10 bus shelter billboards advertising the University of Californiaâs âStudy in Israelâ campaign were remade into âBoycott Israelâ ads and placed around Berkeley and San Francisco in May.
Under the headline, âBoycott Israel? We boycott Israel becauseâ¦â, one of the modified posters depicts students saying, âI believe in speaking out against racism. Israelâs entrenched system of racial discrimination & segregation against the Palestinian citizens of Israel is frighteningly similar to the former apartheid system in South Africa!â and âI believe that governments must be held accountable for their actions! Israel denies its responsibility for the waves of ethnic cleansing that have made millions of Palestinians into refugees.â
The original ad campaign was financed by the pro-Israel publicity agency BlueStar PR as part of an intensive campaign to promote study in Israel at California universities. The University of California recently reinstated its study abroad program at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, after years of lobbying from pro-Israel students and professionals.
The posters ask members of the University of California community to pressure U.C. to respect the cultural and academic boycott initiated by Palestinian civil society in April 2004.
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