Anti-Israel aid billboards are taken down

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A subsidiary of the CBS Corp. removed 23 billboards in the Los Angeles area calling for a stop to U.S. foreign assistance to Israel.

The Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel, which sponsored the billboards, said in a statement that it received a letter from CBS Outdoor, a subsidiary of the CBS Corp., saying the contract was canceled because the coalition “used the ‘CBS Outdoor’ name without permission” in its publicity. CBS Outdoor refunded the undisclosed amount of the contract to the group, the coalition said on its Facebook page.

The coalition is asking supporters to demand that CBS Outdoor put back the billboards.

“If you support us trying to get our message of ending military aid to Israel back up on billboards in the nation’s second largest city, won’t you help flood CBS with phone calls demanding that our billboards be put back up and our contract be honored to the full term?” the coalition said in its statement.

U.S. Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) had slammed the group for its billboards in a June 21 letter to the organization.

“We are the leading voice in the international community, and have the world’s most powerful military, yet your organization would have us abandon our closest ally in the Middle East and allow its deterrent capability to wither on the vine,” Berman wrote to the group, which posted its billboards in the San Fernando Valley. “That is not the way to demonstrate international leadership.”

The pro-Israel organization StandWithUs said it will launch an ad campaign to counter the coalition’s, as it has when the coalition has posted similar billboards in other cities, including Washington, D.C., Albuquerque, Houston, San Francisco and Seattle.

“People and companies should avoid getting entangled with these anti-Israel activists,” said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. “They distort facts, exploit the good name of organizations and companies, and harass those who disagree with them.”

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