Pamela Geller notes Haaretz’s naked bias: “The aggressively uber-left Israeli newspaper has written a piece on our recent win in the landmark decision of AFDI vs MTA. Of course they cite all the usual uber-left suspects as legitimate sources (like the AFDI Threat to Freedom SPLC and the dhimmi Jewicidal ADL) to smear my organization, but that doesn’t surprise you, does it? The media always hunts for quotes from subversives to smear our work. Have they ever sought quotes extolling our organization for our dedication to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, individual rights, and the rights of women and non-Muslims under the Sharia? Ever? Get real. Did they ask me for comment on these smears from the left that they published without any critical examination? Again, get real.”
Also: “What I did learn from Cohen’s article is that the Jew-hater, Henry Clifford, who is running the anti-Jewish ads, plans to expand his campaign to posters in transit stations in Boston and Providence, Rhode Island. Help us counter his lies and propaganda with the facts. Donate to our pro-Israel ads here.”
“The Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Coming to an ad near you,” by Debra Nussbaum Cohen in Haaretz, July 29:
The pro-Israel group StandWithUs announced it is paying to put posters in Metro-North train stations in suburban New York to rebut anti-Israel advertisements, creating a new battleground in the broader Israeli-Palestinian fight over American public opinion.
The man behind the anti-Israel advertisements is Henry Clifford, a retired investment banker who formed The Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine. Through the group, Clifford spent $25,000 to place posters –purporting to show Israel’s seizure of Palestinian territory through a series of maps — in 50 Metro-North stations for a month, ending August 5. He is running the same advertisement in two local newspapers near his Connecticut home and says he plans to expand the campaign to posters in transit stations in Boston and possibly Providence, Rhode Island.
An enforced ceasefire?
But the advertising duel over Israel may come to an end in New York City if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates buses, subways and the Metro-North trains, decides to revamp its policy and stop accepting political, or “viewpoint,” advertisements — a shift currently under consideration, according to agency sources.
The MTA is considering changing its policy after losing a case in federal court for rejecting an anti-Muslim, pro-Israel advertisement. The judge ruled on July 20 that the MTA violated the First Amendment rights of Pamela Geller and her group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, when it rejected its advertisement reading, “In Any War between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man.” Lower down it says, “Support Israel; Defeat Jihad,” with Stars of David on either side.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed Geller’s group and her blog, Atlas Shrugs, hate groups. The MTA formally rejects an advertisement about once a year for not meeting its advertising guidelines, said spokesman Aaron Donovan, but this was the first time in 15 years it rejected one for being demeaning.
In a statement, the MTA said it “is evaluating its existing advertising standards in light of the court’s ruling.”
Charles Moerdler, a member of the MTA board, said the organization has “been carefully studying this for the past week or more to come up with some explanation for where we are and where we ought to be going” on accepting advertisements.
Moerdler, a Holocaust survivor and partner in the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, has prepared a 14-page memorandum related to political advertising and said he is waiting for the right time to present it to the MTA board.
The Anti-Defamation League called Geller’s advertisement “highly offensive and inflammatory” but agreed with the judge that the MTA was wrong to reject it. “We support the court’s conclusion that this is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment, yet we still strongly object to both the message and the messenger,” said Ron Meier, the ADL’s New York regional director.
Geller, who gained widespread attention for zealously opposing the mosque near Ground Zero, vowed to move forward with her advertisements.
“My ads will be up, whether they”re up in September 2012 or September 2013,” she said. “I will pursue that case to the Supreme Court.”…