When the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine financed an ad campaign about shrinking Palestinian territory to display in 50 Metro-North train stations in New York, the Anti-Defamation League gave birth to a cow (or a statement, depending on how you see it).
Here is a line-by-line breakdown.
ADL Calls Anti-Israel Billboards in Westchester Train Stations ‘Deliberately Misleading and Biased’
We will determine what “misleading” means in the lines to come but for now, rest assured that the ADL is one of the few organizations that still complains about things being “biased”, as if it itself isn’t biased.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called a billboard campaign in Metro North train stations, which shows a series of four maps and claims that Israel has systematically confiscated land from the Palestinians, “deliberately misleading and biased.”
Oh? The advertisements makes no such claim though that is exactly what viewers are supposed to draw from them. So, special thanks to the ADL for confirming the straightforward effectiveness of the ad campaign’s messaging. But on the issue of land confiscation, here’s B’Tselem, the United Nations, Peace Now for Israel, the International Court of Justice, Al-Haq, Yesh Din, Human Rights Watch, Badil Resource Center, Haaretz, CNN, and The Guardian on the issue, all of which I’m certain will be condemned, if they haven’t already been, as superbiasedly anti-Israel by the ADL sooner or later.
The billboards, which began appearing this week in several Westchester County train stations, are sponsored by Henry Clifford, who co-chairs the virulently anti-Israel group Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine.
I really do wonder what kind of qualifications must be met for an organization to escape from being called an anti-Israel group by the ADL. Perhaps the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine is “virulently anti-Israel” because it acknowledges the existence of Palestinians. Perhaps if the group changed its name to “Committee for Israel without Peace or Palestine” it would receive the ADL’s blessing.
“These billboards are deliberately misleading and biased and come with an agenda that is fundamentally anti-Israel,” said Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director.
If the billboards are misleading, so are the six and a half decades of fact and reality upon which the ad campaign is based. The maps, after all, accurately reflect Israel’s shifting borders and this is why, as the reader will see in the next part of Mr. Meier’s quote, the ADL’s main concern isn’t about the factuality of the advertisements but about context, a term used by the ADL to refer to the usage of historical grievances entirely unrelated to Palestinians as a way to justify land grabs and other violations of international law. End sentence.
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps. This ad campaign completely ignores the facts, including the history of land ownership prior to 1948, Israel’s repeated efforts to exchange land for peace, and the commitment of successive Israeli governments to achieving a two-state solution with the Palestinians.”
Wrong again, Mr. Meier. Israel’s confiscation of Palestinian land can indeed be summarized quite accurately in this series of maps because one map shows the beginning, two maps show what happened in between, and the last map shows how the land looks today. That is how things are summarized. The history of land ownership prior to 1948 is, um, actually shown too (see the first map of 1946 and the second of 1947, both of which came before 1948). And if the ADL hasn’t yet realized that the peace process for a two-state solution is a sad old sham, check out the Levy Report which effectively merks any idea of a second state.
The billboards feature four maps of Palestine/Israel from 1946 through 2010 and attempt to showcase the expansion of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians.
Because that is exactly what happened. See, Palestinians did not voluntarily shrink their territory size. They did not say to the international community, “Hey guys, we’re withdrawing from our borders. It’s up for grabs. If Israel wants it, it can have it.” No, that is absolutely not what happened.
A message on the billboard about the U.N.’s designation of Palestinian refugees further makes it seem as if Israel was responsible for the displacement of the refugees, a critical point of contention in the Israeli-Arab conflict and the peace process.
No matter how many times the ADL cries “bias!” the facts will remain as is, and it is up to the public to acknowledge them and then to act. The advertisements aren’t making up numbers. The United Nations has indeed classified that many Palestinians as refugees because either their land was confiscated, an invasion (from who!?) forced them to flee, or Israel prevents them from returning. Persona non grata is what the Israeli government calls most of them if they attempt to visit.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.