Billboard campaign to end US aid to Israel hits LA — thanks to CBS

My Catbird Seat June 16, 2012 6
Billboard campaign to end US aid to Israel hits LA — thanks to CBS

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Mondoweiss – Exciting news. The Coalition to Stop 30 Billion to Israel has put up 23 billboards across Los Angeles in an awareness initiative to stop military aid to Israel. The message:

Tell Congress: Spend Our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military

Millions of Americans will be exposed to these billboards every day as commuters in the country's second largest metropolitan area are stuck in traffic on some of the most congested roads in the world. Stop30Billion Co-founder Armen Chakerian told me the campaign plans to put up additional signs in different spots in LA each month.

This is the largest advertising campaign launched by Stop30Billion thus far.  Last spring its successful campaign in Denver, Colorado, garnered lots of attention from citizens and local media.

Stop 30 Billion is a grassroots campaign with humble beginnings, funded byordinary citizens. They got off to a rocky start when their first billboards weretaken down under pressure by Lamar Outdoor Advertising after only three weeks even though they had signed a contract to run the billboards for eight weeks. The billboard company for Stop30Billion's LA initiative is CBS Outdoor, the outdoor advertising division of media conglomerate CBS Corporation.

Due to the tremendous pressure CBS Outdoor will undoubtedly encounter in the days and weeks ahead, Stop30Billion and its partner the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation have asked us to sign a petition to thank CBS Outdoor.

In a blog post titled "Dodging the 'Hebrew Hammer' in the Fight for Justice," writer Richard Edmondson traces the hurdles in Stop30Billion's history and interviews Coalition co-founders Susan Schuurman and Armen Chakerian:

Q: Tell us about your new ad campaign and how it differs from previous ones.

A: Our new ad campaign features an American flag. We wanted to emphasize that our message is indeed a patriotic one in that domestic needs are being short-changed by sending billions of dollars per year to support the Israeli war machine. This message seems to be resonating even more during this current economic down-turn. We also feel that more and more Americans want politicians to focus greater attention on infrastructure, education, and healthcare needs at home……After our billboards were taken down prematurely, however, we purposefully tried to find less provocative phrasing that would have a better chance of not being suppressed by opposition pressure.

Q: Your ads seem to have caused considerable consternation within the ranks of pro-Israel groups, but of course the real question is how much of an impact are they having with the public? Do you have any sense of public opinion about the ads and to what degree they may be influencing the way people think about the Middle East?

A: Combined with other communities' campaigns, we feel that our messaging has created a safer space within which to criticize Israeli policy without being called "anti-Semitic." In addition to being seen directly by tens of thousands of passers-by, the billboards led to media coverage both in Denver's local Jewish community newspaper and on Denver channel 7.

Replicate this campaign in your area!

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Writer at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area.

6 Comments »

  1. Chase June 16, 2012 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    With a heavy Jewish population in L.A., Those billboards won't last long there.

  2. Rick June 17, 2012 at 3:09 am - Reply

    We need these all over the US. It must be known and established that we must put America first, second and third. To hell with terrorist Israel.

  3. firstName June 17, 2012 at 8:07 am - Reply

    You say anything and they call you antisemitic. STOP ALL AID TO ISRAEL NOW, THEY DONT EVEN DESERVE THE LAND IN THE FIRST PLACE!

  4. Chuck Johnson June 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    The Old Testament is false. The Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covanent  have been found. They were not found anywhere near  where you would expect. Read it Here…
    http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi555.htm
     
    Now lets look at God as he really has to be…
     

  5. Magginkat June 18, 2012 at 2:19 am - Reply

    Couldn't agree more.  Seems that Israel is trying to take over everything surrounding them, not just Palestine. 

  6. Neil June 18, 2012 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Indeed. The $30 Billion would be used to expand the borders of the state of Israel.
     
    If one follows the expansion of the borders, it started in 1947 over stepping the UN partition paln. In 1967 Israel expanded again. It was only President Carter who forced Israel to abandon it's plans for a city of 200,000 Jews in the Sinai peninsula. . .

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