As sharia adherence becomes increasingly the norm, outrages to free speech are becoming commonplace. This week I received this message from a reader:
I recently learned of an anti-Israel billboard in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from a friend who drove past it on route 83 west, just past the 19th street exit for Harrisburg.
She said it is a digital billboard and she was confused when she first saw it, because it shows U.S. soldiers lying in hospital beds. The wording was “Help the USS Liberty Survivors Attacked by Israel.” I talked to another friend at work who saw it also. She said she was very disturbed when she saw it.
My friend who saw the billboard called me and asked me if I had heard of Israel attacking our ships. I had not heard anything about this, so I did some research and found out that this incident happened on June 8, 1967. It was an accident, which I am sure you already fully aware of, but to the people who travel the highway and see that sign, unless they have any knowledge of this accident which happened almost 49 years ago, they would think it just happened.
This billboard is an outright blatant attempt to mislead anybody without a half of a brain or a lick of sense. They will take it as recent activity and it will influence them in their views of Israel.
It is pure anti-Israel propaganda.
The company that leases the billboards is Lamar.
This ad is running on billboards owned by the national billboard company, Lamar Advertising – which repeatedly turned down my American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) pro-freedom ads. And it isn’t just Lamar, either. It also ran on billboards owned by Outfront Media (formerly CBS Outdoor), Grace, and Barrett – all the major billboard companies in the United States.
Nor is this vicious ad running just in Pennsylvania: the same billboard ran for the entire month of August 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina on I-77, just north of Tyvola Road. It also ran last year in San Diego on I-15 for southbound traffic near the Mission Road exit. It has also run in New Haven, Connecticut, as well as Massachusetts.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) points to Alison Weir, who is involved in sister anti-Semitic organizations If Americans Knew and the Council for the National Interest, as being behind this ad. A GoFundMe page for contributions to this particular billboard campaign was set up in Weir’s name.
Weir is infamous for her hatred: according to the Tablet, Weir has earned “remarkable wall-to-wall opprobrium by promoting anti-Semitic myths, working with white supremacists, and publishing anti-Jewish content on IAK’s web site.” Yet despite this hatred (or maybe because of it), Weir has gained mainstream acceptance: her profile at the Council for the National Interest website said (cached here, before it was abruptly and without explanation taken down last week) that she “in 2004 was inducted into honorary membership of Phi Alpha Literary Society, founded in 1845 at Illinois College. The award cited her as a ‘Courageous journalist-lecturer on behalf of human rights. The first woman to receive an honorary membership in Phi Alpha history.’”
The ad says that it was “paid for by www.honorlibertyvets.org,” which aggressively promotes the discredited conspiracy theory that Israel intentionally sank the USS Liberty warship in 1967. In reality, the sinking of the ship has been thoroughly investigated by the U.S. government and deemed an accident.
In contrast to the national rollout of this ad, truth-tellers are blacklisted, blocked, censored from running facts. Every major city has enacted what I call the Geller Law – after we won every lawsuit against cities that were refusing to run our ads, one after another they prohibited political and cause-related ads, solely in order to prohibit my ads from running. The fact that they never had any intention of enforcing their prohibition consistently is illustrated by the fact that ads such as this anti-Israel one still run, while mine cannot. My ads telling the truth about the jihad threat are forbidden, while this libel — this blood libel — is sanctioned, assaulting highway drivers with vicious anti-Semitism.
Lamar is not the only company running this ad, but their double standard in rejecting our AFDI ads and running this blood libel is particularly egregious.
This is the war on truth. George Orwell said: “The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.” The fact that billboard companies are running this ad is just another indication of how far our society is drifting from its moorings.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.