Bus Ads Highlight U.S. Taxpayer Funding of Israel’s War Crimes
Advertisements calling attention to Israel’s brutal 51-day military assault on Gaza last summer, as well as its continuing illegal occupation and confiscation of Palestinian land, went on display on San Francisco municipal buses Feb. 2.
Israel’s military assault on Gaza from July 7 to August 16, 2014 killed 2,131 Palestinians, including 1,473 civilians—501 of them children; wounded 11,000; and left at least 110,000 people homeless.
The ads, reading “ISRAEL’S WAR CRIMES, YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK,” were a joint project of the Free Palestine Movement and Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC). The Free Palestine Movement has been organizing and participating in public advertising of this kind for more than two years, placing ads on buses and Bay Area Rapid Transit trains in San Francisco, a billboard in Sacramento, and buses in Denver.
These ads counter hateful anti-Muslim advertisements purchased by right-wing blogger Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative, which ran on the same buses in January. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, District Attorney George Gascón and other city leaders condemned Geller’s advertisements, calling them racist and Islamophobic, but acknowledged they were protected free speech.