which claimed that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza. The campaign, sponsored by the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, would have seen twelve buses carrying an ad reading “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work”. The ads were supposed to show an image of a group of Arab children, with one little boy staring out at the viewer while the others gawk at a demolished building.
The ad was to have appeared on the buses on December 27, the second anniversary of the beginning of the IDF’s counter terror Operation Cast Lead.
The announced campaign resulted , with pro-Israel group StandWithUs alerting its supporters worldwide to the planned campaign and asking them to send e-mail messages protesting the campaign to the King County Council members and to the Metro bus company.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center announced a counter campaign which would have seen ads that read “Palestinian War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work” with pictures of Israeli bus passengers killed by Arab suicide bombers during the Second Intifada. The children of Sderot and kibbutzim around the border with Gaza running to shelters as Gazan launched missiles fall on their Negev town might have been another idea.
Seattle’s KING5 TV, which first reported on the controversial ad campaign, quoted King County Executive Dow Constantine who cited possible bus service disruption as the reason for the cancellation.
“My job is to deliver essential services to the people of King County, including transit service,” said Constantine. “I have consulted with federal and local law enforcement authorities who have expressed concern, in the context of this international debate, that our public transportation system could be vulnerable to disruption.”
Metro officials told KING5 that non-commercial advertising will temporarily be added to the list of currently restricted ad campaigns, with the exception of certain government ads. Constantine added that by the end of January further work will be done to determine a sound policy that abides by First Amendment rights and protects Metro passenger safety.
Thank you to ALL our Christian friends around the world:
At 2:00 EST today, we issued an action alert asking all of our members to e-mail officials in King County, Washington, with an urgent request to block the following inciteful ad from appearing on Seattle buses:
Your response was overwhelming. In the week leading up to our action alert, King county officials had received 2,000 e-mails to asking them to reject this ad. Within five hours -- by 7:00 pm EST -- our action alert had generated three times as many e-mails -- almost 6,000 -- to these same government officials.
We are thrilled to report that your voices have been heard and that your efforts have paid off. At 7:00 p.m. EST today, King County Executive Dow Constatine announced a new policy governing advertising on buses that, among other things, will block the proposed anti-Israel ad from appearing on city buses. Now that the anti-Israel ad will not run, we no longer see the need to respond with our own ad telling the truth about Israel.
This is a great victory. We are thankful to our friends in the pro-Israel community who called our attention to this issue and began the campaign against these dangerous ads. And we are thankful to all of you who responded with enough speed and determination to accomplish the mission so quickly. Your efforts were especially meaningful on a day when so many of us are so very busy with travel and shopping before the approaching Christmas holiday.
We wish you all a blessed Christmas,
National Chairman Executive Director
Christians United for Israel Christians United for Israel