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February 21, 2016 12:55 pm

Chicago Billboard Calling for Israel Boycott to Be Taken Down Following Barrage of Complaints

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

An sign calling for the boycott of Israel. The billboard will be removed after sparking criticism from supporters of Israel. Photo: Facebook.

The billboard in Chicago that has sparked outrage among Israel supporters. Photo: Facebook.

An advertising company announced on Thursday that it will take down an anti-Israel billboard in Chicago, following complaints from supporters of the Jewish state calling for a removal of the offensive sign.

The billboard, funded by the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SEAMAC), declared, “Boycott Israel until Palestinians have equal rights,” and included a link to an anti-Israel website. The banner was an initiative of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which is supported by SEAMAC.

The sign was posted by the Lamar Advertising Company on a major highway in the Windy City.

One Twitter user, who called the sign “racist,” posted the advertising agency’s phone number, encouraging people to call and demand the sign’s removal. Maya Roseman told Chicago’s CBS 2 she was “shocked” by the billboard.

“When you put up a billboard or a sign or an advertisement that says ‘Boycott Israel,’ it’s really a mask,” she said. “You’re really saying ‘boycott Jews.'”

On Thursday, Lamar Advertising announced it would take down the offending message, writing on Facebook that after receiving “a large number of social media comments and hundreds of telephone calls” concerning the billboard, it has decided to remove the advertisement “as soon as possible.” The company said it had tried contacting SEAMAC to “discuss the issues,” but received no response to calls or emails.

“It is important to understand that this is a message from SEAMAC and not Lamar Advertising,” the company added. “We think SEAMAC has a right to present their views and would also support the right of those who disagree with SEAMAC.”

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