CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. A billboard titled "Palestinian Loss of Land - 1946 to 2010" has sparked passionate responses since it was installed at the Chappaqua train station last week.
A poll posted Tuesday on The Chappaqua Daily Voice has received nearly 500 responses, with 83 percent saying the sign should remain up, and 17 percent saying it should come down.
The billboard features four maps of Palestine/Israel from 1946 through 2010 and appears to showcase the expansion of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. The billboard is sponsored by Henry Clifford, who co-chairs the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine (COPIP). The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the billboard is "deliberately misleading and biased."
Clifford, who paid $25,000 for the billboard, told Fox News that theres always room for discussion of different sides of every story, but theres no room for discussion on fact. Anyone who challenges these maps and the content of these ads - its their obligation to show that theyre historically wrong. The ball is in their court.
Here's what readers are saying about the billboard:
- Barbora Weberova: This map shows historical facts; it is accurate. It must not be removed. Rather, people should be encouraged to learn about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. US taxpayers' money enables the continuation of this ethnic cleansing to this very day.
- Deb Raider Notis: It is inciteful and could encourage hate crimes.
- Jane Chesterman Jewell: The truth is ugly. Palestinians have had their land taken away from them, and it continues today. The maps show it very clearly.
- doctoraaron: So what if the billboard is "biased and misleading. (It is.) But it is not "hate speech." It simply reflects a view of history which is different from what some would care to see. Rather than remove such "speech" from the public, we should engage in ongoing dialogue to better understand how history can legitimately be seen differently by different folks.
- bea.dewing: A map is not incitement. It either shows the facts or it doesn't. Taking down the maps won't change the facts. Mr. Clifford is a hero for presenting some very important facts that the US media have suppressed for decades. If Pro-Israeli commuters feel uncomfortable seeing these maps, that means that the facts don't fit in with their Zionist world-view. Americans need to get to know reality, as it is experienced by the rest of the planet. This country is too big and too powerful to be run by ignorance and arrogance. We've done far too much damage already, while telling ourselves we are doing good.
- Barbara DiResto Turitzin: It may disguise itself as an ad for peace, but it is insinuating and offensive.
- Nomorenakba: It would be an example of hateful Nakba denial to take this billboard down as it represents the truth of Palestinian history - that of dispossession. Only when we confront and end the racism and supremacist sense of entitlement that prevents the Palestinian people from going back to their homes will we have peace - a peace with justice. Most likely that would look like a single democratic state with a constitution, (which Israel doesn't have) including an establishment clause and a bill of rights.
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