NJ Legislators Condemn ‘stand With Humanity’ Billboards as Hateful

Two Republican lawmakers are criticizing a billboard on Route 9 that supports the Palestinian cause. State Senator Robert Singer and Assemblyman Sean Kean, both representing Ocean County, issued a joint statement expressing their belief that the billboard located on the northbound side of Route 9 between West Farms Road and Casino Drive contains anti-Semitic content. They didn’t go as far as saying it should be removed.

Kean said in a statement that these disgraceful acts of anti-Semitism have no place in New Jersey or anywhere else. “Promoting this content is disrespectful to the innocent people who have been killed by Hamas terrorists.” The singer described the billboard as “disgusting” and “heartbreaking” and expressed concern that it could lead to more acts of anti-Semitic violence.

“Spreading hate and violence towards Jewish people while pretending to care about humanity only makes the problem of misinformation worse. This will definitely add to the increase in anti-Semitic actions we are currently witnessing in the country.” The billboard is about 10 miles away from Lakewood, a city in New Jersey with a large Jewish population.

Legislators are “disingenuous and dishonest”

The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations criticized Singer and Kean for misrepresenting a billboard that supports the humanity of Palestine as “anti-Semitic.” They called their characterization “disingenuous and dishonest.”

“We have always believed that being against Zionism and criticizing Israel does not mean being anti-Semitic.” Labeling Palestine solidarity movements and speech as anti-Semitic is an attack on free speech and an effort to suppress the civil rights of Americans. “When people claim that criticizing Israel is antisemitic, they are also suggesting that supporting Israel’s violent conflict in Gaza, which has resulted in the deaths of over 35,000 Palestinians, is somehow related to being Semitic. This implication is actually promoting anti-Semitism,” stated Dina Sayedahmed, a spokesperson for CAIR-NJ.

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The billboard is funded by a group called Voice for Humanity Project, located in Fairview. Billboards supporting Palestinians have been placed around the area. The billboard in Howell is also displayed on Route 3 in the Meadowlands, as mentioned on the group’s Instagram page.

The group says it is a nonprofit organization led by Palestinians. They aim to give a voice to those who are not usually heard, make important changes, and quickly address humanitarian needs.

Opponents: Billboard spreads misinformation

An online petition is asking Democratic Howell Mayor Theresa Berger and the owner of the billboard, Lamar Advertising, to remove the billboard.

“We believe that everyone has the right to express their opinions and speak freely. However, public spaces should not be used to spread hate or harmful false information.” The petition states that by supporting Israel, humanity shows unity against terrorism and sends a strong message that violence and extremism will not be accepted.

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