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Free Speech Victory: ‘Proud Savage’ Mona Eltahawy Has to Pay Restitution In AFDI Ad Vandalism Case

On September 25, 2012, CNN “journalist” Mona Eltahawy was arrested after spraying pink spray paint over one of my American Freedom Defense Initiative ads in the New York subway.

On Friday, she declared victory, tweeting: “My attorney @StanleyCohenLaw just wrote to tell me that my spray painting case has been dismissed in the interests of justice.#ProudSavage.” Not surprisingly, Eltahawy was lying: the case wasn’t dismissed outright “in the interests of justice”; rather, she has to perform community service and pay restitution. The judgment is a victory for AFDI and free speech.

As she vandalized the ad, Eltahawy also spray-painted my associate, Pamela Hall, and broke her glasses. Her vandalism caused an international brouhaha – her spray-painting made the front page of the New York Post and headlines in national and international newspapers. Tellingly, to defend her she hired the notorious Hamas lawyer, the anti-Semitic Jew Stanley Cohen. The Assistant District Attorney in charge of prosecuting the case told hall that what Eltahawy actually got was an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which means that the case will be dismissed in six months if she stays out of trouble. Although this is not a conviction, Eltahawy had to complete two days of community service and pay restitution of $794.60 to Hall for her broken glasses. Hall remarked: “Mona has thrown in the towel, giving up on her bogus claim to free speech, and finally agreed to do her community service as required for spraying graffiti in the subway.” 

The ad Eltahawy vandalized read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” Eltahawy has taken to calling herself a “proud savage” – an appellation I will not disagree with – and claims that the ad refers to all Muslims. It does not, of course. The ad refers not to all Muslims, but to those jihadis who rejoice in the murders of innocent civilians. The war on Israel is a war on innocent civilians. The targeting of civilians is savage. The recent murder of four rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue is savage. Palestinians celebrating those murders by passing out candy is savage. The recent hit-and-run attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians were savage.

Jihad frequently contains an element of savagery. The murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens was savage. The relentless 60-year campaign of terror against the Jewish people is savage. The torture of hostage Gilad Shalit was savage. The bloody hacking to death of the Fogel family was savage. The Munich Olympic massacre was savage. The unspeakable torture of Ehud Goldwasser was savage. The tens of thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel (into schools, homes, etc.) are savage. The vicious Jew-hatred behind this genocide is savage. The endless demonization of the Jewish people in the Palestinian and Arab media is savage. The refusal to recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish state is savage.

The list is endless. But Eltahawy has nothing to say about the very real savagery that is committed in the name of the jihad against Israel. She is effectively carrying water for those who advocate a new genocide of the Jews and celebrate the murders of innocent civilians. Nor does she have anything coherent to say about her fascist attack against my ad: in a Guardian piece justifying her vandalism, she wrote, “I broke the law, yes. So what?” Eltahawy goes on about her “love of the first amendment,” while demonstrating her abysmal lack of understanding of what the freedom of speech is, how it works, and why it is important. How is destroying private property free speech? Vandalism is not freedom of speech, it’s barbarism; in a word, it’s savagery.

If Mona Eltahawy wanted to exercise her freedom of speech, she could have bought her own advertisement and expressed herself any way she wished. Attacking people with toxic spray and destroying property is not freedom of expression or any legitimate form of protest.

While claiming to uphold the freedom of speech and rule of law, Eltahawy reveals her hypocrisy, and her contempt for both. But now she has had her day in court: she initially refused community service because she wanted just that, so as to demand her free speech rights to make graffiti in the subway.

But what she did was illegal, fascist, and wrong, and now she has been made to pay. Free speech has won again.

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.

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