Last week, giant billboards in Tel Aviv declared: “Peace is made only with a defeated enemy.” The billboards pictured blindfolded figures of PA leader Abu Mazen and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh on the background of a destroyed city, surrendering to Israeli military forces. Last Friday, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Holdai issued the billboards removed, stating:
“Such pictures incite violence reminiscent of ISIS and the Nazis. We do not wish to be associated with this. Even during election season, there are lines we don’t cross. I do not intervene with posters in the public sphere, but this time the rules have been broken. To humiliate others is not our way.”
In a notice to the media, the Office of the Mayor stated that the billboards were removed due to “incitement and harming public feelings.”
The billboards were paid for by an organization called Israel Victory Project. In response to the removal of the billboards by city workers, it declared: “Abu Mazen and Ismail Haniyeh are responsible for the murder of hundreds of Israelis and the wounding of thousands. Taking down the signs conveys the message that terror isn’t so bad, encouraging ever more violence against Jews.”
The group, a branch of the Middle East Forum in the U.S. led by Daniel Pipes and Gregg Roman, says the billboards are the first salvo in a campaign highlighting the underlying illusion that peace with the Palestinians can be achieved through negotiation and political agreement.
Daniel Pipes told The Jewish Press, “The current billboards are part of a pre-election campaign in Israel to inject the idea of ‘Israel Victory’ into the discourse. By taking down the signs we paid for without a legal basis, the mayor of Tel Aviv has given this effort an unexpected boost and added publicity.”
He said 32 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 26 members of Knesset from across the spectrum have joined their respective Congressional and Knesset ‘Israel Victory’ caucuses.
“Israel’s policy of appeasement must end,” he said. “Victory means imposing one’s will on the enemy. History teaches that conflicts end when one side gives up. The Nazis only gave up when they were forced to. Accordingly, the Arab-Israeli conflict will end only when Arabs realize they cannot achieve their goal of eliminating the Jewish state of Israel.”