From the Editors
[This article originally appeared in Lohud.com, a New York-based regional publication. The piece asserts that historical representation of the shrinking land mass of Mandate Palestine between 1948 and 2010 is a "distortion" of the facts for failing to explain Israel's reasons for expansion.]
Pro-Palestine billboards recently appearing at Metro-North stations have sparked an outcry among Israel supporters.
The provocative poster depicts a shrinking Palestinian territory and a growing Israel over the years in a series of maps. Under the maps, "Palestinian Loss of Land - 1946 to 2010" is printed in large letters.
Next to the graphic, a message says, "4.7 million Palestinians are classified by the U.N. as refugees."
The signs appear in commercial space atop recycling bins at train station entrances and on train platforms at 50 Metro-North stations.
They were paid for by ex-Wall Street financier Henry Clifford, 84, who now resides in Essex, Conn. He said he financed month-long campaign with $25,000 of his own money.
"I am very critical of what Israel has done to the Palestinian people," said Hill, who chairs the 10-member Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, which also has Jewish members. "I'm very critical of our government for supporting Israel and enabling it."
Scott Richman, director of the American Jewish Congress in Westchester County, blasted the posters as "inflammatory and inaccurate."
"I'm all for free speech, but free speech that misrepresents history helps nobody," he said.
Some Metro-North riders jolted by the signs offered up differing views.
"I'm a big supporter of Israel, so you can take it from there," said Barbara Cinnamon.
Christopher Pagano said he "feels very bad for the Palestinians."
Stand With Us, a non-profit Israel education group, says it will counter the pro-Palestine billboards with an ad campaign of their own immediately after the month is up.
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