🔵 The billboard is 10 miles north of Lakewood, which has a large Jewish population

🔵 Two legislators condemned the billboards but did not call for their removal

🔵 The group that bought the billboards says they are "amplifying unheard voices"

HOWELL — Two Republican legislators are condemning a Route 9 billboard that promotes the Palestinian cause.

State Sen. Robert Singer, R-Ocean, and Assemblyman Sean Kean, R-Ocean, said in a joint statement that the billboard, on the northbound side of Route 9 between West Farms Road and Casino Drive, is antisemitic. They stopped short of calling for its removal.

“There is no place for these disgraceful acts of antisemitism — not in New Jersey or anywhere else,” Kean said in a statement.

“Any effort to promote this garbage is a slap in the face to the innocent people who have lost their lives at the hands of Hamas terrorists.”

Singer called the billboard "disgusting" and "heartbreaking" and feared it would bring more antisemitic violence.

“Perpetuating hate and violence towards Jewish people under the guise of ‘humanity’ only further propagates the misinformation we see all too often and will undoubtedly contribute to the unfortunate recent rise in antisemitic actions we’re seeing across the country."

The billboard is located approximately 10 miles from Lakewood which has one of the largest Jewish populations in New Jersey.

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Map shows blllboard location and Howell/Lakewood border
Map shows blllboard location and Howell/Lakewood border (Canva)

Legislators are "disingenuous and dishonest"

The New Jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called Singer and Kean "disingenuous and dishonest" to characterize a billboard supporting Palestine’s humanity as “anti-Semitic.”

"As we’ve long held, anti-Zionism and criticisms of Israel are not antisemitic. Any attempt to smear Palestine solidarity movements and speech as antisemitic is an affront to free speech and an attempt to quash Americans’ civil rights. Holding that criticism of Israel is antisemitic also implies that supporting Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza, in which more than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed, is Semitic, which in itself is actually antisemitic," CAIR-NJ spokeswoman Dina Sayedahmed said in a statement.

The billboard is paid for by the group Voice for Humanity Project, which is based in Fairview. They have posted billboards around the area in support of Palestinians. The billboard in Howell is also up on Route 3 in the Meadowlands, according to the group's Instagram page.

The group describes itself as a "Palestinian-led nonprofit dedicated to amplifying unheard voices, driving transformative change, and urgently addressing humanitarian needs."

Pro-Palestine billboard on Route 3 near the Meadowlands
Pro-Palestine billboard on Route 3 near the Meadowlands (Voice for Humanity Project)

Opponents: Billboard spreads misinformation

An online petition takes it a step further and demands that Democratic Howell Mayor Theresa Berger and the owner of the billboard, Lamar Advertising, remove the billboard.

"While we respect every citizen's right to their opinion and free speech, public spaces should never serve as platforms for spreading hatred and dangerous misinformation. By supporting Israel, humanity stands in solidarity against terrorism and sends a clear message that violence and extremism will not be tolerated," the petition says.

Berger and Lamar Advertising on Friday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for comment.

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