For Immediate Release
Massive Ad Campaign Challenges AIPAC During Annual Conference
“AIPAC Does Not Speak for Me” say 100 billboard ads in DC Metro, highlighting gap between AIPAC’s peace-killing policy positions and most Jewish Americans
On Monday Jewish Voice for Peace and Avaaz are unveiled 100 billboard ads in major subway stations across downtown Washington, DC, showcasing the faces of Jewish Americans saying boldly: “AIPAC does not speak for me. Most Jewish Americans are pro-peace. AIPAC is not.”
The ad campaign began Sunday, March 3, to coincide with the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and is designed to challenge the lobbying group’s influence on US foreign policy in the Middle East.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, said:
“AIPAC is the NRA of foreign policy lobbies, pushing a right-wing agenda that does not represent the majority of Jewish Americans: Its support for military build-up and endless settlement expansion makes peace impossible. It cannot claim to speak for all American Jews.”
Noah T. Winer, Jewish Voice for Peace Board member, said:
“AIPAC represents the views of a few big political donors, not most American Jews. What's the price tag for the rest of us to get a vote on AIPAC's agenda?”
Hundreds of lawmakers and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to attend AIPAC’s annual gala this week. Considered one of the most powerful lobbying forces in Washington, a number of AIPAC’s hawkish positions put it at odds with the majority of American Jews.
According to a recent poll by pollster Jim Gerstein, 82% of Jewish Americans support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- while last year AIPAC aggressively lobbied the US government to oppose UN recognition of Palestinian statehood. In another poll by Zogby, a majority of Jewish Americans listed Israeli settlements as illegal or a problem for future peace deals -- but AIPAC has refused to publicly condemn any settlements. That poll also found that 33% of Jewish Americans identify with pro-peace Jewish groups, while only 23% identify with AIPAC.
The 100 ads can be seen throughout the Washington, DC Metro system as of March 3, at Union Station, Gallery Place, Judiciary Square, Archives, L’Enfant Plaza, Federal Center, Farragut North, Eastern Market, and other stations. The ads will be on display for two weeks, including at the two Metro stops closest to the Washington Convention Center, venue of AIPAC’s conference: Gallery Place and Convention Center.
The ads are echoed in the moving video declaration of Jewish Voice for Peace’s “Young Jewish and Proud” youth wing.
Avaaz.org is a new global web movement with a simple democratic mission: to close the gap between the world we have, and the world most people everywhere want. "Avaaz" means "Voice" in many Asian, Middle Eastern and Eastern European languages. Across the world, most people want stronger protections for the environment, greater respect for human rights, and concerted efforts to end poverty, corruption and war. Yet globalization faces a huge democratic deficit as international decisions are shaped by political elites and unaccountable corporations -- not the views and values of the world's people.