Pro-Israel group takes battle to stations 15Oct13 October 15, 2013

Alternative Informaiton Centre     -   14 October 2013

SWUp2StandWithUs,(SWU) a pro-Israel advocacy group based in Los Angeles, intends to launch a poster campaign in Canada to counter a Palestinian Solidarity effort depicting the disappearance of Palestine. Last August the Palestine Awareness Coalition posted 15 bus posters in Vancouver, Canada, illustrating the “disappearance of Palestine due to Israeli occupation over the past 65 years.”

This will be the first time StandWithUs will post ads in Canada. The campaign is slated to begin today (14 October) and will run until November 14. The pro-Israel organization aims to place posters in ten TransLink stations. One of the posters will depict the land ostensibly inherited by the Jewish people during Biblical times to the present. It will juxtapose a map of the ancient Jewish kingdom circa 1000 BCE, and a map of the land designated as the Jewish homeland by the League of Nations in 1920, comparing them both to a map of the much smaller state of Israel of today. A second ad will show Israeli and Canadian children waving their national flags. 

StandWithUs was founded in 2001 by Roz Rothstein, a family therapist in Los Angeles. An article published in The Forward on December 2011 explained that “during the height of the second Intifada,” Rothstein “watched the news coming from Israel … with growing frustration. Feeling that Israel was not getting the backing it deserved in the United States, she and her husband, Jeremy, set up their own small group, with a stated mission of ‘supporting people around the world who want to educate others about Israel.””

The group is especially active against the BDS movement and enjoys close relations with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It also runs a program to train 150 university students to be advocates for Israel. The Israeli chapter of StandWithUs has an active partnership with the Zionist Federation of Australia to engage Australian Jews in StandWithUs activities. The organization has 16 chapters throughout the U.S., Europe and Israel.

 StandWithUs has worked in Canada since December 2012, with Meryle Kates as executive director. The poster campaign in Vancouver is the first campaign of this kind in Canada.

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