-in-arms group of JVP, the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine.

The same “disappearing Palestine” theme also appeared in the fall of 2011 as part of the Starbucks Digital Network newsfeed through Starbucks Wi-Fi, which the Simon Wiesenthal Center protested at the time.

The general idea for the proposed Toronto ads tracked a series of ads that ran in a Vancouver, Canada transit station and on 15 Vancouver buses.  Those ads show 4 maps, allegedly revealing Israel as a voracious land grabber whose territory increases steadily over time, in direct proportion to a mythical state called Palestine.  The Palestine Awareness Coalition paid for the Vancouver ads.

According to the Canadian Jewish News, CJPME president Thomas Woodley told a Canadian Jewish magazine that his group raised $35,000 from private donors to run the ads in Toronto and other Canadian cities.

“We congratulate the TTC for making the right decision in rejecting the ads,” said Frank Dimant, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada. “They carefully reviewed their own rules and put the ad into historical context to find that it was misleading and inaccurate and could lead to hatred or violence against supporters of Israel and the Jewish community in particular.”

“We applaud them for the thoughtfulness that they brought to this issue and their strong stance for a fair reading of their advertising policy. In properly interpreting the law on free speech to understand that it does not include the right to spread false information, the TTC has not allowed itself to fall prey to the false anti-Israel propaganda campaign.”

While Vancouver permitted the ads to run, the Toronto Transit Commission rejected those ads.  Here are the standards both entities were required to apply, Section 14 of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards:

Advertisements shall not:(a) condone any form of personal discrimination, including that based upon race, national origin, religion, sex or age;

(b) appear in a realistic manner to exploit, condone or incite violence; nor appear to condone, or directly encourage, bullying; nor directly encourage, or exhibit obvious indifference to, unlawful behaviour;

(c) demean, denigrate or disparage one or more identifiable persons, group of persons, firms, organizations, industrial or commercial activities, professions, entities, products or services, or attempt to bring it or them into public contempt or ridicule

A Toronto Transit Commission policy states that if at least five people complain about an ad, the issue goes to a three person advertising review committee, made up of TTC commissioners. After a review of the ad, if two of the three members oppose the ad, it is rejected, according to a Toronto newspaper, The Star.

The TTC made its determination to reject the CJPME ad on Friday, Oct. 19.

Vancouver Jews Fight Back

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

The pro-Israel education groups StandWithUs has responded to anti-Israel advertising on Vancouver’s public transit system with new ads stressing both the Jewish loss of land from biblical times to the present and Israeli-Canadian shared values, the Canadian Jewish News reports.

StandWithUs (SWU) is placing posters in ten TransLink stations to counter the misinformation of anti-Israel posters currently at these sites and on buses in Vancouver. The StandWithUs ads have been running beginning this week, until November 14, 2013.

“The anti-Israel ads distort facts. We have already encountered these particular ‘map’ ads in the U.S. They presume there once was an Arab country called ‘Palestine’ when in fact no such country ever existed prior to the one being considered today. Conversely, there has been a continuous Jewish presence in the land of Israel for 3 millenia, and the League of Nations recognized the Jews’ historical connection to the land which is why it carved out the Palestine Mandate as the Jewish homeland,” explained Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs.

StandWithUs, the international Israel education organization, opened its first Canadian chapter in Toronto in 2012, with community leader Meryle Kates as executive director. Though StandWithUs has countered anti-Israel transit ads in the U.S. since 2007, this is the first time the organization has posted ads in Canada.

StandWithUs will display two different posters. One depicts Jewish loss of land from Biblical times to the present by juxtaposing a map of the ancient Jewish kingdom circa 1000 BCE, a map of the land designated as the Jewish homeland by the League of Nations in 1920, and a map of the much smaller Israel of today. The second ad, with pictures of Israeli and Canadian children waving their national flags, celebrates the shared values and freedom both countries enjoy.

They will run on the Canada Line – Waterfront, Vancouver City Station, and Yaletown and on the SkyTrain – Commercial Station.

The SWU ads will counter the map posters sponsored by the Palestine Awareness Coalition (PAC) which depict a “disappearing Palestine,” with Israel appearing to expand into the West Bank.

SWUp2

In reality, it is the Jewish state that has steadily gotten smaller. It reached its largest extent during the reigns of Kings David and Solomon when it stretched into Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. In 1920, the League of Nations designated present-day Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, and the Golan Heights as the Jewish homeland. But over the decades, Israel shrank to its present size and is only 9 miles wide at its narrowest point and 290 miles long.

“As usual, the anti-Israel ad campaign tries to undermine North American support for Israel by misrepresenting its history. Now the campaigners have moved to Canada in an effort to erode Canada’s strong support for the Jewish state. Many community members have been frustrated with the anti-Israel rhetoric on campuses and in the community and requested that we respond. The StandWithUs posters balance the propaganda with the facts. They also remind Canadians of the shared values and many benefits of Canada’s steadfast alliance with Israel. “I am proud to be with StandWithUs, an organization working to correct misrepresentations about Israel with the facts,” commented Meryle Kates, StandWithUs Canada executive director.

The anti-Israel billboard campaigns began in the U.S. and for the past six years, StandWithUs has countered each one. SWU ran ads several times in San Francisco and New York City; Houston, Texas; Missoula, and Helena, Montana; Washington, DC; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Chicago, Denver, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“StandWithUs will not allow anti-Israel campaigns to go unanswered, no matter where they appear. Our goal is to set the record straight, and to inform the public about Israel’s challenges and extraordinary achievements in helping make the world a better place,” concluded Rothstein.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/vancouver-jews-fight-back/2013/10/15/

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