A blatantly misleading and anti-Israel advertisement appeared in the national section of The New York Times today. The ad, which attempts to show that much of Palestinian land has disappeared since 1946, was sponsored by the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine (COPIP) and If Americans Knew, a virulently anti-Israel organization run by a former journalist named Alison Weir.
The half-page color ad is identical to a series of billboards that appeared at MetroNorth stations in Westchester over the summer.
The ad's attempt to boil down what is an extremely complex conflict into four simple maps with differently shaded regions appears to be a deliberate attempt to demonize Israel and place the entire onus of responsibility for the conflict on the Jewish state. The first map is particularly egregious: It seems to depict that all of Israel was owned by Palestinians pre-1948 when, in reality, much of the land was owned by non-Palestinian absentee landlords who lived elsewhere in the Middle East, including Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus and Beirut. The ad also ignores the historic Jewish connection, physical and spiritual, to the land of Israel.
The MetroNorth ads were sponsored by COPIP’s chairman, Henry Clifford. This latest ad is co-sponsored by Clifford/COPIP and Weir, who has previously sponsored anti-Israel ads and billboards with different themes elsewhere across the country. In fact, Weir sent an e-mail to her supporters yesterday announcing that her organization’s campaign to end U.S. military aid to Israel, called “Stop the Blank Check,” plans to launch additional anti-Israel billboards and newspaper ads across the United States.
Billboards and publicly placed advertisements have become a more popular tool used by the anti-Israel movement in the past year. Anti-Israel billboards have appeared in Denver, Detroit and Los Angeles since last March.