The American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) launched their newest outdoor advertisement on Monday, calling for an end to Israeli apartheid and to U.S. aid to Israel. The U.S. gives over $3 billion in aid to Israel every year.
The advertisement appeared in 25 stations on the New York City Transit Authority’s Metro North line, according to AMP’s press release. The full-color advertisements will run for four weeks.
Drawing attention to Israel’s apartheid policies against the Palestinian people, the advertisement features a quote from South African social rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu who said that his visit to the Holy Land “reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa”.
AMP strategically timed the release of this advertisement to coincide with President Barack Obama’s visit to the Middle East where he pledged further support to Israel and refused to condemn Israel’s settlement expansion, its military occupation of the Palestinian territories, its illegal detention of Palestinians without charge or trial, or even its role in the murder of American activist Rachel Corrie ten years ago.
The term apartheid is being used more and more to characterize Israel. Considering how its separation wall isolates entire Palestinian communities, how its transport system effectively keeps Palestinians and Israeli Jews from traveling on the same buses, and how its courts toss out most criminal cases against settlers or soldiers, the term is certainly appropriate.
Nevertheless, the initiative is sure to spark controversy from folks like Pamela Geller who previously placed anti-Islam and pro-Israel advertisements in New York subway stations.