Thursday, September 19, 2013

In which The Free Palestine movement whines

Awww. The hapless Free Palestine Movement's billboard request was denied, and they are upset. Likely  FPM will eventually find a different vendor with less meticulous standards to display their propaganda, but in the meanwhile,  thank you, CBS Outdoors, and thank you Reed Saunders for your good judgement. 

From the free Palestine movement:
Dear Friends of Palestine,

The following message concerns a project that we are supporting with your donations and especially the donations specifically earmarked for billboards and other advertising.

The FPM Team

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CBS Outdoor Billboard Censorship

    "A lobby is like a night flower: It thrives in the dark and dies in the light.” – former AIPAC foreign policy director Steve Rosen

CBS Outdoor has shown itself to be an arm of the Israel lobby, if there was any doubt. 

 When Beth Daoud of the Colorado BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) Campaign first approached CBS Outdoor about leasing space to express a message critical of Israel's human rights abuses of Palestinians, she received a rather strange response.  "That's fine," said Reed Saunders, the CBS Outdoor sales rep, "but our requirements are that you must not use the words "Israel" or "Jew".

 With that challenge, Beth's group paired with No Tax Dollars To Israel, a tax exempt nonprofit organization that advocates withholding tax money and exemptions from abusers of human rights, including the state of Israel.  Together, they came up with the wording "Want peace? Stop ethnic cleansing in Palestine."  Beth sent it to Saunders and got approval.

 The partnering groups then chose the design and illustration to go with the wording, submitted a final copy to Saunders, and waited.  And waited.

 Nearly two weeks went by before Saunders replied, "I'm sorry to report that the billboard design was not approved and will not be accepted. No explanation was given, nor am I expecting one."

 The explanation is not needed.  CBS Outdoor also removed billboards in southern California that advocated stopping aid to Israel.  The Israel lobby has also worked overtime to prevent similar ads from seeing the light of day in Seattle, New York and other locations.

 Rest assured that you have not heard the last of this story.  We will not rest until this ad is displayed for all to see.

Wishing the Free Palestine Movement many more sleepless nights.

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