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American-arab Group Reviving Poster Campaign in D.c. Subways

October 20, 1989
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Citing a sharp decline in media coverage of the Palestinian uprising, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has revived its poster campaign in the Washington-area subway system.

The Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, the local Jewish umbrella group, is not fighting the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s decision to display two types of ADC posters in half of the system’s 700 subway cars.

In a mailing last week, the JCC noted local court decisions upholding the general right of groups to place political advertisements in the system.

Stephen Gell, the JCC’s president, said for his group to oppose such a right “would be seriously detrimental to community relations.” He said his group would oppose only those posters that were “misleading” or “inaccurate.” The transit authority requires groups seeking to display posters to enclose supporting evidence.

One of the posters, which went up on Monday, shows three Arabs carrying the red, green and black Palestinian flag, with an American eagle in the background. It reads: “Americans fought for freedom and independence in 1776, Palestinians are fighting for these same rights today.”

The other poster has large Palestinian and Israeli flags, which state in block letters, “Palestine-Israel: Two Peoples, Two States.”

Both poster ask viewers to “support Palestinian independence” and to call their congressional representative at (202) 224-3121.

The JCC termed the posters “Arab propaganda attacks” and said it “does not believe that our community should remain tacit” to them.

It urged board members to write letters in support of Israel to members of Congress and to President Bush; to write letters to newspapers and other media; and to gain support for Israel among family, friends and community groups.

In 1987, the ADC paid the subway system to display a poster calling on the United States to withdraw the diplomatic credentials of then-Israeli military attache in Washington Maj. Gen. Amos Yaron. Yaron was implicated by an Israeli commission in the 1982 massacres at the Sabra-Shatila Lebanese refugee camps.

Last year, the ADC paid for two poster that focused on aid to Israel and Israel’s human rights practices.

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