Monday, April 30, 2007
Contributed by Datta
"WASHINGTON, D.C. - area commuters will be inundated with a controversial poster-ad campaign when they take the city’s subway system next month.
Starting May 13 for four weeks, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) has ordered 20 of its subway stations to place posters advertising a June 10 rally to end “Israel’s illegal military occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.”
Initiated by a charity called the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the 46-by-60-inch posters depict an imposing tank pointing its main firing turret at a child with a schoolbag walking along a dirt road.
“Imagine if this were your child’s path to school. Palestinians don’t have to imagine,” the poster states, before continuing to call for an end to U.S. aid for “Israel’s brutal military occupation… paid for by U.S. taxpayers like you.”
CBS Outdoor, the New York-based firm that places in-station advertising for WMATA, at first refused to consider the poster, but eventually relented to pressure from WMATA and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
According to an April 4 report in the Washington Jewish Week online, the U.S. Campaign contacted the ACLU, which then advised WMATA to order CBS Outdoor to place the posters, citing freedom of speech rights.
Joanne Ferreira, a WMATA spokesperson, said, “We didn’t have any problem with the ad. It was a First Amendment issue.”......."