The media conglomerate Clear Channel has pulled an advertisement, which calls on Israel to respect the rights of Palestinians, from Seattle billboards.
The sign, which was sponsored by the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC), was taken down on Wednesday from three billboards after only one week, seattlepi.com reported.
The billboard reads, “Equal rights for Palestinians -- Stop funding the Israeli military.”
"All messages we post, and any websites they promote, adhere to community standards and are not offensive towards any business, group or individual," Olivia Lippens, president of Clear Channel Outdoor Seattle, a subsidiary of the media giant Clear Channel Communications, stated.
"Upon further review, it became evident that a campaign sponsored by stop30billion-seattle.org promoted a website that is not in keeping with those standards," she claimed, adding that unnamed individuals had lodged complaints about the signs.
In December of last year, King County had authorized SeaMAC to place similar advertisements on Metro buses. Reports of the planned campaign triggered complaints and violent threats, prompting County Executive Dow Constantine to reverse the decision before the ads went up.
The signs had read, "Israeli war crimes: Your tax dollars at work."
In response, SeaMac and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the county for violating First Amendment rights. In February, a federal judge in Seattle rejected their complaint, saying that the space for ads is used as a “limited” public forum and therefore not subjected to First Amendment issues.
King County Metro has now announced a new policy which states that certain “political” and “public issue” ads submitted by nonprofits will be banned.