American Muslims for Palestine run campaign against ‘Israeli apartheid’ on NY rail stations
By CBS, NY
March 26, 2013
NEW YORK – New ads to soon run at Metro-North stations call on the U.S. to stop aid to Israel.
The American Muslims for Palestine kicked off its national advertising campaign Tuesday by unveiling some of the ads it plans to run at Metro-North stations in the coming weeks.
The group, which bills itself as a grassroots organization created to educate the public about Palestine and its history, presented some of the ads at a news conference at Metro-North’s Harlem station on 125th Street.
The unveiling of the ads, timed to coincide with President Barack Obama’s Middle East visit, call for an end to “Israeli apartheid” and America’s financial support for Israel, according to the group’s chairman, Hatem Bazian.
“Today, we’re actually funding apartheid in Israel and it’s time for us to stop funding apartheid and to stand for universal justice,” Bazian told reporters including WCBS 880′s Monica Miller.
Last July, an ad that showed shrinking Palestinian territory in Israel over the years and referred to 4.7 million Palestinians there as refugees caused quite a stir.
The ad campaign by a group called the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, appeared in 50 Metro-North stations.
“The Palestinian people have lost most of their homeland and the map shows exactly what is happened to them,” said Henry Clifford, chairman of the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine.
American Muslims for Palestine MTA ad campaign unveiled. Photo by Monica Miller/WCBS 880
When asked what he hopes to get out of the ad campaign, Clifford responded by saying he wants to “educate people.”
“Simply to open their eyes and let them see what has happened on the map,” he said.
The pro-Israeli group ‘Stand With Us‘ ran their own billboard campaign last year. The group’s co-founder and CEO Roz Rotstein told Miller that the AMP is spreading lies to try to dissolve the Jewish state.
“Stop launching rockets into Israeli nursery schools and you will be able to see peaceful co-existence between two people,” Rotstein said.
“The Palestinians living inside as citizens of Israel are certainly having more rights and benefits that Arabs in any other Arab country. So there’s no apartheid, it’s like name-calling,” Rotstein said. ”This is not about apartheid, it’s about saying yes to peace.”
The Anti-Defamation League, for its part, called the ads “Deliberately misleading, biased and fundamentally anti-Israel.”
The ADL also said the campaign demonizes the Jewish state and is malicious, especially to be launched during Passover.
AMP’s billboards will be posted in several cities, including Washington, Chicago and San Francisco.
AMP said of the new ad campaign, This is a paid advertisement sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine. The display of this advertisement does not imply MTA’s endorsement of any views expressed.
By Americans for Palestine
March 26, 2013
NEW YORK CITY — The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) thanks supporters and people of New York for their generous support of its new Israeli Apartheid ad campaign, launched today during a press conference at the Harlem-125th Metro North station.
AMP thanks the following speakers: Raja Abulhaq, president of AMP-NY; Lamis Deek, director of Al Awda-NY; Abi Hassan of the National Lawyers Guild; Felice Gillman of Wespac Foundation and Michael Letwin of Jews for the Palestinian Right of Return.
AMP, an American organization whose mission is to educate the public about Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage, launched its “End Apartheid Now” ad campaign to coincide with President Barack Obama’s trip to the Middle East as a means to raise awareness about US political, diplomatic and financial support of Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian land and its continued violations of international law and the human rights of Palestinians.
“The US foreign policy vis a vis Israel really runs counter to our American values of liberty, justice and democracy,” said AMP Chairman Dr. Hatem Bazian. “Our foreign policy and more than $3 billion per year in foreign aid is aiding and abetting Israel’s institutionalized racist policies toward the Palestinians.”
These include implementing apartheid tactics of a separate legal system on Palestinians, dividing and separating them into small Bantustans and prohibiting their freedom of movement, Dr. Bazian added. Random arrests and detentions, extrajudicial killings, and home demolitions are more tactics of the occupation.
The ads, which will appear on 25 Metro North stations for the next four weeks, came after months of planning and preparation and their placement this week had nothing to do with the Jewish liberation holiday of Passover, as some Zionist organizations are contending.
Michael Letwin of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return said though he knew the launch of the ad campaign and the start of Passover was a coincidence, he nonetheless said he was happy the two events coincided because Passover is a celebration of liberation.
“The campaign against U.S. aid for Israel targets neither Jews nor Passover, but rather Israeli apartheid and injustice. And the best way to honor Passover, which celebrates Jewish liberation from ancient oppression, is to champion Palestinian human rights today,” he said.
The American Muslims for Palestine is a national grassroots organization whose mission is to educate the American public about issues pertaining to Palestine and its rich cultural and historical heritage. For more information, go to www.ampalestine.org.