CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – A billboard titled "Palestinian Loss of Land - 1946 to 2010" has received no shortage of feedback since it was put up at the Chappaqua Train Station last week.
Assembly member Robert Castelli (R, C - Goldens Bridge) was quick to call the billboard "anti-Israeli" and asked Metro-North President Howard Permut to remove it immediately.
"I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment right of free speech in the Constitution, and certainly a proponent that the people of Israel and Palestine should live in harmony together," Castelli said. "However, the subliminal message that this particular billboard carries is an anti-Israeli message that I believe has just the opposite effect of creating peace and harmony between the Israeli and Palestinian people."
The billboard features four maps of Palestine/Israel from 1946 through 2010 and appears to showcase the expansion of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. The billboard is sponsored by Henry Clifford, who co-chairs the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine (COPIP). The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the billboard is "deliberately misleading and biased."
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is extremely complex and cannot be summarized in a series of four maps," said Ron Meier, ADL New York Regional Director in a statement.
Clifford, who paid $25,000 for the billboards, told Fox News that “there’s always room for discussion of different sides of every story, but there’s no room for discussion on fact. Anyone who challenges these maps and the content of these ads, it’s their obligation to show that they’re historically wrong. The ball is in their court.”
Commuters at the station have seemingly offered some "feedback" for the billboards. On Monday morning, foul language was hand-written and stamped onto the ad.
Resident Deb Raider Notis believes the advertisement should be removed: "It is inciteful and could encourage hate crimes," she said.