Friday, December 24, 2010

MEDIA RELEASE: King County bans "Israeli War Crimes" posters- PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY @ NOON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

12/24/10

Contact: press@stop30Billion-Seattle.org

Rod Such (425) 466-1002, Carla Curio (206) 307-3374, Edward Mast (206) 633-1086

PRESS CONFERENCE:
Friday, December 24

12:00 noon

in front of the King County Administration Bldg

5th Ave between James and Jefferson

VIGIL AND PROTEST to remember the assault on Gaza, 2008-2009
Monday, December 27

5:00 pm

Westlake Park – south end

King County Executive Prevents “Israeli War Crimes” bus ads from appearing.

The upcoming Metro bus ad campaign by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has been cancelled by the King County Executive. The Campaign will hold a outdoor press conference at noon Friday in front of the King County Administration Bldg.

The bus ads, with the message “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: Your Tax Dollars At Work” had been approved and accepted by King County officials several weeks before. The Seattle Mideast Awareness Coalition had signed a contract, paid the complete amount – over $3000 – and the ads themselves had been printed and delivered to Metro Transit for affixing to 12 buses.

Several groups purporting to represent the Jewish community mounted a campaign to prevent King County from putting up the ads. Their campaign included overwhelming Metro and King County phone lines and email boxes, raising the threat of potential violence against both community members and buses themselves, and making defamatory claims about the ads and the advertisers.

King County Executive Dow Constantine announced that the ad would not “be accepted” late in the afternoon on Thursday, citing potential disruptions and safety hazards to the Metro system.

“The ad itself is not disrupting Metro Transit operation and services,” says Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign member Edward Mast. “The ad is not causing a public safety hazard. Those who want the ad silenced mounted a campaign to disrupt Metro and generate threats. It’s disturbing that King County has given in to those who want to stop free speech with intimidation tactics.”

Local human rights activist and Jewish-American Peter Lippman said, “The State of Israel is not the same as the Jewish people, and Israel should be subject to criticism like any other state. These groups that insist on suppressing free speech about Israel do not represent many, many Jews in this country.”

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign maintains that the ad slogan contains facts, not rhetoric, and that war crimes by Israel have been widely documented.

After Israel’s three-week military offensive against the captive population of Gaza in 2008-9, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians -- most of them non-combatants and more than 300 of them children -- a formal inquiry by the United Nations found grounds for a criminal investigation into war crimes by Israel. The UN report concluded that Israel’s assault was not in self-defense, but was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population”.

In a report published on July 2, 2009, Amnesty International found evidence that Israeli soldiers used Palestinian civilians as human shields. Israeli soldiers have testified publicly to other human rights violations.

Several experts have made themselves available for press contact.

For more information about Israel/Palestine, human rights, war crimes and international law, please contact:

STEPHEN ZUNES

Professor of Politics & International Studies; Chair, Middle Eastern Studies Program

zunes@usfca.edu

Home: 831-425-2975 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 831-425-2975 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Cell: 831-234-9468 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 831-234-9468 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

PHYLLIS BENNIS

Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies; Fellow of the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam

phyllis@ips-dc.org

202-309-1377 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-309-1377 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

For information about US funding of Israel, contact:

JOSH REUBNER

National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli

congress@endtheoccupation.org

202-423-7666 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 202-423-7666 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Local residents who have recently visited Israel, the West Bank or Gaza:

MARNY (KIT) KITTREDGE

marnykit@gmail.com

Cell 360.477.8778 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 360.477.8778 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

LINDA FRANK

workforjustice@comcast.net

253 537 1405 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 253 537 1405 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

CINDY CORRIE/CRAIG CORRIE

cindy@rachelcorriefoundation.org

craig@rachelcorriefoundation.org

360-359-6790 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 360-359-6790 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

For information about boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns:

NADA ELIA

Professor,Antioch College

nadaelia@gmail.com

For information about Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign

ROD SUCH

press@stop30Billion-Seattle.org

(425) 466-1002 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (425) 466-1002 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

CARLA CURIO

press@stop30Billion-Seattle.org

(206) 307-3374 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (206) 307-3374 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

www.stop30billion-Seattle.org, info@stop30billion-Seattle.org

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Amin Odeh
VoicesofPalestine.org

Theaacc.org

"Stand up for what is right, even if you are standing alone"

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