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Dueling Posters Over Israel, Palestine Now Dot Metro-North Platforms

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) -- A pro-Palestinian ad at one train platform has ignited a battle of sorts. Now both sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict are targeting Metro-North train platforms with their side of the story.

Three weeks into a pro-Palestinian ad offensive on platforms, pro-Israel advocates are responding with their own campaign. Avi Posnick, of the group called "StandWithUs," told CBS 2's Lou Young his version of the truth on Thursday.

"We feel they were misleading ads and this was an attempt to show the context that was missing from the other side," Posnick said.

The campaign features $16,000 worth of context, which is not always apparent to the casual observer. CBS 2's Young saw ads in Stamford.

"I find it confusing," Fairfield resident Becky Lyons said, adding when asked if she knew which side the ad supported, "Not at first glance."

The messages on both sides are simple by necessity because they are billboards. It's a Middle East battle for hearts and minds.

It's a topic that's very complex. Some told CBS 2's Young they find the ads thought provoking.

"It definitely got my attention. It's a subject I think about. It certainly will make me think about it," said Glen Pollett of Glen Rock.

Others said they just find the message as an extension of their own opinions.

"I tend to be more pro-Israel than pro-Palestinian, so I like the Israeli one more," said Charles Bachmann of Redding.

"It just re-enforces my opinion," Joseph Garrett told Young while on a White Plains train platform.

At the station in Chappaqua, N.Y., a poster caused a stir as it depicted the loss of Palestinian land, and referred to the people as refugees.

Former Wall Street financier Henry Clifford paid for them.

"All the posters present a historical, and geographical fact with no editorial comment," Clifford told WCBS 880's Sean Adams. "We don't tell people what to think."

WCBS 880's Sean Adams On The Story


StandWithUs countered with its own posters.

"One of the billboards actually talks about how in the Bible, this 3,000-year-old bestseller, Israel has always been the Jewish homeland," Posnick told WCBS 880's Adams. "We talk about how Israel needs a partner for peace on the Palestinian side, and also show Israel's contributions to the world.

"I think people who saw the other billboards, hopefully when they see ours will realize that there are facts that are not being told and that the original billboards were misleading."

Some riders said they wish the two sides would send their messages somewhere else.

"I think it's too bad the two sides can't get together and negotiate. I think its terrible," said Betsey Weber of Ridgefield, Conn.

"The truth lies somewhere in the middle. I think anyone who says they're 100 percent right is definitely not right," added Doran Welch of Stamford.

We can expect the propaganda fight to continue on the train platform for the rest of the month – if the ads can survive the graffiti.

The pro-Israeli group purchased ads at 75 locations along the three major Metro-North lines.

What do you think about the ads? Sound off in the comments section below.

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