A group of Israel supporters has launched a campaign of digital photos of child hostages kidnapped by Hamas to combat pro-Palestinian sentiment on college campuses in the US and London.
Six friends teamed up with Louder-Israel, a marketing firm, to create digital billboards of child hostages painted on 13 trucks, which drive through major cities often amid mass rallies.
“Our perspective is that Israel doesn’t need our money or care packages,” said a New York fundraiser who is a major campaign backer. “What Israel really needs, in our opinion, is support in the United States. If we stand by Israel, fight the PR war and support Israel, things will be fine.”
The sponsor, who asked Fox News Digital to remain anonymous, said he fears that if Israel loses US support, Iran will be emboldened and the situation in the Middle East will spiral out of control.
“When it first happened, most Americans saw it as Israel’s version of 9/11 and felt solidarity,” he said. “As time passed, people forgot about the 1,400 dead and maimed and raped in Israel and the 240 hostages taken to Gaza.”
On October 7, Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and massacred 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped at least 33 children.
After the attack, Israel responded with reprisals in Gaza that have killed more than 9,000 people, according to the Hamas-controlled health ministry.
The accuracy of the death toll in Gaza has been disputed, but pictures of bloodied and dead children pulled from the rubble of flattened buildings have turned many people against Israel.
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Video of Americans tearing down hostage posters in cities around the world has gone viral.
“Whether you’re pro-Israel, anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic, if you see a kidnapped baby, decency comes in,” the sponsor opined.
The fleet of trucks, which circle campuses for two weeks, cost the team more than $120,000. But based on interviews with pro-Palestinian protesters, the campaign may do little to sway opinion.
Lily, who attended a rally at American University in Washington, questioned the sincerity of the message.
“At this point in the conflict, where it’s kind of a war crime against a war crime, to show one as more important than the other, when one group of people has killed far fewer people … may cover some motivations that may not it is fantastic. the side of people who support Israel right now,” he told Fox News Digital.
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Chris, who was also at the rally, echoed her position and said the digital billboards promoted the feeling that “Israeli lives matter more than Palestinian lives.”
Another student, Malak, called the trucks a way to “silence our voices” and tell the world, “don’t listen to them, listen to us.”
In addition to DC, the group has sent trucks to Boston, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Berkeley, Los Angeles, New York and London.
They have wandered around Harvard, the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania.
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The sponsor said the trucks and their drivers have been repeatedly threatened and people have been recorded giving the middle finger to pictures of kidnapped children.
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Police have asked trucks to leave the gatherings for fear of violence and drivers are complying, he added.
Juda Engelmayer, president of Herald PR, praised the campaign. “It’s a great idea to help get Israel’s message out and show that there’s support for the country, but I don’t think it’s changing minds,” he said. “Anyone who says killing babies is great because Israel is really shit doesn’t care what you have to say.”
Julia Bonavita contributed to this report.