In “Battling for free speech in New York” in WND, April 10, Pamela Geller recounts the latest episode in our battle against the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority for the right to tell the truth about the jihad against Israel:
Last Tuesday, in the shadow of the site where the World Trade Center towers once stood, freedom’s A Team gathered to fight not for the Second, or for the Eighth, or for the 10th, but for the First Amendment. Robert Spencer, David Yerushalmi, Robert Muise and I converged upon the United States Courthouse to battle the neanderthals of the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority. The deliberations took four hours.
We filed a lawsuit against the MTA to combat Jew-hatred in the city”s subways. Jew-haters can run ads suggesting that Israel’s self-defense is the obstacle to “peace” and that U.S. military aid to Israel also acts as an impediment to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. The anti-Israel ad blames Israel, its military and U.S. military aid to Israel as the cause of Palestinian terror directed against innocent civilians in Israel and abroad.
Jeffrey Rosen, director of real estate for the MTA, admitted that the decision to reject our AFDI pro-Israel ad — and he called it the pro-Israel ad — laid solely with him. This member of the tribe eagerly accepted an anti-Israel ad calling for the end of U.S. aid to Israel, in his view because it was a strategy for peace. What it is in reality is a Final Solution for the elimination of Israel. But this self-important jackass knows better than everybody.
Rosen’s almost irreconcilable thinking gave even the most astute among us great pause. Even the judge, Paul Engelmayer, seemed astounded when Rosen admitted that ads saying “Southerners are bigots” or “Blondes are brain-dead” would be acceptable, but ours was “demeaning.” Which it was not. Mr. Rosen went on to admit that in the past 15 years, the MTA had never before rejected an ad based on its being “demeaning”: ours was the first.
What I found contradictory was that Rosen admitted that he would run an ad saying “Support Israel, defeat jihad,” but somehow it was not OK to run it with the tagline, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.” How can that be reconciled with his claim that the ad was insulting to a religious group — Muslims — based on his understanding of the word “jihad” as a religious concept that had nothing to do with violence and terrorism? And how does he further reconcile his claim that the ad was demeaning to a nationality (“Palestine,” which doesn’t even exist) with his position that the anti-Israel ad was not demeaning to a nationality (Israel, which really does exist)?
The issue is viewpoint censorship versus content censorship. And, of course, it’s all ridiculous, because not only did Rosen (who is a lawyer) agree, but both lawyers for the defense agreed that our ad was political speech, which is the most protected class of speech under the First Amendment…..