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STANDWITHUS TO COUNTER ANTI-ISRAEL ADS ON BART
STANDWITHUS TO COUNTER ANTI-ISRAEL ADS ON BART
JANUARY 16 FEBRUARY 16

STANDWITHUS ADS SAY ISRAEL NEEDS A PARTNER FOR PEACE AND CALL FOR PALESTINIAN LEADERS TO ACCEPT ISRAEL AS THEIR NEIGHBOR



STANDWITHUS
Press Release

(San Francisco, January 5, 2012) For the third time in the past year, StandWithUs, the international Israel education organization, is launching a pro-Israel ad campaign on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and AC buses to counter another campaign of anti-Israel ads. The SWU counter-ads will go up on Monday, January 16th, when the anti-Israel campaign ends, and will be posted for four weeks in many of the same locations where the anti-Israel ads appeared.

The SWU posters feature a Palestinian and Israeli boy arm-in-arm, with the line, Israel Needs a Partner for Peace. The poster asks commuters to Urge Palestinian Leaders to Accept Israel as Their Neighbor. The billboards directly counter anti-Israel ads that imply Israel is the obstacle to peace and call for ending U.S. military aid to Israel. The SWU ad directs viewers to www.SayYestoPeace.org which documents the real obstacles to peaceful coexistence - the Palestinian Authoritys refusal to say yes to a Jewish state as its neighbor, and its policy of promoting hate instead of peace.

This is the third time in the past year that StandWithUs has responded to anti-Israel ads on BART and Bay Area buses --in January and September 2011 and now January 2012. Our concern is that passers-by will be misled by the anti-Israel ads or by the inaccurate information on the website their ads recommend, states StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein. The anti-Israel groups should be aware that we will continue to respond whenever and wherever needed.

StandWithUs will place 12 ads: 9 will be at BART platforms including: the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco, Downtown Berkeley Station, Oakland 12th street, Embarcadero, MacArthur, and Balboa Park and three will be on AC transit buses.

StandWithUs also wants to make commuters aware of the agenda of the groups behind the anti-Israel ad campaign. These few groups, such as Northern California Friends of Sabeel and American Muslims for Palestine, co-founded by UC Berkeley lecturer Hatem Bazian, have tried multiple tactics to to meet their overriding goal: undermining the widespread popular support for Israel that exists in the U.S. They spread anti-Israel messages and leave out crucial facts to instill hostility and to delegitimize the very existence of the Jewish state.

"These anti-Israel ads hurt everyone. Despite their message, the sponsoring groups actually oppose peace between a Jewish state of Israel and the Palestinians, and do not advocate constructive actions to advance compromise and coexistence or to improve the lives of Palestinians. Our ads are designed to ensure that Americans are not given one-sided half-truths and revisionist history, but also documented facts to balance the conversation," said Dr. Michael Harris, StandWithUs/SanFranciscoVoiceforIsrael.

StandWithUs swiftly responded to previous anti-Israel ad campaigns in other cities. In 2007 and 2009, when anti-Israel groups rented billboards in Washington, DC, Albuquerque and Houston, SWU set up counter ads with the message, "Teach Peace, Not Hate." In 2010, SWU countered anti-Israel ads in the Chicago Metro system, and it allied with other groups to successfully persuade Seattle's Metro to reject proposed ads with inflammatory, anti-Israel accusations. In September, 2011 SWU countered 25 anti-Israel ads in New York's subway system with 25 StandWithUs ads that informed the public that Israel Needs a Partner for Peace.
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