Israeli Hostage Awareness Super Bowl Ad Drew Most FCC Complaints

( – A Super Bowl ad calling for the release of Israeli hostages in Gaza received almost ten thousand complaints because it failed to inform the audience that it was funded by the Israeli government. The ad included a message addressed to “all the dads held in captivity by Hamas for over 120 days, we vow to bring you home.” Subsequent complaints claimed that CBS violated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations by not mentioning Israel’s financial backing.

An Arab group named the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) appeared to spearhead the complaints by providing a link and instructions on registering a grievance on its website. ADC national executive director Abed Abyoub said that FCC action was “imperative” because networks have an “obligation to inform” the public when they sell airtime to foreign governments, including Israel.

Ayoub said it is the concern of every American if foreign “propaganda” is permitted to flow freely across US airwaves. The ADC described the advertisement as “pro-genocide.”

David Greenfield, CEO of Jewish charity the Met Council, called out the ADC on Twitter, asking why the group objected to factual information highlighting the continuing hostage crisis in Gaza, where more than 100 people, including Americans, are held captive by terror group Hamas.

An FCC spokesperson said the commission would not comment on the case, but noted that the regulations only apply to “broadcast programming” and not online content.

The Israeli military recently updated on the hostage situation and said over 130 people remain in captivity. The State Department says six of these are American citizens and confirmed it is working with the governments of Egypt and Qatar to secure their release.

In early April, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US remains determined to secure a ceasefire, secure hostage releases, provide humanitarian aid, and protect civilians. The US recently proposed a six-week truce in exchange for 40 hostages. Blinken said the “ball is in Hamas’ court” but urged parties to take the proposal seriously.

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