CJPME to appeal TTC’s rejection of “Disappearing Palestine” ads

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Montreal, October 24, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) intends to appeal the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) rejection of ads about various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  CJPME learned Monday, Oct. 21, that its ads had been rejected by TTC staff. The centerpiece of the ads is a series of four maps depicting Palestinian loss of land over the past six decades, ultimately obstructing the creation of a viable Palestinian state.  In its rejection, TTC staff asserted that CJPME’s ads did not comply with the guidelines of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, but did not specify what aspects of the ads were non-compliant.  

The CJPME ads are portrait-style, and are to appear in TTC subway car interiors.  In addition to the maps in each ad, each version of the ad includes a photo of Palestinians affected by Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories, with an explanatory text providing the context. One is of a young boy being detained by Israeli soldiers. Another is of children in front of their home, reduced to rubble by a lethal Israel assault on Gaza. A third is of a girl walking over rubble on her way to school in Gaza. Another is of a boy slinging a rock at the wall erected by Israel in the West Bank. 

“We know that we are on solid legal and historical ground, and will likely take TTC to court if its advertising review committee does not reverse the earlier decision,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. CJPME points out that it provided the TTC with source references for the information and photos in the ads. Sources include International Court of Justice rulings and documentation by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.  The construction of Israel’s wall and settlements violates the Fourth Geneva Convention and multiple UN resolutions, and has been criticised by the EU and the US as a key impediment to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The impact of Israel’s settlement building is clear in the ad maps.

CJPME believes that the TTC may have ceded to pressure by external lobby groups discomfited by widespread disclosure of information about the human impact of Israel’s conduct. “The language and arguments made by TTC Communications Director Brad Ross eerily echo those of B’nai Brith,” notes Woodley.  Once the CJPME appeal is submitted, it will likely go to the TTC’s three-person advertising review committee.

About CJPME – Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is a non-profit and secular organization bringing together men and women of all backgrounds who labour to see justice and peace take root again in the Middle East. Its mission is to empower decision-makers to view all sides with fairness and to promote the equitable and sustainable development of the region.

For more information, please contact Patricia Jean, 438 380 5410
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East www.cjpme.org

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