As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarks on a controversial trip to the nation's capital, Palestine Advocacy Project has launched an ad campaign to protest the visit. The campaign highlights the deteriorating relationship between the United States and Israel and the decline in Americans’ support for Israel and its policies.
The ads, which educate Americans about the impact of Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer, emphasize Congress’s use of American tax dollars to support the Israeli military. A mobile billboard will address Netanyahu when he speaks on Capitol Hill and a large banner in the Convention Center Metro station will greet people attending the Annual Conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC).
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior government officials have refused to meet Netanyahu while he is here due to the fact that his speech to Congress was arranged with House Republicans without consulting the White House first, a serious breach of protocol, presenting an opportunity for both politicians and the general public to reexamine the faltering relationship between the U.S. and Israel.
“This is a critical time for Palestine,” said the Project’s board member, Clare Maxwell. “Since the bombings in Gaza last summer, the public better grasps the extent of Israel’s human rights abuses. Lawmakers need to hear the clear message that U.S. military aid to Israel is no longer acceptable.”
“Last summer, more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians, and more than 400,000 others left homeless as a result of Israel’s attack on Gaza, which destroyed critical infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, and the only power plant in the tiny besieged coastal strip,”(1) stated Jake Chase-Lubitz, board member of Palestine Advocacy Project. “An Israeli-enforced blockade still prevents desperately needed supplies from entering the territory. Much of this is enabled by funding and diplomatic protection provided by the U.S. This needs to stop.”
The ads in D.C. are part of the Project’s first national campaign, which will run on public transit systems and billboard trucks in seven major U.S. cities in 2015. The campaign aims to educate the American public on Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory, its housing demolition and land theft policies, and its violence towards Palestinians. In 2014, the Project ran similar campaigns in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles, which educated millions of Americans about Israel’s policies.
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