Seattle anti-Israel demonstration in wake of Metro ad controversy

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on December 27, 2010 at 8:37 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 27 at 8:37 PM

SEATTLE – An anti-Israel demonstration made its way to a rainy downtown Seattle Monday night, following a weeklong debate over Middle Eastern bus ads that put King County Metro Transit in the middle.

About 50 people gathered at Westlake Center, marking the second anniversary of Israel's military action in Gaza. The protesters say they want to break the silence over Israel's treatment of Palestinians.

"We'd like Israel to be held accountable for its actions and our government to stop spending our tax dollars to support Israel's war crimes," said Ed Mast, Mideast Awareness Campaign.

The local friction broke out last week over controversial, dueling bus advertisements that were slated to appear on Metro buses -- one group's ads alleged "Israeli War Crimes" and another countered with "Palestinian War Crimes."

Metro decided to drop both ads while it reviews its non commercial ad policy.

Claiming First Amendment violations, the Palestinian supporters took their message to the streets.

Some pro-Israeli demonstrators showed up to counter the claims.

"I think these are a lot of misinformed people. They mean well, but they're misinformed," said Seattle resident Jack Greenberg.

Members of Seattle's Jewish community had planned to demonstrate Monday, but that was canceled when Metro dropped the anti-Israel ads.

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