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Response to "Disappearing Palestine" ad PDF Print E-mail
Aug 30, 2013 at 03:31 PM

The "Disappearing Palestine" ad campaign on Translink, Metro Vancouver's public transit system, which started August 27th, 2013, has triggered a storm of responses, positive and negative. Here are a few examples.

Announcements of the opening of the campaign:

Even before the ads became public, Zionist organizations reacted with outrage, attempts to shut the campaign down, and threats of legal action. Translink responded with a summary of their advertising policy.

Most of the news media coverage has focused on the Zionist response to the campaign rather than the actual content of the ads. Fortunately, most articles have also featured a prominent illustration of the ad image, helping to spread the information far wider than the audience of the ad campaign itself. 

Media opinion pieces displayed an interesting range of responses:
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In Rachel Corrie verdict, Israel deals new blow to international law
The verdict on the 2003 killing of Rachel Corrie absolved Israel of any wrongdoing, essentially blaming the victim for her death. The trial revealed Israel’s approach to the most fundamental principles of international law, and especially to the duty to protect non-combatants.

By Jeff Halper

For those who hoped for a just verdict on the death of Rachel Corrie, the American student and ISM activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003 as she was defending a Palestinian home about to be demolished, this is a sad day. Not surprising, but still sad and bitter. The judge who decided the case, Oded Gershon, absolved the army of all blame, despite massive and internally contradictory testimony to the contrary. Moreover, he essentially blamed Rachel for her own death, commenting that a “normal person” would have run away from the bulldozer rather than confront it.

Palestinians and Israel human rights activists have learned that justice cannot be obtained through the Israeli judicial system. The Haifa District Court, in which the trial was held, could not have ruled other than how the state wanted. For the past 45 years of Israeli occupation, the Supreme Court has excluded from its rulings all reference to international humanitarian law and to the Fourth Geneva Convention in particular, which protects civilians living in conflict situations and under occupation. Only Israeli law applies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories – military law and orders – and the courts have restricted even that form of law by declaring that in instances of “security,” they defer to the military. As in Rachel’s case, the IDF thus has carte blanche to commit war crimes with impunity, with no fear of accountability or punishment.

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