Strong Zionist Counterattack, Demanding Censorship of Ads
Advertisements are accepted for Seattle buses as long as they do not publicize pornography, alcohol and tobacco, and as long as the images and material used don't interfere with public safety or incite a riot. "As a government, we are mindful of the provisions in state and federal constitutions to protect freedom of speech," King County Metro Transit spokesperson Linda Thielke told King 5 News. "So we can't object to these campaigns simply because they offend some people."|
Meanwhile, there is a strong Zionist Counterattack being mounted against these ads. Supporters of Israel mounted an impressive campaign this week to try and prevent Seattle buses from running anti-Israel advertisements, sending over 1,800 email messages to local government council members and to the bus company involved.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center announced on Thursday that it has purchased thousands of dollars of ads to counter the anti-Israel campaign. By rallying pressure to prevent the placement or ads critical to Israel's treatment of Palestinians, the "Israel right or wrong" supporters advocated censorship in Seattle. The Jewish supporters also succeeded in having a poll pulled from the newspaper - the results of which showed that most of the Seattle public was in favor of the ads.
Jews Advocate Censorship in Seattle
By Edward Mast, Special to THE SEATTLE TIMES
|Here is the text of an article written by one of the ads' promoters. It's worth reading.|
"War crime" is a legal term referring to a grave violation of the Geneva Conventions. Such violations by Israel have been well-documented throughout its lengthy occupation of Palestinian lands, and have included thousands of Israeli rockets fired into Gaza before 2008 and continuing attacks today. But U.S. military, political and diplomatic support, including $3 billion per year in military funding, gives Israel virtual impunity, and this one-sided U.S. support makes us complicit in Israel's crimes.|
Violations by Palestinians in their struggle for self-determination have also been documented, though violations by Israel are far more numerous and far less reported in this country. The bus ads were an attempt to correct that imbalance.
When the U.N. Fact-Finding Committee Report, known as the Goldstone Report, concluded that Israel's assault on Gaza was "a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population," Israel tried to bury the report, not by bringing counter-evidence but by defaming committee chair Richard Goldstone as anti-Jewish, even though Goldstone is Jewish himself and is a self-declared Zionist with family in Israel.
Similarly, when we tried to raise awareness of Israeli war crimes this month in Seattle, groups trying to block the ad imitated Israel's approach. Rather than attempting to disprove that Israel commits war crimes, they demanded special treatment for Israel, using the reprehensible and increasingly discredited argument that any criticism of Israel is the same as criticizing Jewish people in Seattle.
Israel uses the Jewish people of the world as a shield for its own ongoing human-rights violations. An increasing number of Jews — including those who worked with us on our bus-ad campaign — are outraged that Israel uses them as its excuse for continuing crimes. They insist that Israel is a nation-state that should not be immune from criticism. But others still defend Israel, right or wrong, as a frightened parent might defend a spoiled child who is also a bully.
Those groups wanting to silence the ad mounted a phone and e-mail campaign to disrupt King County Metro, along with an implied threat of violence both toward Metro buses and toward others. In the short term, they were successful in preventing the ads from going up.
In doing so, they not only demonstrated fear of open debate, but made public the problem: Any hard truths about Israel must face silencing not only by those who defend Israeli impunity, but also by those elected officials who can be intimidated by them.
Many of those who take an "Israel right or wrong" stance consider themselves social-justice activists in other fields. On the subject of Israel, however, they become advocates of apartheid, ethnic dictatorship and outright racism.
In this case, they have advocated censorship in Seattle. It is a chilling spectacle to watch some of our neighbors demonstrating so clearly that support for oppression anywhere is a danger to freedom everywhere.