Israel war crimes, your tax dollars at work
This past Monday marked the two year anniversary of a three-week armed conflict that took place in theGaza Strip andSouthernIsraelduring the winter of 2008–2009. In an escalation of the ongoing conflict, Israel responded to Hamas’ "Operation Oil Stain" rocket firewith military force in an action titled "Operation Cast Lead".
A pro-Palestinian organization – The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign – had purchased ad space on twelve Seattle King County Metro Transit buses alleging Israeli war crimes in Gaza and featuring the tag line: “your tax dollars at work.”
Edward Mast from the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign says, “We hoped to mount and educational campaign, the groups who wanted our messaged silenced mounted a campaign of disruption of our King County Metro Transit offices; filling up voicemails, spamming emails and implied threats of violence against themselves and buses. So, King County decided to withdraw the ads and pretty much violate our free speech, even thought they had already approved the ads.”
The group’s goal is to end U.S. aid to Israel, declaring that U.S. citizens have a right and a duty to ensure that our tax dollars go towards worthy causes, not to sustain immoral, illegal, internationally-condemned actions. Symbolically, the ads were scheduled to start running on December 27, the second anniversary of the Gaza war.
Edward Mast adds, “Human rights violations have been found on both sides but Israeli war crimes are far greater in number and far more under reported in this country. That is why we wanted to use this mass communication, mass media venue to try to address that imbalance. To try to tell the part of the story that is untold and that is why powerful forces were aligned to silence our message.”