The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) released a new report on the spread of anti-Israel ad campaigns on billboards and mass transit across the country over the past few years.
The new report, “Misleading the Public: The Spread of Anti-Israel Ad Campaigns,” highlights the pernicious use of anti-Israel narratives to attract attention and drive a wedge between the American people and Israel. The ads, which are produced by both local and national anti-Israel organizations, have appeared on billboards, city buses, trains and other outdoor spaces and include calls to end United States aid to Israel, alleged Israeli human rights violations, and distortions of Israeli history. The report notes that since 2012, there have been more than 20 major campaigns in more than 65 cities.
“Over the past several years, across the country from New York to California, we have seen various anti-Israel groups attempt to mislead and misinform the public about the Jewish state through the use of public ad campaigns,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL National Director. “These ads, which seek to smear and delegitimize Israel, exhibit a gross distortion of historical facts, and do nothing to promote any type of critical thinking or promote civil discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
ADL noted that the latest anti-Israel ad campaign was launched in Orlando, Florida, in August. The campaign, initiated by the “Stop the Blank Check” campaign, claims that American finical support to Israel has a negative impact on Americans and ignores the value of such aid.
Among some of the most prevalent themes outlined in the report include:
Campaigns portray Israel as an illegitimate and belligerent entity
Promotion of messages arguing that Americans are complicit in alleged Israeli human rights violations
Calls for the end of U.S. aid to Israel
Distortions of Israeli history
In addition to exposing the factual inaccuracies and misinformation in the advertisements, ADL’s report provides images and details of selected ads that have appeared, and outlines appropriate responses to common inaccuracies on Israel relating directly to the content featured in each specific campaign.
“Some groups within the anti-Israel movement are using highly visible platforms like billboards to distort reality and attack Israel’s image,” said Oren Segal, Director of ADL’s Center on Extremism. “As the public comes across these ads on their local city buses or on highway billboards during their commute to work, they should take the messages for what they are – false inflammatory rhetoric designed to isolate Israel.”