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Houston billboard: Hamas an obstacle to peace
Houston billboard: Hamas an obstacle to peace



By Michael Duke
The Jewish Herald-Voice
February 14, 2013


Israel education groups are countering a local anti-Israel propaganda campaign with an ad of their own.

StandWithUs and Bridge Houston have teamed up to sponsor a billboard that encourages the public to “Tell Congress not to support Palestinian groups like Hamas because they don’t want peace.”

The ad will appear for a month, beginning Feb. 24, on a billboard near the corner of Richmond Avenue and Dunvale Road.

The new ad specifically counters an anti-Israel billboard that appeared last month a few blocks away, calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.

Bridge Houston and StandWithUs have partnered before. In July 2009, the Israel education organizations responded to a series of “Pray For Gaza” ads that were placed in Houston after Operation Cast Lead. The StandWithUs/Bridge Houston billboards depicted Palestinian and Israeli boys with their arms intertwined and stated: “Save Gaza From Hamas. Teach PEACE Not Hate.” As before, viewers are directed to sayyestopeace.org to learn more.

“Unfortunately, nothing has changed. Anti-Israel groups continue their campaign to try and undermine American support for Israel by spreading lies and misconceptions about the Jewish state,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. “They continue to disregard important obstacles to peace, such as Hamas. It’s impossible to make peace with a group that teaches its children to hate Jews and that Israel does not exist. Blaming Israel alone for the lack of peace ignores Palestinian extremism.”

Ira Bleiweiss, founder of Bridge Houston, said, “Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 to advance peace and got more than 9,000 rockets launched at its southern communities by Palestinian groups, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. I can’t imagine living with only 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. Congress should be made aware that funding a group like Hamas will never lead to peace.”

Groups that misrepresent the struggle for peace in the Middle East, by inaccurately casting blame on Israel, should be placed on notice that organizations such as StandWithUs and Bridge Houston always will respond to one-sided misinformation, Rothstein and Bleiweiss concurred.

StandWithUs, an international, nonprofit Israel education organization has countered anti-Israel billboards wherever they have appeared in the United States since 2007. This includes Washington, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Denver, Albuquerque, N.M., Portland, Ore., and Sacramento, Calif.

Bridge Houston, a grass-roots Israel outreach organization, has countered various local anti-Israel propaganda campaigns since the group’s founding in 2008.

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