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A pro-Palestinian organization’s attempt to spread terrorist-enabling propaganda throughout the streets of Seattle was stopped dead in its tracks yesterday, thanks to quick reaction from outraged citizens and timely intervention by vigilant organizations like the David Horowitz Freedom Center. The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign had purchased ad space on twelve King County Metro Transit buses alleging Israeli war crimes in Gaza and featuring the tag line: “your tax dollars at work.” The group’s avowed goal is to end U.S. aid to Israel, declaring that: “U.S. citizens have a right and a duty to ensure that our tax dollars go towards worthy causes, not to sustain immoral, illegal, internationally-condemned actions.” Symbolically, the ads were scheduled to start running on December 27, the second anniversary of the Gaza war.
With these ads, the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign sought to mislead the public on the root causes of the Gaza war, repeating the tired canard that by daring to defend itself against Hamas rocket attacks Israel had somehow become an international outlaw. Rather than allowing Israel to be thrown under Seattle’s buses, the Freedom Center fought back by purchasing ad space on twenty-five Metro buses. These ads featured images of Israeli bus passengers killed by Palestinian suicide bombers during the Second Intifada and tossed the terrorist-enablers’ tag line back at them: “your tax dollars at work.” The United States sends half a billion taxpayer dollars to Palestine each year. The organization StandWithUs also submitted a parallel ad.
The Freedom Center’s mission is to defend free societies under attack, and particularly under attack from the radical left at home and their jihadist allies abroad. “This was a case of both,” observed Mr. Horowitz, founder and president of the Freedom Center. “The man behind this campaign is a Hamas enabler named Ed Mast. Seattle is notoriously a hotbed of support for Islamic Nazis. Their martyr is Rachel Corrie and their modus operandi is conducting hate campaigns against Jews and Americans masquerading as campaigns for Palestinian rights.”
An unconfirmed report forwarded to FPM indicated that King County attorneys advised Metro authorities not to accept the inflammatory ads from the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, but the transportation agency decided to run them anyway. Applicable code and the subsequent reaction of King County officials appear to support this scenario. Title 28, section 96.210 of King County Code describes the county’s guidelines for accepting commercial advertisements. It reads as follows:
As part of its proprietary function as the provider of public transportation, the county seeks to generate revenue from the commercial use of transit vehicles, the tunnel and other passenger facilities to the extent such commercial activity is consistent with the security, safety, comfort and convenience of its passengers. Accordingly, all commercial activity is prohibited on transit property except as may be permitted by the county in a written permit, concession contract, license agreement, advertising agreement or other written agreement.
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