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Anti-Israel ads on subway spark controversy, action from MBTA

The ads, displayed in seven cities including Boston, are drawing criticism from pro-Israeli groups who claim they are unfair.

Political ads at an MBTA station are offending some riders, and now the MBTA may consider taking action.

The ads, displayed in seven cities including Boston, are drawing criticism from pro-Israeli groups who claim they are unfair, WCVB reported, adding that the MBTA took down similar ads last year after complaints.

The American Civil Liberties Union stepped in and threatened legal action, and the MBTA reconsidered and said the ads comply with the authority's "viewpoint-neutral standard for all advertising displayed on MBTA property," WMUR said in a related report.

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"Israel's military kills one Palestinian child every three days using U.S. tax dollars,” the ad’s text reads, according to WMUR.

"What we are trying to do is highlight to Americans a component of the story we think is missed," Jake Chase-Lubitz of the Palestine Advocacy Project said to WMUR. "That is the devastation Israel brings to the Palestinian community."

"Spreading distortions and inaccuracies about a complex political situation will achieve no positive benefit," the Jewish Community Relations Council said to WMUR in response to the ads. The anti-defamation league says the ads "distort reality," the report added.

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"This is frustrating information for them because it shows an unpleasant side of the of the occupation. They would prefer to frame the entire thing on Israeli security," Chase-Lubitz said to WMUR.

Jewish groups said they respect the group's right to express their opinion, and the MBTA is now "considering whether to amend its advertising guidelines and in the future will not accept ads concerning political issues and matters of public debate," WCVB reported.

 
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