Tag Archives: printonline

Jewish Independent: Please don’t censor

Jewish Independent Editorial, Sept. 6, 2013

Fifteen buses and one transit station in Vancouver will be sporting geopolitical propaganda for the next few months. Paid for by the Palestine Awareness Coalition, the ad campaign features four maps – each showing a shrinking “Palestine” succumbing to an encroaching Israel – with the headline “Disappearing Palestine.” There is much deception in the ads, no historical context, a conflating of peoplehood with nationhood, etc., etc. But is deception/misinformation in advertising enough of a reason to ban said advertising?

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Pacific Region, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver were among those calling for TransLink to reject the ad campaign, as “these advertisements distort history, are malicious and essentially question the legitimacy of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.” A legal opinion procured by CIJA-PR and Federation concludes that TransLink is permitted “to have a policy that provides for a safe and welcoming transit system and to exclude advertisements that objectively and reasonably interfere with that goal.” TransLink, however, contends (also based on a legal opinion) that it must run the ad because its advertising policy “cannot violate freedom of expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” “except in accordance with Section 1 of the Charter, which makes all Charter rights subject to ‘such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.’” Continue reading

Vancouver Courier: TransLink ads spark controversy

Allan Garr, Vancouver Courier, Sept 5, 2013

While much of the world is watching the tragedy unfold in Syria and waiting for the United States to make its “no boots on the ground” move against the Assad regime, we have our own little Middle East related drama going on right here in Vancouver. That is all thanks to a decision by TransLink to run ads on buses and rapid transit stations entitled “Disappearing Palestine.”

If you haven’t seen the ads, it is no wonder. The $15,000 dollar purchase gave the Vancouver-based groups calling themselves the Palestine Awareness Coalition a modest presence: The material appears on 15 of TransLink’s 1,600 buses and at two transit stations, one downtown and one at Oakridge (which incidentally is about as close as you can get to the heart of Vancouver’s Jewish community.)

It is composed of four maps of what is now the state of Israel and shows a shift it claims has taken place since 1946 in terms of Palestinian presence when the territory was known as Palestine. The only text states that five million Palestinians are classified by the UN as refugees. Continue reading

Vancouver Sun: Rosh Hashannah greeted with rising hate against Jews

Vancouver Sun Editorial, Sept. 4, 2013

SFSC Note: This editorial has been removed from the Vancouver Sun website.

At sundown Wednesday, Jews began to celebrate the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, although celebrate might not be quite the right word. The Jewish new year marks the beginning of a 10-day period of introspection, reflection and contemplation known as the Days of Awe which ends with the fast of Yom Kippur. While it is not a sad time, solemnity is the flavour of the festival. Rosh Hashanah and the days that follow are about atonement, asking forgiveness for transgressions against God and fellow human beings and seeking spiritual renewal.

Other than the weekly Sabbath, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are considered the holiest days on the Jewish calendar and a majority of Jews, even those who rarely set foot in a synagogue and are otherwise unaffiliated, feel the need to come home to their faith and join their community in prayer.

This year, it might be more difficult than usual to concentrate on the holiday’s themes of sovereignty of God, remembrance of the Covenant at Sinai and redemption. European Jewry is facing increasing anti-Semitism; one recent survey found more than 150 million citizens of the European Union hold anti-Semitic views. The situation has become so dire that some observers are warning Jews to leave Europe now. Others are urging restraint, noting that the litmus test the EU uses for anti-Semitism is a demonic view of Israel. Continue reading

Now Toronto: Fight brewing over TTC Palestine ads

Councillor, Jewish organizations hope to block controversial campaign about Middle East

By Ben Spurr, Now Toronto, Sept. 3, 2013

New maps could soon appear on TTC vehicles, and they won’t depict the subway line.

A pro-Palestinian group has approached the transit commission about buying space to put up ads similar to ones that incited controversy last week when they appeared on Vancouver’s TransLink system. Continue reading

Vancouver Sun: Disappearing Palestine ads on public transit: offensive to Jewish faith or freedom of expression?

Vancouver Sun Letters to the Editor

Re: TransLink won’t pull ads launched by Palestine coalition, Aug. 29

TransLink was misguided in its approval of the Disappearing Palestine ads. First and foremost, is the timing. The Jewish New Year occurs in the first week of September this year, and then there is Yom Kippur, which is their most sacred day of the year.

The choice to buy ad space this time of the year strongly suggests intent by the Palestine Awareness Coalition to be provocative and insults those of the Jewish faith, as well as the legitimacy of the existence of the state of Israel. The ads should not have been permitted to proceed on this basis.

Second, is the issue of the content. Yes, the borders of Israel have altered since the UN plan of division in 1947. This is the result of a succession of wars. Wars change national boundaries and ownership of land, as seen in the redrawn map of Europe after the Second World War. Continue reading

bclaifc: disappearing palestine translink ads

the (unofficial) bc libarary association intellectual freedom committee blog

On TransLink buses (and one station) this week you might see an ad featuring four maps with progressively dwindling amounts of green on them. There are no exhortations. There isn’t a lot of context. But these are undoubtedly an intellectual freedom issue we should be aware of, because these ads are being challenged as the equivalent of homophobic sexist messages singling people out to feel unsafe.

Of course these maps are of Israel/Palestine.

The maps, created by the Palestine Awareness Coalition show the territory that Palestinians control and how it has shrunk over the 20th century, with a headline that reads “Disappearing Palestine.”

Continue reading

Globe and Mail: Outrage over pro-Palestinian ads a case of shooting the messenger

Gary Mason, Globe and Mail, August 31, 2013

When a pro-Palestinian organization launched a provocative ad campaign earlier this week, it didn’t take long for Jewish organizations across the country to register their outrage. But in a classic case of shoot the messenger, most of their anger was directed at TransLink – the authority that allowed images of shrinking Palestinian territory to be plastered on buses and the walls of transit stations. Continue reading

National Post: Bashing Israel on Vancouver buses isn’t a form of hate speech

Jonathan Kay, August 30, 2013, National Post

“Disappearing Palestine,” a new ad campaign running on Vancouver busses, suggests the history of the Palestinian people can be summarized in four words: going, going, going, gone.

The ads present four maps, corresponding to the Palestinian footprint in the Levant (a) in 1946, (b) under the 1947 UN Partition Plan, (c) from 1949-1967, and (d) in the modern day. The effect is to present Palestinians as a large ink blot gradually shrinking into nothingness. The text at the bottom declares “Five million Palestinians are classified as refugees by the UN.” It also indicates the name of the group that paid $15,000 for the ads’ four-week run, the “Palestinian Awareness Coalition.” Continue reading

National Post: If Vancouver’s Jewish groups don’t like pro-Palestinian bus ads, they should make their own

Robyn Urback, National Post, Full Comment, August 29, 2013

Jewish groups in Vancouver are demanding the city’s transit authority take down a series of controversial ads that show Palestinian borders disappearing into the State of Israel. The ads, sponsored by the Palestine Awareness Coalition, have been appearing on TransLink buses and in Vancouver’s SkyTrain station under the heading “Disappearing Palestine.” The posters use four maps over six decades to show how Palestine has been shrinking into the State of Israel. Continue reading

National Post: In transit ads, anything goes after top court ruled bus riders must ‘put up with controversy’

Brian Hutchinson, National Post Full Comment, August 29, 2013

Public transit advertisements depicting an expanding Israeli territory are causing a fuss in Metro Vancouver, with some Jewish groups demanding the removal of posters from 15 city buses and a train station, and with pro-Palestinian organizations vowing to expand their “settlement and occupation” awareness campaign across Canada.

“We think it’s particularly important that people in Vancouver and other Canadian cities learn about what’s happening in Palestine now and what’s happened historically,” a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Awareness Coalition, the group responsible for the ad campaign, told the Canadian Press this week. Continue reading