Billboard draws community attention

August 22, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
Read on for article

The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission  and The Jewish Community Council of Victoria have denounced a billboard in Melbourne equating Israel with the former apartheid regime in South Africa.

The billboard

The billboard

The offending signage has been removed from the busy intersection pending an investigation.

The Sabbah report website reports:  “It seems that even the images and words of two of the world’s greatest statesmen in support of a free Palestine couldn’t stop our banner from being removed.  Barely up for 48 hours, Australians for Palestine was told that due to “unprecedented complaints” the decision was taken to remove the banner pending an Advertising Standards Board review. We have just now received an email from the Chief Financial and Operating Officer of oOh! Media in which he advises us of the following:


Dr. Dvir Abramovich, Chair of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission said:  “Israel is not an apartheid state and this flawed analogy to the former South African regime does not hold water.

In fact, it bears no resemblance to the realities of contemporary Israel. This loaded and inflammatory term has been continuously used by Israel’s detractors and enemies to delegitimize the Jewish state and to argue that it promotes vile racial policies similar to those promulgated by the former apartheid government in South Africa.

It is important to recall that Israel is one of the most robust and free democracies in the world, protecting the rights of Jews, Muslims and Christians, and that its Arab citizens enjoy full and equal rights before the law .Israel has accepted a two-state solution and self-determination for the Palestinians, and has pursued this outcome through bilateral negotiations, withdrawals and peace treaties. Such actions clearly undermine any accusations that Israel’s objective is to rule over the Palestinian population indefinitely, or persecute and racially segregate Palestinians.

As Richard Goldstone, hardly a friend of Israel, has observed, accusing Israel of apartheid “is an unfair and inaccurate slander against Israel, calculated to retard rather than advance peace negotiations.” Moreover, the European Union has deemed equations between Israel and the former regime in South Africa to be an expression and manifestation of modern antisemitism because the comparison seeks to undermine Israel’s right to exist.”

President of the JCCV Nina Bassat added: “Those responsible for that billboard either know nothing about apartheid and even less about Israel, or have scant regard for truth and reality.  The billboard makes a travesty of all the suffering  under apartheid and a travesty of the freedom in Israel, where any citizen, of whatever background or religion, can become a member of the Knesset, study at the most prestigious university, eat in any café, ride on any bus and be a part of the civil society. It is also travesty to promote freedom and justice on the basis of lies.”



7 Responses to “Billboard draws community attention”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    George Peters is absolutely right in expecting, indeed demanding, that the Jewish voice be heard or “seen” in order to set records straight, to provide a riposte to the unfair palestinian propaganda.
    The billboard in question has been taken down as a result of Jewish objections and, to be fair, the arguments put forward in the process by the Jewish entities are reasonable, they reflect a reality which the palestinian entity distorts at every turn. There is NOT ONE SINGLE piece of PR item coming out of the palestinian quarters that is true. This present ben elajah is the epitome of falsehood, of the most incongruous cacophony a sick mind can produce, so consistent with the messages on the billboard in question.
    In terms of strategies and tactics necessary to offset the obscenities coming out of the palestinian camp, I fully agree that our community has proven so far quite incapable to design and implement actions which would convey with greater effectiveness the Israeli/Jewish stand.
    Dvir Abramovich is a nice guy and quite articulate,yet, before getting the cushy job he’s been on for the past few years he was far more active and promoted precisely these kind of much more efficient activities. Writing good stuff is no longer such a great chochma, electronically anyone can put together a text to contain all relevant, salient points. Being sought after by the main media at the crux of the dynamics of events, having that golden opportunity to convey to millions through that media your message, well, THAT is something worth paying someone to be a Director , CEO or any kind of groisse macher !!!
    Who can I name in that class from our seemingly endless list of communal leaders !!!??? A BIG FAT NOBODY, GURNISCHT, AF EHAD, NIKAVO, SENKI, NESSUNO, NIMENI ( just in case yourse guys read Romanian ) !!!!

  2. George Peters says:

    It’s irrelevant whether there is any truth or not to the billboard claim(there is no truth to it). What matters is that there is a relentless propaganda war going on (just watch the evening news with endless photos of dead Gazan children) which the Arabs are clearly winning, in which the Jews – both at a grass roots level, and via their “representative bodies” – are not participating in except by issuing Press Releases which no-one reads.

    Only yesterday a friend of mine called AIJAC to complain – and call for action – about a surprising 30 sec propaganda piece shown in Village Cinemas (“End the blockade” – which really means stop the entry of arms into Gaza) on behalf of “Save the Children Australia”. She was dismissively told by a “Snr Policy Analyst” whom I will not name, that “we write letters”, was not given any credibility, nor taken seriously. And this is a friend with relatives in high places in the Israeli Government (and who said as much to the Snr Policy Analyst: it made no difference).

    All I can say is that this is the persistence of the shtetl mentality of old, of seeking to be accommodating to the “host nations”, to not rock the boat, not want to be seen as a “Pushy Jews” etc. deluded thinking that this is still somehow a useful practice (it may have been when Jews were oppressed minorities in shtetls, but no longer).

    But surely it is clear by now, with this faulty mentality, it doesn’t really matter what Jews do, since the problem is not with the Jew, but with the Other, the non-Jew. There is not, and never was any “Jewish Question”. This was always a psychosis of the Other. This is very well known to all students of Judenhaas).

    No matter how Jews change their behavior, they will not be liked more (or hated less). Indeed, we see this hatred today from London to Sydney and everywhere in between, a hatred at levels unseen for over half a century, or more.
    Clearly the policy of accommodation and passivity is not working.

    Put up our own billboards, for God’s sake! Just for starters!

    The link to the 30 second propaganda piece – that no Jewish body will act on – is below.

  3. Ben Eleijah says:

    Israel controls every aspect of life in the West Bank and occupies large swathes of it in military, agricultural, industrial and housing settlements. Yet, Palestinians live under military rule and do not have citizenship while Jewish settles live under civilian rule and have citizenship.

    • Ben Derusai says:

      This is nonsense … the whole point of the “occupation” is because the Palestinians have never stopped trying to kill Israelis and eradicate Israel from the Middle eastern landscape.

      Palestinians don’t have Israeli citizenship because the intention is that if they gave up their violence and agreed to live peacefully as Israel’s neighbour, they would have Palestinian citizenship.

      Also, the term ‘large swathes’ is loaded with emotion and doesn’t reflect reality.

      Surely the true situation needs to be reflected in any commentary.

      • Ben Eleijah says:

        Try to understand the logic of this statement. Palestinians are blood-thirsty and wish to eradicate Israelis. So Israel expands settlements and places Israelis in the midst of the Palestinians!

        • David Schulberg says:

          So Ben suggests that Israel should have just stayed back behind the border and kept to themselves and then everything would have been OK. This kind of myopic thinking totally overlooks the Palestinian mindset that has existed ever since the Zionists began to arrive in Palestine at the end of the 19th century. It has been non-acceptance from day 1 by their Jew-hating leadership.

Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.