Shalom Life | April 22, 2015

Judge Allows "Killing Jews" Ad, Will Start Running on New York Buses

Judge John Koelt says the extreme and controversial ad paid for by Pamela Gellar's AFDI is protected under the First Amendment

By: Daniel Koren

Published: April 21st, 2015 in News » World

Photo: Pamela Gellar holding 'Killing Jews Ad' sign

Credit: www.pamelagellar.com


Bus riders in the New York area will have to brace themselves for facing a new advertisement that will begin running on buses soon, one that many argue will incite racism, terrorism, anti-Semitism, and violence.

U.S. District Judge John Koelt said that the ad, labelled by all parties involved as the "Killing Jews Ad," is protected speech under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and ordered New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority to display it on its buses.

The MTA has but only 30 days to appeal his decision. A spokesman for the Authority, Adam lsberg, said the agency was preparing a press release.

The ad, a parody paid for by the controversial American Freedom Defense Initiative, lead by notorious anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Gellar and author Robert Spencer, depicts a man wearing a scarf around his face, accompanied by this quote: "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah."

The quote adds that his actions are attributed to "Hamas MTV," and then states, "That's His Jihad. What's yours?", with "Hamas TV" being a reference to Palestinian Media Watch's translation of a hateful, anti-Israel music video released online.

The ad does, at least, include a disclaimer that the ad's statement does not reflect the MTA's stance. It's also not the first time the Authority will run an ad from the AFDI, which touts itself as a pro-Israel organization.

Gellar was adequately pleased with the Judge's decision, and expressed her joy via Twitter:


According to Judge Koelt, the parody ad does not show that it could result in immediate violence, as it already ran in Chicago and San Francisco, and no violence ensued. While he did add that he was "sensitive" to the topic, he felt the MT "underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements. It strains credulity to believe that New Yorkers would be incited to violence by ads that did not incite residents of Chicago and San Francisco."

The AFDI has long been known as a radical "anti-Muslim" movement, one that many Jewish groups have openly denounced, including the Anti-Defamation League, who condemned Gellar's lawyer David Yerushalmi for his "record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry."

In a response on Judge Koelt's ruling, Yerushalmi said similar rulings have taken place in Washington and Philadelphia. "There is no question that transit authorities have the right and duty to protect their riders from violence," he said in a phone interview with the Jerusalem Post. "They do not have the right to give terrorists or potential terrorists a 'heckler's veto.'"

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