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.
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.