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New York Times: “M.T.A. Must Run Bus Ad From Pro-Israel Group, Judge Says”


A good solid piece on our free speech win today, from the New York Times.

“M.T.A. Must Run Bus Ad From Pro-Israel Group, Judge Says,” By Emma G;

A federal judge in Manhattan on Tuesday ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to display an ad from a pro-Israel group on buses after the agency declined to run it last year.

The group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, sued the authority in October, saying it had infringed on the group’s First Amendment rights by rejecting the ad. The authority had argued that the ad could be seen as a call to violence against Jews.

The ad shows a man with a scarf across his face next to the words, “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” attributed to “Hamas MTV.” Below that, it reads: “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?”

Geller Yerushalmi2

The judge, John G. Koeltl, of United States District Court, ruled that the ad qualified as protected speech and granted a preliminary injunction ordering the transportation authority to run the ad. He said the order would not take effect for 30 days so the agency could consider whether it would appeal the decision.

“While the court is sensitive to the M.T.A.’s security concerns, the defendants have not presented any objective evidence that the ‘Killing Jews advertisement’ would be likely to incite imminent violence,” Judge Koeltl wrote in the order.

The judge noted that a similar ad ran in Chicago and San Francisco in 2013 without incident.

Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, called the ruling a “triumph for liberty and truth.” The group initially planned to run the ad with others as part of a campaign. Ms. Geller said she would now buy more ad space on more buses since it was running alone.

A spokesman for the authority, Adam Lisberg, said in a statement that the agency was disappointed by the ruling and would review its options.

The set of ads was intended to parody a “My Jihad” campaign by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Those “My Jihad” ads portrayed jihad as a concept of nonviolent individual and personal struggle.

Ms. Geller’s group successfully sued the authority in 2012 over another ad that the agency eventually had to run. In that case, a federal judge ruled that the authority had violated the group’s First Amendment rights.

Judge Koeltl, in his order on Tuesday, said that there was no evidence that seeing one of the ads on the back of a bus would prompt a violent reaction.

“The defendants underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers,” he wrote, “and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements.”

Pamela Geller's shocking new book, "FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA" is now available on Amazon. It's Geller's tell all, her story - and it's every story - it's what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

  • Reverend Bacon

    Nice ad. Congrats on being granted your basic freedom to run it.

  • Walt Parkman

    at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and
    hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.


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  • disqus_HlH4Faibhw

    Why don’t they just stop fighting these ads. It’s freedom of speech for God’s sake, just like any other ad.

    • harbidoll

      that gets them off the hook with the jihadist

  • Felix Quigley

    Major distortion by BBC world service this morning.

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  • Abdul Wasi Ibrahimi

    Killing Jews is not worship nor is it worship to kill followers of other religions. Islam does not say so nor does the Quran. This is just anti Islamic propaganda.
    Now… this website publishes nothing but topics that are anti Islamic.This is exactly what the Nazis were doing. If Pamela Geller thinks that she is a political activist, she is not. She is exactly like the ISIS terrorist group, created by the people that want to blacken and denigrate Islam. This will incite imminent violence around the world.

    • roccolore

      You Muslims ARE the Nazis and ISIS apologists who kill over cartoons.

    • harbidoll

      ” do you love this dirt (life) so much you wont fight when I tell you to? Don’t you know I can torcher you in the grave?” Allah said in the Koran .& its happening around the world. What did the Ethiopians do to INCITE violence of beheading?

  • dee

    Suicidal missions like flyibg flying a plane into the twin towers is a form of worship..that was his jihad…whats yours…..put that on the new york bus ..I’m sure new yorkers will be very tollerant.

  • DonaldDouglas

    Congratulations Pamela!

  • Brent Gourley

    What about MTA’s right? They don’t want to be forced to spread their message and that should be their right.

    • scrubjay

      The judge ruled that it was content based discrimination to allow only one side of an issue to be posted. If you run one side of an issue then you also have to be willing to run the opposite side of the same issue. That is the basis of a public forum. It is basic fairness.

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