Sunday, April 26, 2015

Controversial 'Killing Jews is Worship' posters will soon appear on New York City subways and buses

A controversial pro-Israel advocacy group known for publicly criticizing Islam can display its political advertisement containing the phrase 'Killing Jews is Worship' on New York City's buses, a judge ruled this week.

Judge John Koeltl said in a decision made public Tuesday that the incendiary ad is speech protected under the First Amendment.

He said he was sensitive to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's claim that the poster could incite violence and appreciates the efforts necessary to prevent violent attacks targeting Jewish people.

But he noted that substantially the same advertisement ran in San Francisco and Chicago in 2013 without incident. He added that examples of violent attacks cited by the MTA show that individuals may commit heinous acts without warning.

Koeltl also noted that the MTA and Chairman Thomas Prendergast 'underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements.'

'Under the First Amendment, the fear of such spontaneous attacks, without more, cannot override individuals' rights to freedom of expression,' Koeltl said in a ruling dated Monday.

MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said the agency is disappointed in the ruling and is preparing a response.

It came in a lawsuit filed last year by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization headed by firebrand blogger Pamela Geller that's behind the advertisement.

David Yerushalmi, a lawyer for the organization, said the decision 'sends a strong message both to government bureaucrats who would restrict our freedom of speech based upon what they perceive to be a global jihadist threat, and it also sends a telling message to our enemies abroad and at home: Their threats of violence will not prevent the courts from upholding the First Amendment.'

The lawsuit said Geller's group buys the advertisements to express its message on current events and public issues 'including issues such as Islam's hatred of Jews.'

In the ad, a man's menacing face wrapped with a checkered scarf is shown next to the quote, which is attributed to "Hamas MTV." It is followed by the words: 'That's his Jihad. What's yours?'

It also includes a disclaimer that the ad's display does not imply the MTA's endorsement of its views. The MTA, whose buses and subways have been forums for policy debates, has accepted other ads from the American Freedom Defense Initiative.

Monica Klein, a spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, noted in a statement that the mayor has said 'these anti-Islamic ads are outrageous, inflammatory and wrong, and have no place in New York City, or anywhere.'



Anonymous said...

Mayor Bill de Blasio, is outrageous, inflammatory and wrong, and has no place in New York City, or anywhere.'

Anonymous said...

Some people don't care how many Jews die as long as they are left in peace. sound familiar?

Bird of Paradise said...

Why do those cowards always hide their faces?