A new nationwide campaign of pro-Palestinian ads comparing Israel to apartheid-era South Africa went up at Metro-North stations on Monday—which happened to be Passover. The ad states, “Americans Give Israel $3 Billion Per Year! End Apartheid Now! Stop U.S. Aid To Israel." It was sponsored by American Muslims for Palestine, a national grassroots advocacy organization. And everyone's favorite virulent Islamaphobe Pamela Geller is pissed off about the "latest blood libel against the Jews."
She writes in a post about the ads, which will appear at 25 Metro North stations and run for four weeks—that her group, American Freedom Law Center , plan to unveil a new campaign in response to this one to "expose the lies and massive deceit about ongoing Islamic tyranny."
This anti-Israel ad is exactly the technique that Hitler’s minions used. If you read the writings of Goebbels, the Nazi narrative was that they were the victims. They were the put-upon ones. That’s how they sold annihilation. And this is the same thing. It’s not surprising that Islamic supremacists would appropriate the propaganda methods of the Third Reich, as they partnered with Hitler and shared the same goal.
Other commuters interviewed by the White Plains Daily Voice didn't seem quite as offended by the ads as Geller: “I feel like the side that decided to put the ad out seems to care about their opinion more than the other side,” said Rasheda Oakman. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it; I just think if there’s someone out there who supports an issue and has the means to publicize that, then that’s fine.”
But Scott Richman, regional director of AJC Westchester, a Jewish advocacy group, told The Journal News that the ad's message "completely false." “It’s an attempt to demonize Israel, linking it to the terrible apartheid regime that existed in South Africa,” he said. “It’s a ridiculous allegation. With apartheid in South Africa, blacks were not citizens and could not vote. In Israel, Palestinians constitute 20 percent of the population. They are full citizens.”
The MTA makes it clear in a disclaimer on the poster that it does not endorse the opinions expressed in the ad, which also includes the apartheid-comparing quote from Nobel Peace Prize-winner Desmond Tutu. “I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa,” the quote reads.
This is far from the first controversial transit ad from either side on the debate: last September, a different pro-Palestinian ad went up at Metro-North stations. And Geller has spent a lot of time and money successfully forcing the MTA to run her group's advertisements reminding commuters to fear and loathe Muslims.