Middle East Monitor / February 16, 2020
The mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai ordered the removal on Friday of highway billboards that appeared to call for the surrender at gunpoint of Palestinian leaders for the sake of peace.
“Peace is made ONLY with vanquished enemies,” said the billboards, which showed photo-shopped images of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, blindfolded and supplicating in a war-zone as helicopters hover, and buildings behind them reduced to mere rubbles.
Mayor Huldai said: “The images incite violence that is reminiscent of ISIS and Nazi acts”, reported Israel’s News 1.
Israel’s stand-off with the Palestinians has grown newly tense since last month’s unveiling of US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which they rejected as biased.
It was not immediately clear who sponsored the billboards around Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital, or if the campaign was meant to help rightist parties in a March 2 national election.
Former Knesset Member of the Meretz Party, Issawi Freig, tweeted a comment on his Twitter account and called for the mayor of Tel Aviv to remove the sign: “This disgust must go down now. Ron Huldai, for your care.”
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement that the billboards would be removed, saying that their image “incites violence and recalls the actions of ISIS and the Nazis – whom we do not want to counted among”.
“Even in election season, there are red lines,” he said.
In another sign distributed throughout Jerusalem by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, the Knesset member of the joint list, Ahmed Tibi, appears to be carrying the chairman of the Blue and White Benny Gantz party on the back: The sign reads: “Without Ahmad Tibi there is no government gantz.” Gantz is Netanyahu’s main rival in the Israeli elections.