In Washington DC Metrobus ads, pro-Israel group features photo of Hitler

Provocative, issue-oriented advertising isn’t new in Washington’s transit system. Interest groups often plaster Metro’s buses, trains and stations with head-turning messages, occasionally using language and images that some find offensive.

Now comes a photo of Adolf Hitler.

The pro-Israel group American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), angered by anti-Israel ads that recently appeared on some Metrobuses, has countered with a big ad of its own, featuring the Nazi dictator.

“Our ads are in response to the vicious Jew-hating ads … unleashed on Washington DC Metro buses last month,” AFDI says on its Web site. AFDI, based in New York, has been labeled an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights organization that monitors extremist groups.

The “Jew-hating” ad in question, paid for by the Illinois-based group American Muslims for Palestine, appeared on 20 Metro buses from mid-March to mid-April.

The AFDI ad shows Hitler meeting with Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Palestinian nationalist and grand mufti of Jerusalem who allied himself with the Third Reich before and during World War II. Besides making propaganda broadcasts for the Nazis and recruiting European Muslims to serve in the Waffen SS, Husseini backed Hitler’s policy of exterminating Jews.

In September that year, AFDI bought ad space in four subway stations for this message: “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”