A new ad proclaiming "4.7 million Palestinians are classified by the U.N. as refugees" will be highly visible throughout the Portland-metro area over the next month.
The ads will be posted on TriMet vehicles and paid for by groups called Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Jewish Voice for Peace and Friends of Sabeel North America.
The graphics on the banner depict the ratio of Jewish land compared to Palestinian land in Israel from 1946 to 2012.
The groups paying for the ads said they will begin appearing on 20 MAX trains and nine buses on Sunday. A TriMet spokeswoman said she did not have the specifics on how many vehicles the ads will appear on.
The sponsors said in a release: "These maps are part of a campaign to educate Americans about what's really going on in Israel-Palestine."
"It is our hope that these ads will promote informed dialogue and challenge American policy makers to replace their blind support for Israel with a commitment to justice and equality for all peoples of the region," said Maxine Fookson of Jewish Voice for Peace.
The same ads appeared at train stations in suburban New York over the summer, according to a Fox News report.
The editor of a Brooklyn-based newspaper catering to the Jewish community called for them to be removed.
"They are offensive," Dovid Efune told FoxNews.com. "Primarily because they're deliberating misleading and inaccurate, but they also remove all historical context. What's happened over time is that it's actually the Jewish-owned land that's became smaller and smaller and smaller. If you look in the historical context, it's actually the Jewish land that has decreased over time."
TriMet's transit ad policy was in part shaped by a Multnomah County Circuit Court decision in 2008 that ruled the agency violated the Oregon Constitution by limiting the categories of advertisements it accepted for publication.
Before that ruling, TriMet only permitted ads that promoted goods or services. The agency said the goal was to not create a public forum on its property.
Since then, TriMet has required ads to clearly display that they are a paid advertisement to eliminate any possible confusion about whether or not TriMet endorses the messages.
Advertising on buses, trains, shelters and benches generates $5 million in revenue per year for TriMet.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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