Pro-Palestinians Co-Opt (Vandalize) Israeli Propaganda

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The description of the suspected vandal: A male in a red bodysuit with portrait of a spider on his chest...

A little while ago we wrote about the Clear Channel "Visit Israel" billboards along Highway 101, with their breezy Israeli girls strutting above the motto "Different From the Israel You See on the News." The ad was rendered a tad ridiculous by the deterioration of conditions in the region during the recent 22-day assault on Gaza supposedly prompted by Hamas rocket fire.

Now, ostensibly pro-Palestinian taggers have co-opted the ad for their own political statement. At the billboard overlooking Harrison Street near the intersection with Fourth St. in SOMA, someone has gone to considerable trouble to spray paint "(NO ARABS THOUGH)" beneath the "Visit Israel" portion of the billboard.   

BlueStar PR, the company who put up the ad, says they hadn't heard until we snitched on Tuesday.

"That's horrible," deputy director Peter Altman says. "It's obviously not true. Anyone can go visit Israel. There's a lot of hatred out there right now. There's a lot of really vicious anti-Semitic stuff. ... Who's writing this garbage? Don't they get how stupid it is? It's stupid. It's about being hip. It's all about being radical chic, about what's chic and what's not. It doesn't have to do with who's really humanist; it's about being chic."

Clear Channel spokesman Michael Colbruno said the company generally replaces ads that have been tagged with graffiti, and that a new ad campaign would replace the marred sign on Wednesday. The "Visit Israel" advertisement has been overlooking the 101 for free since BlueStar's contract expired on December 7.

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