StandWithUs Counters Breaking the Silence Billboard Targeting Eurovision Tourists
The Israel education and advocacy group StandWithUs said it was placing a billboard advertisement on a main Israeli highway to counter another erected by the group Breaking the Silence, which is critical of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.
The Breaking the Silence advert, which targets tourists who are in Israel to attend the Eurovision singing competition, juxtaposes an image of an Israeli beach with the West Bank security barrier. It plays on the Eurovision 2019 slogan, “Dare to Dream,” by adding, “of Freedom.” The message, visible from a portion of Ayalon highway, encourages tourists to join free Breaking the Silence tours of the West Bank city of Hebron, which have been criticized by StandWithUs and others as being unbalanced.
“As soon as we found out about this campaign we acted,” stated StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein on Monday. “Within an hour we had plans to promote our own tours on a giant billboard.”
“We have never, and we will never, leave the playing field to those who tell lies about Israel,” Rothstein added. “Breaking the Silence has been widely discredited for misleading people, and we don’t want tourists to fall for their deception.”
The StandWithUs advertisement will feature images of Israeli children sheltering from rocket fire alongside symbols of coexistence, and promote alternative tours to the West Bank, Israeli towns near the Gaza Strip, and the city of Haifa, which is often hailed as a symbol of Jewish and Arab coexistence in Israel.
It will be displayed over a portion of Ayalon highway for a week beginning on May 15.