Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Everybody Needs a Hobby

Am I the only one who finds this fishy right out of the gate?
 In the time it took me to walk back to my office after seeing this ad on the side of a Metro bus, I was able to turn it over and over again in my head. I knew, from having tangentially kept up with such things, and having seen some of the earlier salvos in this teapot tempest, that this was a response to bus advertisements put out by a pro-Palestinian group. One which had called for Equal Rights for Palestinians. (It's a position that I have a certain amount of sympathy for, although I'm convinced that in the Grand Scheme of Things the Palestinians are screwed. Israel has little to gain from making concessions, and the Palestinians have little to offer to incentivize them.)

Curious as to whether or not the group sponsoring the ad, which calls itself "The American Freedom Defense Initiative" (not a good sign), was simply being disingenuous or downright dishonest, I quickly Googled them later, and found that this was an umbrella group run by one of the people who'd lead the opposition to the "Ground Zero Mosque" (another not-good sign). When I found out that one of the groups under this umbrella, "Stop Islamization of America" has been called out by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate group, my suspicions that this ad was not to be trusted were confirmed. (Just in case I'd forgotten about a push for a two-state solution, or something.)

But I wonder - what real purpose do these ads serve? After all, I wasn't alone when I saw this. There were nearly two dozen other people walking along as well, and none of them appeared to even notice, let alone take any interest in, this particular ad. It seemed unlikely that they would convince anyone that way. And it's not like the Seattle area is exactly a hotbed of pro-Israel activism. And spending thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars simply to be able to say "I can do this too," seems odd, especially in light of the fact that the older, pro-Palestinian ads had more or less been forgotten. (I'd forgotten them myself, until I saw this.)

Oh, well. I guess it beats being bored...

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