Detroit billboard responds to Bay City ad, protests U.S. aid to Israel
DETROIT — The latest episode in the Israel/Palestine public advertisement feud has unfolded in Michigan, but this time around, the pro-Palestinian side has had a fair chance to make its voice heard.
A new billboard protesting American aid to Israel to the tune of millions per day went up on Monday, Feb. 6, with the message “$8 Million/Day to Israel? Our Money is Needed in America!” along with a link to the website IfAmericansKnew.org, which was founded by researcher Alison Weir and includes facts about Palestine and the Israeli occupation that aren't shown in the mainstream media.
The digital billboard is shown at the Greenfield exit on westbound I-96 and will likely rotate for three months at various locations in metro Detroit, changing each month.
|Daniel McGowan, executive director of Dier Yassin Remembered and a contributor to the Detroit project, said that the billboard will help spread much needed awareness. |
Henry Herskovitz of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, which has staged peaceful, silent vigils in front of Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor for over 8 years in order to persuade them to remove their Israeli flag because of the horrors of the occupation, said that the billboard is a project of various donors and the website. Herskovitz first noticed a pro-Israel billboard on I-75 at milepost last summer, which prompted him to spearhead the project and connect with the popular website.
The original billboard shows the message “Stand with Israel,” and is sponsored by We the People of Mid-Michigan and includes the U.S. and Israeli flags side by side.
The pro-Israel billboard was purchased by Rita Tilley of Bay City, a supporter of conservative pundit Glenn Beck who spent $2,500 of her savings. Tilley reportedly also bought a TV, which she did not own, just to watch Beck and called the lower price she received on the billboard a “miracle.”
The billboard against American aid to Israel is accepting donations at IfAmericansKnew.org in the upper right hand corner of the site, called the 'Detroit Billboard Project.'
Daniel McGowan, the executive director of the organization Dier Yassin Remembered (http://deiryassin.org, which focuses on recognition of a 1948 massacre of Palestinians) and a contributor to the project, said the billboard will help spread much-needed awareness.
“This is a small attempt to counter the overwhelming mainstream media propaganda,” he said.
“Dier Yassin Remembered helped to initiate this billboard in the hope that others will contribute to speak truth to Zionist power that drains American treasure and blood for the benefit of an apartheid state.
This billboard is a symbol that blind support of racist Israel is antithetical to basic American values.”
According to IfAmericansKnew.org, the U.S. Gives Israel through taxpayer dollars over $8 million per day, and taxes on the borrowed money from the private, non-governmental Federal Reserve Bank means that taxpayers pay interest on it, costing over $15 million per day.
The website said that an economist who conducted an audit for the Army War College found that as of 2003 Israel had cost Americans $3 trillion dollars because of the many associated and hidden costs of the support that is pledged each year.
Herskovitz said that he once traveled from Hebron in Palestine to Jerusalem and saw soldiers throw a young woman with three kids off the bus.
“A friend of the mother's told me she was sick of what they were doing and asked me to tell their story in America,” he said. “I think that getting this message out is very important.”