September 8, 2011 New York City transit riders will have an opportunity this month to see how concerned increasing numbers of New Yorkers are about the role of the U.S. in Israel/Palestine. Posters showing Palestinian and Israeli parents with their children— bearing the message “two
future” and calling for an
 Israel—are on display in stations throughout the subway system.

Supported by a wide range of New York City groups from the social justice and interfaith communities, this effort is part of a national campaign, Be on Our Side, which has already run successfully in six major U.S. cities. The campaign is designed to encourage U.S. policies that promote peace, equality, and security for Palestinians and Israelis and to inform Americans about the scale and consequences of U.S. military aid to Israel. The text on the posters directs riders to the national website:

According to Carl Schieren, a campaign organizer, “This campaign seeks to break through the unbalanced media coverage of events surrounding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is designed to promote open and honest discussion amongst New Yorkers about the possibilities of achieving a just peace and the role that the U.S. plays in the region.”

Nada Khader of WESPAC, one of the sponsoring organizations, spoke about the importance of highlighting the consequence of U.S. funding to Israel: “Instead of funding Israel’s unlawful occupation, I would like to see the thirty billion dollars that our government has committed to the State of Israel over the next ten years be redirected to Americans right here at home to help with job creation, increased funding for education, affordable housing investment, environmental conservation, and upgrading our national transportation infrastructure.”

The posters have been in the subways this week and will be displayed until October 3. They are in 18 subway stations across the City. Individuals from the many sponsoring and endorsing groups are at the stations handing out leaflets and engaging in conversation with New Yorkers about these issues.

Participating groups include:

Sponsors: Brooklyn for Peace; Fellowship of Reconciliation; Jewish Voice for Peace-NY Chapter; Jews Say No!; Peace Action, Staten Island; WESPAC

Endorsers: Adalah-NY; Center for Constitutional Rights; CODEPINK NYC; Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA); Jewish Voice for Peace-Westchester Chapter; National Lawyers Guild-NYC chapter; New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCORE); Shomer Shalom Network for Jewish Nonviolence; Tree of Life Educational Foundation; Women in Black Union Square