For the next four weeks, a controversial pro-Israel advertisement will appear on some TriMet vehicles in response to a recent pro-Palestinian advertisement that has appeared in Portland, New York and Washington, DC.
TriMet said the new ad, paid for by a group called The American Freedom Defense Initiative, would begin appearing Monday.
The ad reads, "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad."
A similar advertisement appeared on TriMet vehicles in September, paid for by a group called Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights.
The pro-Palestinian ad read, "47 million Palestinians are classified by the U.N. as refugees," and featured maps showing the decreasing size of Palestine since 1946.
In a statement released Monday, TriMet said that due to a 2008 court ruling, it is required to accept all advertising on its vehicles, regardless of content.
"We want to let our riders and the public know that we're disappointed our vehicles have become a medium for divisive discussion, but at this time, we have no other option except to allow the ad on our vehicles," said Drew Blevins, TriMet director of Marketing and Customer Information.
"We support free speech, but we hope the Oregon Supreme Court will once again allow us to limit ads to only commercial goods and services."
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