By rallying pressure to prevent the placement or ads critical to Israel's treatment of Palestinians, writes guest writer Ed Mast, the "Israel right or wrong" supporters advocated censorship in Seattle.
By Edward Mast
I WAS part of a group that raised money for a series of Metro Transit bus ads that read, "ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: Your Tax Dollars At Work." We abided by King County guidelines and our ads were approved by King County Metro Transit.
With a signed contract, ads were printed and ready for Dec. 27, which marked two years to the day Israel dropped a bomb on a schoolyard in Gaza just as children were leaving class. Many were killed. For the next three weeks, Israel killed 1,400 people in Gaza, mostly noncombatants. More than 300 of the killed were children. Investigations by the United Nations and Amnesty International concluded that Israel committed war crimes.
We didn't announce the ad campaign, but news leaked out and some local groups that defend Israel from all criticism took action to convince King County that any discussion of Israeli war crimes is inappropriate for public speech.