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Arab Committee Posting Anti-israel Ads on Washington Metro Rail

July 29, 1988
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

For the next 30 days, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee will be posting two advertisements in Washington’s Metro Rail subway system, one of which asks members of Congress to “just say no” to unconditional U.S. aid to Israel.

The Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington, which represents 215 synagogues and Jewish organizations, wrote the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Wednesday, saying it was “anguished by the odious and misleading nature” of the advertisements, while respecting the Anti-Discrimination Committee’s First Amendment rights.

A poster entitled “Israel Putting Your Tax Dollars to Work!!” asks if “you know that last year, American taxpayers gave Israel $1.8 billion in military aid?” as well as $1.2 billion in economic aid.

“Only Congress can stop this madness,” the advertisement concluded.

The council responded by arguing that the aid was “not in form of cash but credits to be spent here,” and termed it an “economic stimulus to America.”

The other poster, lined with rulers, cites the Soviet Union, South Africa and Israel as constituting “I Yardstick for Human Rights.” Both placards contain identical pictures of terrified Palestinians confronting or being confronted by Israeli soldiers.

The advertisements, which cost $10,000, are being posted in 213 cars in the subway system, which runs through Washington and into suburban Maryland and Virginia. About 250,000 people ride the subway each day.

The council, while not contesting the comparison to the Soviet Union, said it considered equating Israel’s treatment of Palestinians to South Africa’s treatment of blacks “deliberate inflammatory skewing of the facts.”


“Israel has not sought to subjugate Palestinians and has called repeatedly for negotiations for peace and accommodation,” the letter said.

An ADC subway advertising campaign last December called for the United States to with draw the diplomatic credentials of Israel’s military attache in Washington, Maj. Gen. Amos Yaron, who was implicated in the Sabra-Shatila Lebanese refugee camp massacre in 1982.

The ADC submitted but later withdrew another poster proposal to Metro this spring which featured a photograph of the U.S. Capitol with the caption: “Capitol Hill: Another Israeli-Occupied Territory.”

In defending the two new posters, ADC President Abdeen Jabara charged that “Congress is not reflecting public reaction to the continuing brutal Israeli treatment of Palestinians.”

He said that the “great dissonance which exists between American public sentiment and congressional action cannot continue under our democratic system, even as Congress faces the 1988 elections.”

He cited a Chicago Tribune poll conducted last April that found 44 percent of U.S. citizens polled favored cuts in U.S. aid to Israel in order to pressure it to address the problems of Palestinians. Only 37 percent opposed such cuts.

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