Israeli group credited for CPH bus ad removal

The Local Denmark
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Israeli group credited for CPH bus ad removal
Four buses were burnt shortly after the ads were removed. Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix

An Israeli lobbying group was behind the campaign to get an campaign urging people to boycott products from Israeli settlements dropped from Copenhagen buses.


After a freedom of information request, broadcaster DR was given to the complaints filed to bus company Movia and found that the fast majority of them were written in English and shared the same language. Only 20 of the roughly 100 complaints were written in Danish. 
The organization Israel Europe Freedom Center (IEFC) has also stepped forward to take credit for the campaign’s success and on sister organization My Isreal’s Facebook page there is a form letter that followers were encouraged to use in complaints to Movia. 
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שנאה לישראל ברחובות דנמרק:פעולה חשובה מאד.====ככה נראים היום האוטובוסים בקופנהגן, בירת דנמרק. ארגונים אנטי ישראליים י...

Posted by ‎My Israel | ישראל שלי‎ on Tuesday, April 28, 2015
“I was exposed to the recent hateful advertisement campaign on your buses. In the advertisement, there is a content that hurts the feeling of me as an Israeli and of the Israeli people. The warm friendship between the Danish people and the Israeli people is being harmed by this hateful campaign. I call upon you to cancel the hate advertisement on your buses,” the text reads. 
In an interview with Voice of Israel, the group’s CEO Will Roth documented the lobbying campaign’s victory in getting the ads removed. 
“IEFC contacted parliamentarians in the Danish parliament as well as local representatives of the local municipality in Copenhagen and by contacting also Movia’s directors, we were able to bring them down very quickly,” Roth said. 

Roth and IEFC positioned the Movia decision as a victory against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) and said they would fight the Danish Palestinian Friendship Association's plans to get the ads running again. 
The ads pictured two women beside the quote: "Our conscience is clean! We neither buy products from the Israeli settlements nor invest in the settlement industry."
The Danish Palestinian Friendship Association told AFP that the removal of the ads was “a clear attempt to deny us our freedom of speech”. 
After the decision to pull the ads, four public buses were burnt in a Copenhagen parking garage in an apparent reaction to the controversy. Spray-painted on the burnt buses was the message “Boycott Israel – Free Gaza”. 
Movia has stated that its “board has not been under pressure from anyone or anything”. The bus company said that after removing the ads, they received 330 letters supporting the decision – 83 percent which were written in Danish – and 410 complaints against the removal, all but two of which were in Danish. 


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