Bay Area campaign press release: Dec 7, 2010
December 7, 2010 – For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Erickson [email]
Christian, Jewish, and Muslim groups sponsor BART ads calling for ending U.S. military aid to Israel
Ads in 12th Street Oakland, Downtown Berkeley, and San Francisco Civic Center stations urge aid cut-off for the sake of peace and justice
Berkeley, CA – Ads calling for an end to U.S. military aid to Israel, for the sake of peace and justice for both Palestinian and Israeli peoples, went up this week at three high-traffic stations in Bay Area Rapid Transit system: 12th Street Oakland, Downtown Berkeley, and San Francisco Civic Center. The ads, which will run for four weeks, are the first step in what’s expected to be a broader campaign to bring the message to Bay Area commuters in the coming year.
The campaign was initiated by the Northern California Friends of Sabeel, the local branch of a non-profit, tax-exempt Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through non-violence and education. The Bay Area chapters of Jewish Voice for Peace and American Muslims for Palestine quickly signed on as co-sponsors.
“We are disturbed that our politicians spend billions of tax payers money to supply the Israeli war machine with lethal weapons to the detriment of both Israelis and Palestinians and the cause of peace,” said Hassan Fouda, a member of the Northern California Friends of Sabeel and one of the organizers of the ad campaign. “If our fellow citizens know the facts, we are sure they will insist that the money is spent here at home.”
The ads show two smiling fathers – one a Palestinian designer, the other an Israeli social worker – and their young daughters. The accompanying text reads “Be on our side. We are on the side of peace and justice. End U.S. military aid to Israel.” Underneath is a URL – www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org – for a website with extensive information about the ad campaign, about conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and about the magnitude and effects of U.S. aid to the Israeli side.
The ad design and the website were developed by the Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP), a diverse Chicago-area community organization, which began running the ads in the Chicago transit system in October. The CJPIP was in turn inspired by a billboard campaign in Albuquerque, NM, last year.
According to the Congressional Research Service, Israel received $58.6 billion in military aid from the U.S. between 1949 and 2008, plus tens of billions more in other forms of assistance. Under an agreement signed in 2007, it is slated to receive another $30 billion by 2018, but President Obama recently offered billions more in a vain effort to induce Israel to limit construction of Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian territory for just three months. The “Be on our side” media campaign aims to highlight the sad reality that all these billions have failed to bring peace, security, and equality for Israelis and Palestinians; instead, they have been used to perpetuate the hopeless cycle of death and destruction in the region.
For more information:
• on the overall “Be on our side” campaign, see www.TwoPeoplesOneFuture.org
• on the Bay Area campaign, see http://www.twopeoplesonefuture.org/about-us/related-projects/san-francisco-bay-area-ca/
• on the Friends of Sabeel, see www.fosna.org
• on American Muslims for Palestine, see www.ampalestine.org
• on Jewish Voice for Peace, see www.jvp.org