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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Activists Launch Petition Calling on Facebook to Remove AIPAC’s Dishonest, Islamophobic, and Dangerous Ads Against Representative Ilhan Omar

WASHINGTON -

The grassroots women-led group CODEPINK launched a petition calling on Facebook to remove paid ads by the American-Israel Public Relations Committee (AIPAC) that are dishonest and Islamophobic and endanger the life of a sitting member of Congress. CODEPINK is also asking people to directly report the ads through Facebook for violating their rules against hate speech. The calls by CODEPINK are part of intensifying condemnations of the ads by AIPAC.

“AIPAC’s Islamophobic incitement against a Muslim woman of color in Congress in order to further their pro-Israel agenda is disgraceful and dangerous,” said CODEPINK national co-director Ariel Gold. “Representative Omar is an incredible leader for justice and equality both at home and in the U.S.’s foreign policy. Despite attacks against her, she has continued since coming into Congress to bravely raise her voice for the rights of Palestinians living under Israel’s brutal systems of occupation and apartheid. If something happens to congresswoman Omar both AIPAC and Facebook, for allowing the ads to run, will have blood on their hands.”

“Representative Omar’s description of Israel’s practices as ‘apartheid’ is not only accurate but now a popularly held belief,” said CODEPINK Middle East campaigner coordinator Danaka Katovich. “Organizations like Human Rights Watch and B’etselem have more recently used the term to describe what is happening in occupied Palestine.”

Beginning on August 5, 2021, the pro-Israel lobby began running a series of paid Facebook ads accusing lawmakers Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush, and Rashida Tlaib of lying about Israel by using the words “apartheid,” “act of terrorism” and “ethnic cleansing.” The ads against Representative Ilhan Omar baselessly linking her, a Muslim-American, to terrorism by falsely claiming that the legislator sees “no difference between America and the Taliban”, “Israel and Hamas” and “democracies and terrorists.”

Representative Omar’s communications director, Jeremy Slevin, responded to the ads by tweeting that “the language AIPAC uses in paid ads to smear and vilify [Omar] is virtually identical to the language used in death threats she gets.” “It shouldn’t have to be stated, but baselessly linking Muslim-Americans to terrorism is *the* textbook example of Islamophobia and is routinely used to silence advocacy for Palestinian human rights,” he continued.

Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), released a statement condemning AIPAC for Islamophobia and endangering the congresswoman’s life and calling for Facebook to take down the ads and for members of Congress to speak out. Dozens of Jewish-Ameican policy and advocacy leaders signed a letter calling on AIPC to take down the ads themselves. 

Given that AIPAC seems to have no intention to take the ads down themselves — AIPAC responded to Mr. Slavin’s remarks by doubling down on their attack against the congresswoman — CODEPINK has launched a petition to Facebook asking them to remove the ads. CODEPINK is also providing a link and instructions to people explaining how to report the ads for violating Facebook’s community standards in regard to hate speech. 

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CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.

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