A new advertising campaign on Metro-North station billboards that depicts land changes in the Middle East is becoming contentious, according to media reports.
The ads, from the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, were placed at 50 Metro-North stations, MTA spokesman Aaron Donavon told Patch. Those stations include Chappaqua and Mount Kisco.
The content of the ad shows Palestinian-controlled land shrinking from 1946 to 2010, with Israeli land holdings growing. The right side of the ad states, "4.5 Million Palestinians are Classified by the U.N. as Refugees."
“If the facts are inflammatory, then they are inflammatory,” Henry Clifford, the group's chair, told The Journal News, adding, “All of the Middle East is infected with the virus of the Arab-Israeli conflict. People need to know the truth of the matter.”
When asked for comment, Donavan, sent out the following statement:
“The MTA and our advertising contractor, CBS Outdoor, review proposed advertisements to ensure that they comply with the MTA’s uniform, viewpoint-neutral advertising standards. We do not decide whether to accept or reject a proposed ad based on the viewpoint that it expresses or because the ad might be controversial. The MTA does not endorse the viewpoint expressed in this ad, or any of the ads that it accepts for display.”
Commuters gave a range of views when asked Thursday evening, as seen below:
Ed DeGiocomo, Mount Kisco, replied he had not seen the ad, but was sympathetic to Israel's situation.
"They're surrounded by all these countries that want to kill 'em," he said.
Pam Cole, Chappaqua, said she does not have a personal opinion about the ad but defended the group's constitutional right to have it.
"I think freedom of speech is a good thing," she said.
Patrice Solaro, Chappaqua, felt that while people can like or dislike the ad, he stated that the territorial change is a fact.
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