TEL AVIV – Israeli commuters on the Tel Aviv highway were greeted on Monday by a giant billboard of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in a pair of Speedos, wearing a lei and carrying a suitcase full of cash.
The image of Haniyeh at the beach is accompanied by an Arabic-language caption which translates as, “Thank you Israel, I love you. Ismail.”
Underneath are the words, “Enough being scared. Demand victory for Israel.”
The billboard is part of campaign by the Israel Victory Project, a Middle East Forum (MEF) initiative with the stated aim of “steer[ing] U.S. policy toward backing an Israeli victory over the Palestinians to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.”
MEF includes caucuses in the Knesset as well as the U.S. Congress.
Organizers say the campaign was set to coincide with a Hamas delegation to Iran.
Haniyeh on Sunday said that the terror group was “expecting important results” from the meetings in Tehran.
According to the Israel Victory Project’s Facebook page, the billboards are meant to increase “pressure on Israel’s next government and the security establishment to end the policy of appeasement.”
The billboards kicked off a campaign that will include commissioned research and polls, events, debates, conferences, rallies, and other activities designed to convince Israelis to demand the government puts “an Israeli victory” first, the campaign said.
According to MEF’s president, Daniel Pipes, who launched the Israel Victory Project, it is time for Israel to “impose” its will on its enemies.
“Victory means imposing one’s will on the enemy; history teaches that conflicts end when one side gives up. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict will end only when Palestinians realize they cannot achieve their goal of eliminating the Jewish state of Israel.”
Gregg Roman, the forum’s director in charge of the campaign, said that by continuing to invest all its resources in conflict management, Israel has “forgotten” how to achieve victory.
“Israel has forgotten how to win since Oslo. In return for handing out bags of cash to jihadis, Israeli children must run to bomb shelters. Our campaign speaks to the Israeli public that is fed up with ‘conflict management’ and ‘mowing the lawn,’” he said.