ONLINE PRESS RELEASES


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


November 29, 2016
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)


SeaMAC and Occupation-Free Portland launch bus ad: Divest From Caterpillar

 

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has launched a new bus ad in Portland, OR in collaboration with Occupation-Free Portland, a coalition of faith, peace, and social justice groups working for human rights, justice, and equality in Israel/Palestine.  The bus ad will run on three Portland Tri-Met buses with the slogan PORTLAND: DIVEST FROM CATERPILLAR - CATERPILLAR VIOLATES HUMAN RIGHTS FROM STANDING ROCK TO PALESTINE. Photo available on request.

On November 30, 2016, Portland City Council will hear testimony from Portland residents who are recommending ten companies to place on Portland’s Do-Not-Buy list for violating the City’s Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) policy . One of the companies recommended  for the Do-Not-Buy list is Caterpillar, Inc., because Caterpillar violates the following six of the seven SRI criteria  that the City Council established. 

  • Environmental concerns 
  • Health concerns including weapons production 
  • Concerns about abusive labor practices 
  • Concerns about corrupt corporate ethics and governance 
  • Concerns about extreme tax avoidance
  • Concerns about impacts on human rights.


Specially-designed Caterpillar D9 bulldozers are responsible for home demolitions that have left tens of thousands of Palestinians homeless. Caterpillar profits from Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinian land, and the company’s practices are in violation of International Law, the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the United Nations Guiding Principles on the Human Rights Responsibilities of Businesses . Caterpillar also is one of the companies that received a very lucrative contract  to dig the Dakota Access Pipeline and has been responsible for desecration of Native American sacred sites. Caterpillar is guilty of major tax avoidance, is anti-union, is a major polluter, and has been involved in constructing a dam in Central America that threatens an indigenous community. Occupation-Free Portland has published a full report full report on Caterpillar’s violations of Portland’s Socially Responsible Investment policy.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State. For more information: SeaMAC.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


August 10, 2016
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)
                Edward Mast       (206) 633-1086 Seattle
                Carla Curio          (206) 450-0706 Seattle


SeaMAC bus ad in San Francisco defends the right to boycott Israel

 

On August 8, Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) launched a new ad on buses in San Francisco with the slogan BOYCOTT ISRAEL UNTIL PALESTINIANS HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS. The bus ad will run for four weeks. Photo available on request.


SeaMAC’s new bus ad also includes the slogan STOP ANTI-BOYCOTT LEGISLATION and features a list of previous social justice boycotts, including boycotts against British tea in 1773, segregated buses in Montgomery in 1956, and South African apartheid from 1959 to 1994.


“Advocates for Israel’s apartheid are trying to persuade state and national legislatures to outlaw the right to boycott against social injustice in Israel,” said Edward Mast, volunteer board member of SeaMAC. “This attack on free speech is one more example of demanding special treatment for the State of Israel.”


Bills and resolutions attempting to outlaw the movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel have been introduced or passed in at least 21 state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently issued an executive order to create a blacklist of institutions or businesses that “engage in or promote” BDS. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Constitutional Rights and other civil liberties organizations are disputing the legality of these bills, resolutions and executive actions.


“The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is gaining momentum,” said Carla Curio, another volunteer board member of SeaMAC. “The government of Israel is frightened enough to spend millions of dollars on false and defamatory PR and propaganda, desperately trying to bully people away from taking citizen action against Israel’s apartheid and ongoing war crimes.”


Although SeaMAC ran the main slogan of this campaign, BOYCOTT ISRAEL UNTIL PALESTINIANS HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS, on buses in Washington, D.C. and three other cities in 2015, the same ad was censored and taken off a billboard in Chicago by Lamar Inc. in early 2016. SeaMAC has also been prevented from running several bus ads critical of Israel in Seattle, even though pro-Israel groups have been allowed to run false, misleading and inflammatory ads on those same King County Metro buses.


SeaMAC’s ad uses the term “apartheid” to refer not only to the West Bank, where Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents, both under the jurisdiction of the Israeli government, live under two separate and unequal sets of laws; but also to the stark inequalities inside Israel itself, where 1.5 million Palestinian citizens are subject to over 50 laws that discriminate against them and in favor of Israeli Jews. The call to boycott Israel is modeled on the boycott campaign against apartheid in old South Africa.


SeaMAC’s website draws attention to ongoing U.S. government support for Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. The U.S. still gives over $3 billion annually to Israel in military aid, as well as political and diplomatic support.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State and as a 501(c)(3) organization under Federal tax code. For more information: SeaMAC.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


February 22, 2016
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)
                Edward Mast       (206) 633-1086 Seattle
                Carla Curio          (206) 450-0706 Seattle
                Hakeem Mshaiel (805) 405-1166 Chicago Hakeemmshaiel@gmail.com


SeaMAC billboard censored in Chicago

 

Less than a day after boasting about their commitment to free speech, Lamar Advertising Company chose to censor a billboard in Chicago by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC). The message on the billboard was BOYCOTT ISRAEL UNTIL PALESTINIANS HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS. Photo of billboard available on request.


On Thursday afternoon 2/18/16, in response to complaints about SeaMAC’s billboard, Lamar posted a statement on their Facebook page saying: “Lamar has been in the billboard business for over 100 years and we have developed a strong commitment to supporting the First Amendment right of advertisers who wish to use our medium to promote legal products and services or to convey noncommercial messages such as the one in Chicago. We do not accept or reject copy based upon agreement or disagreement with the views presented. We think SEAMAC has a right to present their views and would also support the right of those who disagree with SEAMAC.”


On Friday afternoon 2/19/16, Lamar posted that “we have tried to contact SeaMAC to discuss these issues but have not received a reply to our telephone and email messages. Therefore we have decided to remove the SeaMAC copy as soon as possible.”


In fact it was Lamar that was not replying to SeaMAC. “We spent all day Friday trying to reach Lamar both by phone and email. Lamar did not respond, even to tell us they were taking down the billboard,” said Edward Mast, volunteer board member of SeaMAC. “We’re very disturbed at what appears to be a false and flimsy excuse for Lamar to violate its own standards of free speech. As often happens on this issue, Lamar is listening to some voices while ignoring the damage their censorship will do to others in their community.”


By Saturday 2/20/16, the billboard had been taken down. As of Sunday night, Lamar still has not contacted SeaMAC.


“A boycott is a nonviolent response to a system of injustice. All the arguments against the boycott of Israel were also made against the boycott of apartheid in South Africa,” said Carla Curio, another volunteer board member of SeaMAC. “Our billboard calls for equal rights for Palestinians, and many of the complaints we’ve seen have been openly racist in denying that Palestinians or Arabs are deserving of equal human treatment.”


In 2015, SeaMAC ran the same message on public buses in Washington DC, San Francisco, Denver, and Portland OR. The billboard and bus ads are funded by SeaMAC and by local activists and groups in each city. In Chicago, SeaMAC worked with Palestinian Freedom Writers, a group that helps direct humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.


The use of the term “apartheid” about Israel refers not only to the West Bank, where Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents are both under the jurisdiction of the Israeli government and live under two separate and unequal sets of laws, but also to the stark inequalities inside Israel itself, where 1.5 million Palestinians citizens are subject to over 50 laws that discriminate against them and in favor of Israeli Jews. The call to boycott Israel is modeled on the boycott campaign against apartheid in old South Africa.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State and as a 501(c)(3) organization under Federal tax code. For more information: SeaMAC.org


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


February 18, 2016
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)

SeaMAC puts up BOYCOTT ISRAEL billboard in Chicago


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC)** has put up a billboard in Chicago with the slogan BOYCOTT ISRAEL UNTIL PALESTINIANS HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS. The billboard will be up for four weeks. Photo available on request.


“SeaMAC’s message on this billboard combines our ongoing campaign for equal rights with our call for citizen action against continuing Israeli injustices,” said Carla Curio, volunteer board member of SeaMAC.


In 2015, SeaMAC ran the same message on public buses in Washington DC, San Francisco, Denver, and Portland OR. The billboard and bus ads are funded by SeaMAC and by local activists and groups in each city, including Palestinian Freedom Writers, a Chicago-based group that helps direct humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.


Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is currently the major campaign rallying people around the world to stop Israel’s ongoing crimes and apartheid,” said Edward Mast, another volunteer board member of SeaMAC. “BDS is gaining momentum and the Israeli government is frightened enough to spend millions of dollars trying to discredit this international movement for justice.”


The billboard and the bus ads use SeaMAC’s alternate website StopFundingApartheid.org. The website draws attention to ongoing U.S. government support for Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. The U.S. still gives over $3 billion annually to Israel in military aid, as well as political and diplomatic support.


The use of the term “apartheid” about Israel refers not only to the West Bank, where Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents are both under the jurisdiction of the Israeli government but live under two separate and unequal sets of laws; but also to the stark inequalities inside Israel itself, where 1.5 million Palestinians citizens are subject to over 50 laws that discriminate against them and in favor of Israeli Jews. The call to boycott Israel is modeled on the boycott campaign against apartheid in old South Africa.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State and as a 501(c)(3) organization under Federal tax code. For more information: SeaMAC.org


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


May 6, 2015
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)
                Edward Mast (Seattle)
                Carla Curio (Seattle)
                Mai Abdul-Rahman (Washington DC)
                Paul Larudee (San Francisco)
                Beth Daoud (Denver)
                Rod Such (Portland)


New SeaMAC bus ad runs in four cities nationwide

 

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has started running a new bus ad with the slogan BOYCOTT ISRAEL UNTIL PALESTINIANS HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS. The ad will run for four weeks on public buses in Washington DC, San Francisco, Denver, and Portland OR. Photo available on request. The ads are funded by SeaMAC and by local groups in each city.


“SeaMAC has planned this ad for some time, but we’re glad it’s coming out now as a response to attempts by the Israeli government and the U.S. government to criminalize free speech and the boycott campaign against Israel’s apartheid regime,” said Carla Curio, volunteer board member of SeaMAC.


“The fact that Israel’s government is spending millions of dollars in the attempt to discredit the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign shows how frightened they are of the campaign,” said Edward Mast, another volunteer board member of SeaMAC. “BDS is gaining momentum and is currently the major campaign rallying people around the world to stop Israel’s ongoing crimes and apartheid.”


Israel’s high court recently affirmed a controversial law making it illegal to advocate for boycott of Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank. The U.S. Congress is also considering a bill that would pressure the European Union (EU) to roll back recent steps that oppose Israel’s settlements.


SeaMAC is working with local groups in each of the four cities where the bus ad is running, including No Tax Dollars To Israel in San Francisco; Middle East Peace Project and Front Range Jewish Voice for Peace in Denver and Colorado Springs; Jewish Voice for Peace - Portland, Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, and Tree of Life Educational Project - West Coast in Portland; and DC Riders for Peace, Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace, Jewish Voice for Peace - DC Metro, Code Pink, Sabeel DC Metro, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, Peace Action Montgomery, DC Statehood Green Party, Palestine Work Group, and Washington D.C. al-Quds Committee.


“We’re also glad to be able to launch this major national campaign while continuing the legal battle against discrimination and censorship of our message in Seattle and King County,” added Curio.


SeaMAC’s first 2010 bus ad, with the slogan ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK, was approved, paid for, and printed to run on King County Metro buses before being censored by King County. ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for that 2010 rejection. A three-judge panel of The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld King County’s decision to censor SeaMAC’s 2010 bus ad. Last week, ACLU and SeaMAC announced that they will appeal that decision to an “en banc” panel of eleven Ninth Circuit judges.


The new bus ad campaign uses SeaMAC’s alternate website StopFundingApartheid.org. The website draws attention to ongoing U.S. government support for Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights. The U.S. still gives over $3 billion annually to Israel in military aid, as well as political, diplomatic and military support.


The use of the term “apartheid” about Israel refers not only to the West Bank, where Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents are both under the jurisdiction of the Israeli government but live under two separate and unequal sets of laws; but also to the stark inequalities inside Israel itself, where 1.5 million Palestinians citizens are subject to over 50 laws that discriminate against them and in favor of Israeli Jews.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated in Washington State. For more information: SeaMAC.org


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


May 1, 2015
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)
                Edward Mast (206) 633-1086
                Carla Curio (206) 450-0706


SeaMAC will continue legal challenge against King County censorship of Metro bus ad

 

ACLU-Washington will continue to represent Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) in SeaMAC's lawsuit against King County for censoring SeaMAC's bus ad in 2010. On March 18, a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a federal district court's decision to dismiss SeaMAC's lawsuit. The plaintiffs will now petition for an "en banc" hearing by a panel of eleven judges from the Ninth Circuit Court. If the en banc panel overturns the previous decisions, the Court will either direct a verdict for plaintiff (or defendants) or the lawsuit will go back to the trial court to be heard before a jury.


"Other cities are running SeaMAC's same bus ad, so our campaign is moving forward nationally, with or without Seattle or King County," said Carla Curio, volunteer board member of SeaMAC, "but as Seattle residents we need to keep taking action against the apparent license being given to King County to discriminate against our viewpoint and message."


SeaMAC is currently running a version of the same bus ad in Washington, D.C., and has recently run the same ad in Portland, Denver and San Francisco. (Photos of the original SeaMAC bus ad and the current SeaMAC bus ad are available on request.)


SeaMAC's 2010 bus ad, with the slogan ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK, was approved, paid for, and printed to run in Seattle on King County Metro buses before being censored by King County on December 23, 2010. A federal district court judge in Seattle dismissed SeaMAC's lawsuit against King County in 2011. SeaMAC appealed the dismissal, and the appeal was argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 3, 2012. The three-judge panel took 30 months and then reached a decision by a 2-1 majority, with a strong dissenting opinion from the minority judge that stated "The court's opinion suggests the government may open and shut a forum, willy-nilly, in response to public uproar . . . . Granting the government license to close a forum it previously made open in response to such outcry confers broad power on hecklers to stamp out protected speech they find objectionable."


The language of the bus ad was chosen to reflect the fact that investigations by Amnesty International, the United Nations and others have found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel during repeated assaults on Gaza. Other war crimes have been documented during Israel's long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated in Washington State. More information: SeaMAC.org


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


April 9, 2015
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)


Censored Seattle bus ad runs in Washington, D.C.

 

ISRAEL’S WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK is the slogan on the bus ad by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) that has started a four-week run on ten buses in Washington, D.C. Photo available on request. This campaign in the nation’s capital began less than a month after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld King County Metro’s decision to censor the same bus ad in Seattle.


“King County’s discrimination against our message becomes more obvious each time another city successfully runs SeaMAC’s bus ad,” said Edward Mast, volunteer board member of SeaMAC.


The ads have recently run on buses in San Francisco, Denver and Portland OR in partnership with local organizations in those cities.


For the current campaign, SeaMAC is partnering with a large number of Washington, D.C. area groups, including DC Riders for Peace, Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace, US Palestinian Community Network, Jewish Voice for Peace - DC Metro Chapter, Code Pink, Sabeel DC Metro, Northern Virginia for Peace and Justice, Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace, Peace Action Montgomery, DC Statehood Green Party, DC Metro Science for the People, Palestine Work Group, and Washington D.C. al-Quds Committee.


The Washington, D.C. campaign is running during tax season to emphasize that the U.S. government still gives several billion dollars each year to Israel, as well as diplomatic, political and military support, despite the U.S. government’s stated recognition that many of Israel’s policies and actions are illegal and dangerous to world peace and U.S. interests.


SeaMAC’s 2010 bus ad, with the slogan ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK, was approved, paid for, and printed to run in Seattle on King County Metro buses before being censored by King County on December 23, 2010. ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for that rejection and censorship. A federal judge in Seattle dismissed SeaMAC’s lawsuit in 2011. SeaMAC appealed the dismissal, and the appeal was argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 3, 2012. 30 months later, on March 18, 2015, Ninth Circuit Court upheld the federal judge’s decision to dismiss SeaMAC’s lawsuit.


The three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court reached the decision by a 2-1 majority. The decision includes a statement by the dissenting judge which states, among other arguments, that “The court’s opinion suggests the government may open and shut a forum, willy-nilly, in response to public uproar—a particularly dangerous precedent in light of modern technology. Emails, text messages, and tweets can zing through the airwaves to and from countless devices in a matter of seconds . . . . Granting the government license to close a forum it previously made open in response to such outcry confers broad power on hecklers to stamp out protected speech they find objectionable.”


SeaMAC and ACLU are considering next steps and options in response to the Court’s decision.



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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


March 18, 2015
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)


Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules against free speech on Israel/Palestine

 

After thirty months of deliberation, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a federal trial court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) against King County for censoring SeaMAC’s bus ad in 2010.


“We’re disturbed that the Court has decided in favor of King County’s choice to shut out opposing viewpoints on Israel/Palestine,” said SeaMAC volunteer board member Carla Curio. “By censoring dialogue on the topic, King County was not being neutral but was actually supporting the status quo of Israel’s ongoing military occupation and apartheid by preventing education that could bring about change.”


SeaMAC’s 2010 bus ad, with the slogan ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK, was approved, paid for, and printed to run in Seattle on King County Metro buses before being censored by King County on December 23, 2010. ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for that rejection and censorship. A federal judge in Seattle dismissed SeaMAC’s lawsuit in 2011. SeaMAC appealed the dismissal, and the appeal was argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 3, 2012.


The three-judge panel reached the decision by a 2-1 majority. The decision includes a statement by the dissenting judge which states, among other arguments, that “The court’s opinion suggests the government may open and shut a forum, willy-nilly, in response to public uproar—a particularly dangerous precedent in light of modern technology. Emails, text messages, and tweets can zing through the airwaves to and from countless devices in a matter of seconds, generating scores of impetuous responses just as fast. Given today’s modern and often anonymous communication technology, public outcry can be frequent and fleeting. Granting the government license to close a forum it previously made open in response to such outcry confers broad power on hecklers to stamp out protected speech they find objectionable.”


SeaMAC volunteer Edward Mast said “Not only does the Court’s decision encourage hecklers to suppress free speech by making lots of noise, but the Court simply ignores factual disputes in the case. In particular, the Court seem to accept King County’s unproven assertion that supposed threats of disruption were credible, even though King County took no legal or law enforcement action to respond to any of the supposed threats and did not treat any of them as credible at the time.”


Recently, SeaMAC has run a version of the same bus ad without incident in Portland, Denver and San Francisco.

SeaMAC and ACLU are considering next steps and options.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


February 5, 2015
Contact:  press@seamac.org (Seattle)
                inquiries@notaxdollarstoisrael.com (San Francisco)


San Francisco runs SeaMAC bus ad that was censored in Seattle

 

San Francisco is now the third city to run the bus ads created by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) with the slogan ISRAEL’S WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK. Photo available on request. The ads have recently run on buses in Portland and Denver in partnership with local organizations in those cities.


For the San Francisco bus ads, SeaMAC has partnered with No Tax Dollars To Israel, a local Bay Area organization that has previously run other bus ads in Denver and Sacramento as well as San Francisco.


“Israel’s attacks on Palestinian civilians in Gaza last summer made this message necessary again,” said SeaMAC volunteer board member Edward Mast. “Now Israel is trying to sabotage the International Criminal Court rather than allow investigations into those crimes, so more and more people are finding this ad urgent and timely.”


During Israel’s 2014 assault on the captive population of Gaza, Israel’s forces bombed schools, hospitals, UN-designated shelters, Gaza’s only power plant, and Gaza’s water purification system. More than 2000 Palestinians, mostly civilians and including over 500 children, were killed during the fifty days of Israel’s assault. The assault has left many people in Gaza without electricity or heat this winter.


The International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched a preliminary investigation into Israel’s alleged war crimes. Israel has taken steps to undermine and delegitimize the ICC in various ways, including asking European governments to withdraw funding for the ICC.


SeaMAC’s original 2010 version of the ad was approved, paid for, and printed to run in Seattle on King County Metro buses before being censored by King County. ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for that 2010 rejection. The parties are currently awaiting an opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in that matter, which has been pending for over two years.


The current bus ad uses SeaMAC’s alternate website StopFundingApartheid.org. Both the main slogan and the website draw attention to ongoing U.S. government support for Israel’s violations of human rights. The U.S. still gives over $3 billion annually to Israel in military aid, as well as political, diplomatic and military support.


The use of the term “apartheid” about Israel refers not only to the West Bank, where Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents are both under the jurisdiction of the Israeli government but live under two separate and unequal sets of laws; but also to the stark inequalities inside Israel itself, where 1.5 million Palestinians citizens are subject to over 50 laws that discriminate against them and in favor of Israeli Jews.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is a tax-exempt corporation in Washington State and No Tax Dollars To Israel is a tax-exempt corporation in California.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


December 18, 2014
Contact:  press@seamac.org   


Another city runs SeaMAC bus ad that was censored in Seattle

 

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) is running an ad on Denver RTD buses with the slogan ISRAEL’S WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK. Photo available on request.The ads will run for four weeks and are also funded by Denver groups Coloradans for Justice in Palestine and Friends of Sabeel - Colorado.


The ad campaign in Denver is timed to mark December 27, 2008, the date that Israel began Operation Cast Lead, one of its largest military assaults on Gaza. Operation Cast Lead left 1400 Palestinians dead, most of them non-combatants and more than 300 of them children.


“December 27 was also the start date in 2010 we had scheduled for our original bus ads in Seattle before they were censored,” said Carla Curio, volunteer board member with SeaMAC. “We were marking two years after the start of Operation Cast Lead, which we might have hoped would be Israel’s worst violence against the captive population of Gaza. But Israel’s attacks on Gaza have never stopped, and Israel’s increased violence in Operation Protective Edge this last summer made it urgent to find a way to run this message again,”


During the fifty days of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, Israel bombed schools, hospitals, UN-designated shelters, Gaza’s only power plant, and Gaza’s water purification system. More than 2000 Palestinians were killed, mostly civilians and including over 500 children.


SeaMAC’s original 2010 ad, which used the word “Israeli” instead of “Israel’s”, was approved, paid for, and printed to run on King County Metro buses before being censored by King County. ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for that 2010 rejection. The parties are currently awaiting an opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in that matter, which has been pending for over two years.


The current bus ad also ran in Portland in October of this year. Both the Portland and Denver ads use SeaMAC’s alternate website StopFundingApartheid.org. Both the main slogan and the website draw attention to ongoing U.S. government support for Israel’s violations of human rights. The U.S. still gives over $3 billion annually to Israel in military aid, as well as political, diplomatic and military support.


The use of the term “apartheid” about Israel refers not only to the West Bank, where Israeli Jewish settlers and Palestinian residents are both under the jurisdiction of the Israeli government but live under two separate and unequal sets of laws; but also to the stark inequalities inside Israel itself, where 1.5 million Palestinians citizens are subject to over 50 laws that discriminate against them and in favor of Israeli Jews.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is incorporated in Washington State.


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For PDF version click here


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


February 20, 2014
Contact: Edward Mast (206) 633-1086
               Carla Curio (206) 450-0706
               Peter Lippman (206) 285-2154
               press@seamac.org   


SeaMac launches new ad campaign in honor of Nelson Mandela

 

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC), in collaboration with Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC), has launched a new ad on King County Metro buses this week in honor of Nelson Mandela. The bus ad is timed to coincide with Israeli Apartheid Week at universities in the United States and around the world.


Alongside a picture of Nelson Mandela, the bus ad quotes what Mandela said in 1997: "Our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians." The ads will run on four buses for four weeks. Photo available on request.


Nelson Mandela was one of many South African activists who have stated that Palestinians under Israel’s occupation live in conditions as bad or worse than those of the black majority in old South Africa under apartheid. In April 2010, Desmond Tutu wrote "I have been to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”


SeaMAC board member Ruth McRee says “Some people deny that Israel is an apartheid state because about 20% of Palestinians under Israel’s control are allowed to vote and have some other civil rights. If old South Africa had allowed only 20% of the black majority to vote, would we have said that Apartheid had ended?”


Inside Israel, over a million Palestinians citizens are subject to over 50 laws that discriminate against them and in favor of Israeli Jews. Most prominently, Israel’s Law of Return allows anyone who is Jewish to become an instant citizen of Israel, no matter where they are from; while many Palestinians in exile are not allowed to return to Israel even if they were born there. In the West Bank, Palestinians live under Israeli military law and are not allowed to vote in Israel’s elections, while Israeli Jewish settlers live under Israeli civil law and do vote in Israel’s elections.


Press packet available on request.


The bus ad will run during Israeli Apartheid Week, an international series of events that seeks to raise awareness about Israel’s apartheid policies towards the Palestinians. Dates for Israeli Apartheid Week in the U.S. are February 24 through March 2. Local Seattle actions during that week will include:


  • Palestine Solidarity Committee will hold a demonstration outside Bartell Drugs on March 1 to demand that Bartell stop selling the Israeli settlement product SodaStream.

  • Antioch University will have free educational sessions and films, plus a mock Israeli checkpoint, Feb. 25-27.

  • Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights (SUPER-UW) will have a mock Israeli Apartheid Wall in Red Square at the University of Washington M-F, 11-1,


SeaMAC’s bus ad also references the recent decision by the United Nations General Assembly to declare 2014 the Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) continues to launch new ads despite recent censorship and unequal treatment by King County.


In December 2010, King County Metro refused to run a SeaMAC ad which called attention to Israeli war crimes committed against Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, despite the fact that these crimes were documented by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Red Cross. ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for that 2010 rejection. The parties are currently awaiting an opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in that matter.


King County Metro more recently ran an ad from the American Freedom Defense Initiative that made false accusations against Palestinians. King County later rejected another ad from SeaMAC about Israel’s segregated roads, even though SeaMAC provided supporting documentation from the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.


The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State and as a 501 (c)(3) organization under Federal tax code.


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


October 23rd, 2013
Contact: Edward Mast (206) 633-1086
               Carla Curio (206) 450-0706
               press@seamac.org   


KING COUNTY METRO REJECTS ANOTHER SEAMAC BUS AD

 
King County Metro has rejected another proposed bus ad from Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC). The ad featured a photo of a Palestinian who lives in the Occupied West Bank, and said “I’M NOT ALLOWED ON ISRAEL’S SEGREGATED ROADS”. Below that was the slogan “Equal Rights for Palestinians.” (Photo of the proposed ad is available on request.)

“King County Metro continues to discriminate, to violate their own rules, and to apply their standards unequally. They accept false accusations against Palestinians from a known hate group, but fact-based criticisms of Israeli government policy are repeatedly rejected,” says SeaMAC’s Carla Curio.

SeaMAC submitted the ad to King County Metro on August 7, 2013. On September 8, King County Metro asked SeaMAC “to provide supporting documentation for the assertion of the existence of ‘Israel’s segregated roads.’” SeaMAC complied immediately, sending factual reports from B'Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, The United Nations (page 58: A road network primarily for Israeli use), and Human Rights Watch (page 14: Freedom of Movement). A month later, on October 8, SeaMAC was finally informed that the ad was rejected. Despite the clear factual evidence documenting the assertion in the ad, King County Metro’s rejection cited several sections of King County Metro’s advertising guidelines: 6.2.4 False or Misleading. 6.2.8 Demeaning or Disparaging. 6.2.9 Harmful or Disruptive to Transit System.

King County Metro recently accepted and ran an ad from the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) that made false, misleading and very serious accusations about Palestinians. King County Metro apparently accepted non-factual opinion articles from AFDI as documentation to support the false accusations made in their ad. SeaMAC provided King County with documentation that disproved the accusations on the AFDI, but King County continued to run the ad on King County buses.

In December 2010, King County Metro refused to run a SeaMAC ad which called attention to Israeli war crimes committed against Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, despite the fact that these crimes were documented by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Red Cross. ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for that 2010 rejection. The parties are currently awaiting an opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in that matter.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


July 17th, 2013
Contact: Edward Mast (206) 633-1086
               Carla Curio (206) 450-0706
               press@seamac.org   


KING COUNTY METRO PLANS TO RUN HATE GROUP’S FALSE BUS AD

 
The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has notified King County Metro that an ad scheduled to run on King County buses contains false and misleading statements. The bus ad, paid for by the notorious Pamela Geller and her Islamophobic organization The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), reads “The Palestinian Authority Is Calling for a Jew-Free State - Equal Rights for Jews” and is both false and misleading, which violates Section 6.2.4 of Metro’s advertising policy guidelines.

The planned ad mimics and uses the same background as SeaMAC’s recent bus ad which said EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS - THE WAY TO PEACE. “We support equal rights for all people,” says Carla Curio, SeaMAC volunteer, “but this new ad from AFDI is not just calling for equal rights for Jews. It also has fraudulent statements about Palestinians.”

The statement about the Palestinian Authority in the planned ad is contradicted by numerous statements made over the years by representatives of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Most recently, Mahmoud Habbash, the Palestinian minister of religious affairs, told Politico that a future Palestinian state “will be open to all its citizens, regardless of their religion. We want a civil state, which in it live all the faiths, Muslim, Christian and Jews. . . .”

Some Israeli officials have tried to insist that a Palestinian state should contain military posts for Israeli soldiers and even special settlements for Israeli settlers with special rights and privileges. Palestinian officials have stated that this is not acceptable, and the misleading ad distorts this into something that does not represent any policy of the Palestinian Authority.

The planned ad falsely suggests that Palestinians are the persecutors. In fact, the Palestinian people are currently stateless with 4 million Palestinians living under an Israeli military occupation, more than 1.5 million Palestinians living in Israel as second-class citizens denied equal rights, and millions of other Palestinians still living in refugee camps and denied the right to return to their homes.

This is not the first time that Pamela Geller has made false statements meant to incite hatred toward other people and religions. The respected Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, has profiled both Geller and her fellow co-founder of the AFDI, David Yerushalmi. The Center called Geller the “anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant figurehead.” Geller has claimed that President Barack Obama is the “love child” of the late Malcolm X. In April 2010 she accused the President of having “Islamic overlords” and of wanting “jihad to win.” She has slandered the religion of Islam as the “most radical and extreme ideology on the face of the Earth” and has accused black South Africans of conducting a “genocide” against white South Africans. Similarly, the Law Center has noted Yerushalmi’s blatantly racist statements and calls for violence. In 2007 Yerushalmi called for “WAR AGAINST ISLAM and all Muslim faithful” and referred to blacks as “the most murderous of peoples.”

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) demands to know why King County Metro has accepted a false and misleading ad from a known hate group, while censoring fact-based ads on the same topic. In December 2010, King County Metro refused to run a SeaMAC ad which called attention to Israeli war crimes committed against Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, despite the fact that these crimes were documented by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Red Cross.

In censoring SeaMAC’s fact-based, well-documented ad and then accepting the current ad with its baseless accusation, King County and King County Metro are demonstrating unequal treatment and discrimination.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


May 7th, 2013
Contact: Edward Mast press@seamac.org (206) 633-1086   


More cities join SeaMAC's Equal Rights bus ad campaign, while Seattle protests the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

 
Palestine: Stolen Homeland
Sunday May 12, 2013
12:00-5:00 PM
Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine downtown Seattle

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has started running its bus ad campaign EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS: THE WAY TO PEACE in Bellevue, Redmond, and Kirkland this week. Those ads began on May 1 and will run on six buses for four weeks, along with ads on six buses in Seattle at the same time. The Equal Rights ads are also running on buses in Port Angeles and Clallam County, and have appeared in buses and newspapers in Tacoma and Olympia.

Photos available on request; also at www.seamac.org.

SeaMAC will also cosponsor Palestine: Stolen Homeland, a theatrical installation of over 100 small tents inscribed with the names of Palestinian villages destroyed in 1948. The display will commemorate and protest the events of 1947-9, when two-thirds of the Palestinian people were forcibly displaced and over 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed. The new state of Israel created laws to prevent the return of those Palestinians after the war, and now Palestinians are one of the largest and longest-suffering refugee populations in the world. To describe these events, Palestinians use the word “Nakba” which means “catastrophe.”

In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has described the events of 1947-9 as "a crime against humanity that Israel has wanted to deny and cause the world to forget." Pappe also observes that Palestinians in the West Bank and Greater Jerusalem are undergoing ethnic cleansing today, as Israel continues to drive them out to make room for more Israeli settlers.

PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND is organized by Palestine Solidarity Committee, Voices of Palestine, and Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign.

To observe Mothers Day -- originally an anti-war holiday -- PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND will also include a booth for MOTHERS AGAINST ETHNIC CLEANSING.

For more information about Palestine: Stolen Homeland, contact info@palestineinformation.org .

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Bus Ad




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Bus Ad

March 14th, 2013
Contact: press@seamac.org   


Equal Rights campaign extends another month in Seattle and moves to Olympia and Tacoma

 
Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign’s ad, “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS: THE WAY TO PEACE”, will stay on King County Metro buses for at least four more weeks. The campaign was originally scheduled to run for one month only, but donations from the community have made it possible to extend the campaign twice now. The ad calls for an end to segregation, apartheid, and discrimination against Palestinians by Israel.

At the same time, local groups in both Olympia and Tacoma are taking the campaign to those cities. In Tacoma and Pierce County, the local chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace will run SeaMAC’s Equal Rights ad for several weeks in The News Tribune, and Tacoma Friends of SeaMAC will run the ad in The Tacoma Weekly this week.

In Olympia, the Rachel Corrie Foundation will run SeaMAC’s Equal Rights ad as an interior display on twelve Intercity Transit buses for four weeks.

Photo available on request.

SeaMAC’s Equal Rights ads in all three cities are timed to coincide with important March events:

OLYMPIA, MARCH 14-16:
March 16th will mark the 10th anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie in Gaza by an Israeli soldier who was driving a Caterpillar bulldozer. Rachel Corrie was standing in protection of a Palestinian home that was threatened with demolition by the Israeli military. According to the U.S. State Department, the State of Israel has yet to investigate this killing in a way that is “thorough, credible and transparent”.
Olympia will mark this anniversary with several events.
Thursday March 14, 4:00-5:30 PM: LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING
Take a Stand for Justice: Rachel Corrie - 10 Years
Columbia Room at the State Capitol (Legislative Building)
Speakers include former Congressman Brian Baird, Phyllis Bennis, Cindy & Craig Corrie
Friday, March 15th, 6:30-8:30 PM: FILM SCREENING
Where Should the Birds Fly? documentary about Israel’s assault on Gaza, 2008-9
Olympia Film Society at Capitol Theater, 206 5th Avenue SE
Saturday, March 16th, 1:00-9:00 PM: RALLY AND GATHERING
Rally at Sylvester Park, and music, dance, food, remembrance at the Olympia Ballroom;
Phyllis Bennis, Ramzy Baroud, music by House of Tarab, David Rovics and Batiste Dabke.
http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/ or contact Jen Martinez jen@rachelcorriefoundation.org (360) 754-3998

Tacoma Friends of SeaMAC will also run memorial notices for Rachel Corrie in The News Tribune and The Peninsula Gateway.

SEATTLE, MARCH 30:
On Saturday March 30, local activists will march with music and dance through downtown Seattle as part of an International Day of Action for BDS: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel until Israel complies with international laws and allows equal rights for Palestinians. March 30 is also Land Day, the anniversary of the day in 1976 when six Israeli Palestinians were shot and killed by the Israeli army during non-violent protests against the confiscation of Palestinian land (see www.haaretz.com/opinion/why-land-day-still-matters-1.421606 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_Day).
The March 30 procession will begin at 1:00 pm at Westlake Park, 4th and Pine in downtown Seattle. Sponsoring organizations include the Northwest BDS Coalition and Palestine Solidarity Committee - Seattle.

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SEAMAC) is incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State and as a 501 (c)(3) organization under Federal tax code.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


January 18, 2013
Contact: press@seamac.org   


SeaMAC launches Equal Rights ad campaign on King County Metro buses

 
Bus Ad


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has launched new ads on King County Metro buses calling for an end to segregation, apartheid, and discrimination against Palestinians by Israel. 

Timed to coincide with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, the ads have the slogan “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS: The Way To Peace”. They will will run on twelve buses for at least four weeks. Photo available on request.  

Israel has separate sets of laws, rights and opportunities for Israeli Jews and non-Jews. Palestinians in Israel’s Occupied Territories are denied basic political, voting and civil rights, and even Palestinians who are citizens of Israel are subject to segregation and discrimination inside Israel itself. Israel’s declaration of independence makes reference to equality, but Israel’s Basic Laws contain provisions denying equal status to non-Jews.

“Equality for all people is the necessary first step toward peace. As long as Israel maintains its system of special privilege for Jews and persecution for Palestinians and others, there will be conflict.” says SeaMAC volunteer Peter Lippman.

“Calling for equal rights may seem simple, but real equal rights would require foundational change for the State of Israel,” adds SeaMAC Board Member Carla Curio.

The US gives several billion dollars of military aid to Israel each year, plus political, diplomatic and military support, in spite of US laws forbidding such aid to any country that has a consistent record of gross violations of human rights.

SeaMAC continues to pursue a lawsuit against King County for censoring SeaMAC’s Metro bus ad campaign launched in December 2010, “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK,” which was approved, accepted, printed, then cancelled by King County. With legal representation by the ACLU, SeaMAC has filed an appeal to overturn a recent dismissal of the lawsuit.  

SeaMAC has also been running a series of print ads exposing Israel’s ongoing discrimination and war crimes against Palestinians. The complete series of SeaMAC ads is available at www.SeaMAC.org.

Press packet available on request.

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State and as a 501 (c)(3) organization under Federal tax code.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



9/27/12
Contact:  Ed Mast,   press@Stop30Billion.org    (206) 633-1086


Appeals court to hear SeaMAC lawsuit over King County’s refusal to run Metro bus ads

 
On October 3, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) lawsuit over King County’s cancellation of a contract with SeaMAC to run ads on Metro buses. The hearing will take place at Gonzaga University School of Law, Barbieri Courtroom, 721 North Cincinnati Street, in Spokane beginning at 1:00 pm. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington is representing SeaMAC in the suit.
 
The bus ads, reading “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work,” were examined, approved, and accepted by King County and Metro officials. SeaMAC signed a contract and paid the full cost in advance, and the ads were printed and scheduled to run for four weeks starting on December 27, 2010. The date was chosen because it was the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week military offensive against the captive population of Gaza in 2008-09, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians -- most of them non-combatants and more than 300 of them children.
 
The language of the ad was chosen to reflect the fact that investigations by Amnesty International, the United Nations and others found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel during the assault on Gaza. Other war crimes have been documented during Israel’s long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.  

At the last minute, on December 23, 2010, King County reversed course, cancelled the contract, and refused to run the ads. Filed in U.S. District Court in January 2011, the lawsuit (SeaMAC v. King County) asserts that King County’s action violated SeaMAC’s First Amendment right of free expression and seeks to have the court order the ads to run on Metro buses, as originally approved. A trial in the case had been scheduled to begin on October 31, 2011, but a District Court judge granted King County’s motion for summary judgment and on October 10, 2011 dismissed the case.  

The plaintiffs will ask the Court to reverse this decision. If the Court of Appeals overturns the lower court’s decision, the Court will either direct a verdict for plaintiff (or defendants) or the lawsuit will go back to the trial court to be heard before a jury. After the hearing, there is no deadline for a Court of Appeals ruling, and it typically takes 90 days or longer to reach a decision. 
 
Photo of original SeaMAC bus ad available on request.  

Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated in Washington State. For more information: http://www.SeaMAC.org 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Contact:  Peter Lippman,   press@SeaMAC.org    (206) 285-2154


MORE BILLBOARDS CENSORED

 
In a disturbing repeat of Seattle events, twenty-three billboards in Los Angeles calling for an end to US military aid to Israel were first put up, then censored and taken down.
 
On June 11, the New Mexico-based Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel had twenty-three billboards erected in Los Angeles and surrounding cities with the message "Tell Congress: Spend our Money at Home, Not on the Israeli Military" over an American flag background. The billboards were contracted to run for four weeks. Photo at www.stop30billion.org
 
Just one week later the billboard company--CBS Outdoor, a subsidiary of CBS Corporation-- took all the billboards down. The billboard company said they were canceling the contract and refunding the money because "your organization has used the ‘CBS Outdoor’ name without permission" in email messages and in a petition thanking CBS for putting up the billboards in the first place.  

A similar campaign by local Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) was censored in almost exactly the same way in April 2011. One week after several billboards went up in the Seattle area with the slogan “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS – Stop Funding the Israeli Military”, Clear Channel Outdoor, the billboard company, announced that it was canceling the contract and taking the billboards down. At the time, Olivia Lippens, president of local Clear Channel, confirmed that objections from unnamed “groups and individuals” caused Clear Channel to “re-evaluate”.  

Earlier, in December 2010, SeaMAC's Metro bus ad campaign, "ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: Your Tax Dollars at Work" was approved, accepted, and printed by King County Metro, but King County then censored those ads and refused to honor the signed contract with SeaMAC. ACLU continues to represent SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for breach of contract and violation of First Amendment rights.  

“We are concerned by the apparent nationwide campaign to deny human rights organizations the right to air our views in the public arena”, said SeaMAC volunteer Ed Mast. “And we’re very disturbed that those individuals and groups that oppose equal rights and human rights for Palestinians have such power over both public and private media organizations.”  

SeaMAC continues to plan further public advertising campaigns while pursuing the lawsuit against King County.
 
MORE INFORMATION AND PHOTOS:

Los Angeles ads:
http://stop30billion.org
or
http://mondoweiss.net/2012/06/stop-30-billion-campaign-plasters-los-angeles-with-billboards.html

Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel:
Jeff Warner, (526) 694-1637, PatnJeff@Keyway.net
Susan Schuurman, (505) 702-4203, SusanJSchuurman@Gmail.com

Seattle billboards, bus ads, and print ads:
http://www.SeaMAC.org
press@SeaMAC.org
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Contact:          press@SeaMAC.org

Ed Mast    (206) 633-1086


Ad campaign and public display event to protest ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians

 

Palestine: Stolen Homeland

Sunday May 13, 2012

12:00 - 5:00 pm

Westlake Plaza, 4th & Pine downtown Seattle


Music, cultural displays, and a theatrical installation of over 100 small tents inscribed with the names of destroyed Palestinian villages will commemorate and protest the events of 1947-9, when two-thirds of the Palestinian people were forcibly displaced and over 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed. The new state of Israel created laws to prevent the return of those Palestinians after the war, and now Palestinians are one of the largest and longest-suffering refugee populations in the world. To describe these events, Palestinians use the word “Nakba” which means “catastrophe.”
 
In his book The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has described the events of 1947-9 as "a crime against humanity that Israel has wanted to deny and cause the world to forget." Pappe also observes that Palestinians in the West Bank and Greater Jerusalem are undergoing ethnic cleansing today, as Israel continues to drive them out to make room for more Israeli settlers.
 
Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign has launched a four-week campaign of print ads in The Stranger to increase public awareness of Israel's ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing against Palestinians. For the complete series of ads, visit www.SeaMAC.org.  

Israel controls the lives of over five million Palestinians, most of whom are denied basic civil and human rights. The US gives several billion dollars of military aid to Israel each year, and in 2009 promised $30 billion in aid over the following ten years. Over a thousand Palestinian prisoners have joined a mass hunger strike against mistreatment of Palestinians inside Israeli prisons, and in particular against the Israeli practice of administrative detention whereby Palestinians are imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial.  

PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND is organized by Palestine Solidarity Committee, Voices of Palestine, and Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign. The event will take place rain or shine, with covered areas in case of rain.  

To observe Mothers Day -- originally an anti-war holiday -- PALESTINE: STOLEN HOMELAND will also include a booth for MOTHERS AGAINST ETHNIC CLEANSING.  

Photos of the Nakba display or SeaMAC's ads are available on request.
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Contact:          press@SeaMAC.org

Peter Lippman    (206) 285-2154

Ed Mast    (206) 633-1086

Carla Curio  (206) 450-0706


SeaMAC launches new ad campaign on King County Metro buses

 
Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has launched new ads on King County Metro buses as part of a continuing effort to expose the misuse of U.S. taxpayer money to support Israel’s ongoing discrimination against the Palestinian people.
 
With the slogan “I’M A PALESTINIAN – EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL”, the ads will run on twelve buses for the next four weeks. Photo available on request.
 
SeaMAC’s new ad campaign is also part of Israeli Apartheid Week, February 27-March 2. Local Israeli Apartheid Week events are being held at the University of Washington, Antioch University and Seattle University. Visit http://seattle.apartheidweek.org/ for information.
 
“Palestinians want equal rights,” says Carla Curio, volunteer with SeaMAC. “Israel’s discrimination and apartheid are basic causes of the ongoing conflict. Equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis will be the foundation of a just peace.”
 
Israel controls the lives of over five million Palestinians, most of whom have neither voting rights, political rights nor civil rights. Israel has separate sets of laws, rights and opportunities for Israeli Jews and non-Jews. Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are denied basic civil rights. Palestinians citizens of Israel are subject to segregation and discrimination, with central provisions of Israel’s Basic Law explicitly denying equal status to non-Jews.
 
The US gives several billion dollars of military aid to Israel each year, plus political, diplomatic and military support, in spite of US laws forbidding such aid to any country that has a consistent record of gross violations of human rights.
 
SeaMAC designed the new ads to fit King County Metro’s revised and restricted advertising policy. SeaMAC continues to pursue a lawsuit against King County for censoring SeaMAC’s Metro bus ad campaign launched last December, “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK,” which was approved, accepted, printed, then cancelled by King County. With legal representation by the ACLU, SeaMAC has filed an appeal to overturn a recent dismissal of the lawsuit.
 
SeaMAC has also been running a series of print ads exposing Israel’s ongoing discrimination and war crimes against Palestinians. The complete series of SeaMAC ads is available at www.SeaMAC.org.
 
Press packet available on request.
 
The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Washington State and as a 501 (c)(3) organization under Federal tax code.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


December 28, 2011


Contact:          press@SeaMAC.org

Carla Curio  (206) 450-0706

Peter Lippman    (206) 285-2154


SEAMAC BRINGS BACK ISRAELI WAR CRIMES AD

 
Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) will publish a large ad with the slogan ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK on December 28 in both The Stranger and Seattle Weekly. The ad commemorates Israel’s assault on Gaza in December 2008, as well as the censoring of SeaMAC’s “Israeli War Crimes” bus ad last year by King County Metro.
 
The half-page ad will run for two weeks in each newspaper. The ad repeats the slogan and design of SeaMAC’s bus ad that was censored by King County Metro last year.
 
The dates of the bus ad last year and the newspaper ads this year were chosen to observe the anniversary of Israel’s three week military offensive against the captive population of Gaza which began on December 27, 2008, and resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians -- most of them non-combatants and more than 300 of them children. The language of the ad is based on investigations by Amnesty International, the United Nations, and other human rights groups, which found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel during the assault on Gaza. Numerous other war crimes by Israel have been documented during the long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The ads also draw attention to the $30 billion promised to the Israeli military by the U.S. government over a 10-year period, which is part of the U.S. government’s one-sided financial, military, diplomatic, and political support for Israel.
 
King County first approved and then censored SeaMAC’s bus ad on December 23, 2010. King County Metro then twice revised its advertising policy to prevent any “public issue advertising expressing or advocating an opinion, position or viewpoint on matters of public debate about economic, political, religious or social issues”. In spite of that policy, King County Metro has since accepted advertisements for the Mormon religion and a labor rally, as well as a recent ad that said “Buy American”.
 
“It’s hard to see how King County has been unbiased or ‘viewpoint neutral’ when they have continued to run other political and religious advertisements while censoring ours,” said SeaMAC volunteer Edward Mast.
 
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for breach of contract and for violating SeaMAC’s First Amendment right of free expression. The trial was scheduled to begin in federal court on October 31. King County lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and a federal judge granted King County’s motion on October 10. SeaMAC has filed an appeal with the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
 
Another SeaMAC ad, with the slogan EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS, was accepted and put up on billboards in April 2010 by Clear Channel Outdoor, a private firm. Clear Channel then censored SeaMAC’s ads. Clear Channel had also run other controversial ads which caused public outcry, including an ad that advocated laboratory testing on live animals.
 
“Why should criticism of Israel be singled out for silencing?” says Peter Lippman, another SeaMAC volunteer.
 
SeaMAC’s print ads about Israeli war crimes are part of a series that began last August in Seattle Weekly and The Stranger. The ongoing series draws attention to Israel’s policies of segregation and apartheid, as well as the treatment of Palestinian child prisoners and Israel’s attempt to impose a non-viable fake state on Palestinians living under Israel’s illegal military occupation.
 
SeaMAC’s complete series of print ads can be viewed at www.www.SeaMAC.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


November 11, 2011


Contact:          press@SeaMAC.org

Edward Mast  (206) 633-1086

Peter Lippman    (206) 285-2154


SeaMAC will appeal dismissal of lawsuit against King County over cancelled Metro bus ads

 
Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has filed an appeal with the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the recent federal court decision to dismiss SeaMAC’s lawsuit against King County for canceling a contract with SeaMAC to run ads on twelve Metro buses.
 
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington will continue to represent SeaMAC in the appeal.
 
“We’re unhappy that a jury will not be allowed to examine the evidence, but ACLU’s legal team has decided that there is a very good case to be made that the dismissal was improper and should be overturned,” said Mark Eichinger-Wiese, a volunteer with SeaMAC.
 
“King County censored SeaMAC’s free speech while protecting the free speech of those who want to silence SeaMAC’s message. Criticism of Israel should not be singled out for censorship, especially when based on evidence from the United Nations and international human rights groups,” said Edward Mast, another SeaMAC volunteer.
 
The bus ads, reading “Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work,” were examined, approved, and accepted by King County and Metro officials. SeaMAC signed a contract and paid the full cost in advance, and the ads were printed and scheduled to run for four weeks starting on December 27, 2010. The date was chosen because it was the second anniversary of Israel’s three-week military offensive against the captive population of Gaza in 2008-9, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians -- most of them non-combatants and more than 300 of them children.
 
The language of the ad was chosen to reflect the fact that investigations by Amnesty International, the United Nations and others found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel during the assault on Gaza. Other war crimes have been documented during Israel’s long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
 
At the last minute, on December 23, 2010, King County reversed course, cancelled the contract, and refused to run the ads. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for breach of contract and for violating SeaMAC’s First Amendment right of free expression. The trial was scheduled to begin in federal court on October 31. King County lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and a federal judge granted King County’s motion on October 10.
 
An appeal to the Ninth District Court typically takes twelve months or more to reach oral argument before a panel of three judges. If the panel grants the appeal, the case will go back to trial in before a six-person jury.

Photo of original SeaMAC bus ad available on request.
 
Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated in Washington State.
For more information:  wwwStopFundingApartheid.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


October 11, 2011


Contact:          press@SeaMAC.org

Edward Mast  (206) 633-1086

Carla Curio    (206) 307-3374


SeaMAC Considers An Appeal in Lawsuit Against King County over Cancelled Metro Bus Ads

 
The Seattle Middle East Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) is considering its next legal steps in the wake of a ruling on its lawsuit against King County for canceling a contract with SeaMAC to run ads on twelve Metro buses starting last December.
 
A trial in the suit was scheduled to begin in federal district court on October 31. King County lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, and late Friday afternoon, October 10, a federal judge granted King County's motion.
 
Ads about abortion, atheism and other contentious issues have appeared on Metro buses. SeaMAC's ad used language from Amnesty International and the United Nations. "Why should criticism of the State of Israel be singled out for exclusion from buses or any other public forum?" said Carla Curio, a volunteer with SeaMAC.
 
The bus ads, reading "Israeli War Crimes: Your Tax Dollars At Work," were examined, approved, and accepted by King County and Metro officials. SeaMAC signed a contract and paid the full cost in advance, and the ads were printed and scheduled to run for four weeks starting on December 27, 2010. The date was chosen because it was the second anniversary of Israel's three-week military offensive against the captive population of Gaza in 2008-9, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1,400 Palestinians -- most of them non-combatants and more than 300 of them children.
 
The language of the ad was chosen to reflect the fact that both Amnesty International and United Nations investigations have found evidence of war crimes committed by Israel, and other war crimes have been documented during Israel's long occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
 
At the last minute, on December 23, 2010, King County reversed course, cancelled the contract, and refused to run the ads. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for breach of contract and for violating SeaMAC's First Amendment right of free expression.
 
SeaMAC and the ACLU are reviewing the decision and considering legal options, including the possibility of appeal to the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. "This may not be the legal system's last word on the matter," said Peter Lippman, another SeaMAC volunteer.
Photo of original SeaMAC bus ad available on request.
 
Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated in Washington State.
For more information:  www.StopFundingApartheid.org

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Press Packet: Segregation, Apartheid and Equal Rights


For a chronology of past press coverage: click here


 
 
 
 
 

Latest press release: click here to see PDF


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


August 18, 2011


Contact: Edward Mast    press@SeaMAC.org   (206) 633-1086


SeaMAC launches print ad campaign about Israel’s segregated roads, schools and towns


“I’M NOT ALLOWED ON ISRAEL’S SEGREGATED ROADS” says a West Bank Palestinian in one of a series of newspaper ads launched this week by Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC). The ads are part of SeaMAC’s continuing effort to expose the misuse of U.S. taxpayer money to support Israel’s system of segregation and discrimination against the Palestinian people. Palestinians are prohibited from driving on segregated Israeli-only settlement roads; Palestinian students inside Israel are channeled into a segregated school system with separate and unequal resources; and Palestinians are not allowed to live in illegal Jewish-only Israeli settlements.


The three ads will run over the next three weeks in The Seattle Weekly and The Stranger. The ads can be seen at www.stopfundingapartheid.org/press.htm


“Segregation was the system of apartheid we rejected in this country, and people of conscience here should refuse to support similar segregation and apartheid in Israel”, says SeaMAC volunteer Carla Curio. “Israel’s refusal to treat Palestinians as equals is an ongoing obstacle to justice and peace.”


According to Human Rights Watch, "Palestinians face systematic discrimination merely because of their race, ethnicity, and national origin, depriving them of electricity, water, schools, and access to roads, while nearby Jewish settlers enjoy all of these state-provided benefits.”

http://www.hrw.org/news/2010/12/18/israelwest-bank-separate-and-unequal


The US gives several billion dollars of military aid to Israel each year, and has promised $30 billion of aid over the next ten years.


The print ads continue the campaign begun by SeaMAC’s bus ad and billboard campaigns. Last December, SeaMAC’s Metro bus ads, “ISRAELI WAR CRIMES: Your Tax Dollars At Work,” were first approved, accepted and printed, then suddenly cancelled by King County. A subsequent billboard campaign with the slogan “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR PALESTINIANS – Stop Funding the Israeli Military” was approved and accepted by Clear Channel Outdoor, and three of the four contracted billboards were put up for the first week, but then were taken down by Clear Channel.


The ACLU is representing SeaMAC in a lawsuit against King County for violating SeaMAC’s constitutional rights by refusing to honor the contract to run the bus ads. The lawsuit will come to trial starting on October 31 of this year.


Press team for SeaMAC: Carla Curio (206) 788-0955, Peter Lippman (206) 285-2154, Edward Mast (206) 633-1086 -- all available at press@SeaMAC.org


Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is an all-volunteer organization incorporated in Washington State. For more information: www.StopFundingApartheid.org


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