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Roaming Billboards Bring Gazan Reality and More to the Streets

by Phil Pasquini
Since the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7 and the massive and sustained invasion of Gaza by the IDF, the world has seen Palestinian and human rights activists protesting daily calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Activists have employed any number of means to convey their message including the use of mobile LED billboards permanently mounted on a truck that can roam the city bringing its messages to the public.
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WASHINGTON (03-09) – Since the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7 and the massive and sustained invasion of Gaza by the IDF, the world has seen Palestinian and human rights activists protesting daily calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

Activists have employed any number of means to convey their message including the use of mobile LED billboards permanently mounted on a truck that can roam the city bringing its messages to the public. Studies have shown that the effectiveness of utilizing billboard trucks, according to one company, results in a 98% recall rate while making as many as 70,000 or more impressions on drivers and pedestrians alike each day. The trucks with their messages are quite popular with many people who often stop to take photos including selfies with the trucks as backdrops.

So, it is not surprising that for the past week two trucks each sponsored by separate groups have been displaying Gaza-related rotating messages calling on Americans to reconsider the cost to U.S. taxpayers of our support for Israel along with the effects of the genocide taking place in Gaza. Among the displays are those related to facts about what is happening on the ground in Gaza while calling for an end to stop bombing children and hospitals.

One such sign displayed on a truck sponsored by IfAmericansKnew.org shows a young girl looking up at a sky filed with falling bombs whose message includes a frequently updated toll of those killed indicating how tax dollars are being spent aiding Israel.

While another of the rotating billboards displays the annual support for Israel, presently at $3.9 billion, and asks simply “How is this America first?”

As millions of Gazans are on the brink of starvation and with food and aid convoys being stalled by the Israelis, the past week has seen the U.S. deploying aircraft to drop food into Gaza to alleviate the situation. While the optics are presented by major corporate media as an effective means of relief, the math connotes something otherwise. With 38,000 food packages being delivered with early drops, 2.3 million people are still in dire need of immediate food and medical aid. The net effect of this methodology of meeting that need fails dismally.

This means of delivery is expensive, dangerous and not sustainable in the long term. Additionally, in order for aircraft to enter the war zone, the U.S. must notify the Israelis of pending flights so that the aircraft won’t be shot down.

So as Gazans continue to starve and the Biden administration has yet to publicly utilize its influence and ability to demand and pressure Israel into opening its land borders in bringing efficient, expedient and cost-effective aid to Gaza, President Biden announced yet another mechanism to bring relief. In his latest ill-conceived plan, he announced that the U.S. military with 1,000 troops would construct a temporary coast side floating dock for the delivery by ship of food, water, medicine and temporary shelters. Hoping to make the idea palatable, he further promised that no “American boots would be on the ground.” The Biden plan also calls for the Israeli government to maintain security at the pier and to protect it from any attacks by Hamas along with crowd control from anticipated riots by residents who are desperate for food.

The sheer fantasy of such a solution also contained the promise that the dock would be operational in two months’ time.

Time that Gazans can ill afford when every second counts. That begets the question of how many more people will have to die as relief has become a political proxy between Israel, Egypt the U.S. and others.

And if history is any judge of U.S.- Israeli relations in war zones, one of the mobile billboard reminds viewers of the tragic June 8, 1967 attack during the Six-Day War in which the USS Liberty, a lightly armored naval intelligence ship was attacked in international waters during daylight in a combined Israeli aerial and naval assault on the ship in which 34 sailors were killed and 174 were wounded.

The American crew that day endured Israeli strafing, napalm and torpedoes, and even a machine-gun attack on their lifeboats.

Larry Bowen, who received a Purple Heart for his service on the Liberty as reported in a Special Report in the Washington Report Middle East Affairs (WRMEA) magazine article dated Feb 1, 2024 gave testimony to the New Hampshire’s State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee wherein he related that “Our government put a gag order on us to not speak about this and threatened us with imprisonment and fines if we did. Our government failed to do a thorough investigation of the attack. The Navy held a formal court of inquiry and took testimony from several of my shipmates but then were given guidance to modify the testimony that they received so that it would comply with the mistaken identity claim Israel made when it apologized for the attack.”

“There were voice intercepts between the Israeli pilots and their ground controllers who did identify us as an American ship,” Bowen said. The crew believes Israel hoped Egypt would be blamed for sinking their ship.”

In another WRMEA magazine article dated August/September 2018, it was disclosed that “While tending to 171 wounded men, including Captain William McGonagle, the crew waited for assistance from the U.S. warplanes that never came. When Sixth Fleet Carrier Division Commander Rear Admiral Lawrence Geis protested the order to recall U.S. warplanes sent to help the Liberty, then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara told him ‘President Johnson is not going to war or embarrass an American ally over a few sailors.”’

“A few sailors” a few Gazans, just where has our collective humanity gone?

Report and photos by Phil Pasquini

© 2023 nuzeink all rights reserved worldwide
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