In New York City and Boston, Nazi imagery and Jew-hatred is fine on city buses and subways – but our American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) ads defending Israel are forbidden.
Despite our having won numerous legal free speech battles against the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to run our pro-Israel, anti-jihad ads in New York’s transit system, the MTA has prohibited all of our ads, under the guise of a political/issue-related advertising ban.
But they are running Nazi ads on city subways. Gothamist reported Monday that “seats on 42nd Street subway Shuttle cars are wrapped with symbols from Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, intended to carry commuters into the alternate history of the Amazon TV series, The Man in the High Castle, in which the Axis Powers were victorious.” One commuter commented: “I shouldn’t have to sit staring at a Nazi insignia on my way to work.”
This is what happens when government arbitrarily decides what speech is good and what’s forbidden. That is the reason that our founding fathers made the freedom of speech our first (not the third or the fifth or the eight) amendment.
Last month, a New York judge ruled that ads by a Muslim group declaring “The Muslims Are Coming” had to run. When a judge ruled that our ads had to run, the MTA issued a ban that appears increasingly to only apply to AFDI. The Muslim supremacist ad and now this Nazi ad can run. But not our pro-freedom ads.
The march of totalitarianism. It’s not just the jihad attacks in Paris and the Muslim refugee crisis — in this age of Obama, the forces of hatred and oppression are emboldened and on the offensive everywhere. Officials all over the country are kowtowing to evil instead of standing up to it — even in unlikely places like Boston, which has just agreed to run vicious anti-Israel ads, while continuing to refuse to run our AFDI ads defending Israel and freedom.
AFDI recently submitted a new ad campaign to Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) in response to their banning pro-Israel ads while allowing vicious antisemitic ads to run. Our new ad reads, “#MBTA run vile anti-Semitic ads but refuse pro-Israel ads.”
This ad comes as the MBTA runs yet another series of Jew-hating ads, one after another, while refusing no less than three pro-Israel, counter-jihad campaigns from AFDI. Their bias is naked and obvious — and anti-American and anti-freedom.
The MBTA is currently running a vicious, libelous anti-Israel ad falsely claiming that Israel’s military has killed one Palestinian child every three days. But they refused our famous ad reading, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” They also refused our ad noting accurately that “Islamic Jew-Hatred” is “in the Quran.” They even refused our ad quoting Muhammad, which was designed to counter the Islamic Circle of North America ad falsely claiming that Muhammmad taught peace and tolerance.
You would think that officials in Boston would have more sense. In the city where Islamic jihadists sowed murder and mayhem at the Marathon, the MBTA claimed our ads criticizing Islamic anti-Semitism and jihad terror were demeaning to Muslims — as if all Muslims were Jew-haters and jihadists.
The MBTA has compounded its moral inversion by approving and running anti-Semitic ads that include libels and lies against Israel.
It’s beyond appalling: in a city repeatedly wracked by Islamic terror attacks — the blood of its citizens stains the streets of the city — the MBTA refused to run our ads opposing jihad.
We are not taking this without a fight. We are never going to acquiesce to this evil. Freedom of speech is an unalienable right. Cowards and quislings do not decide what is good and what is forbidden. AFDI vs. Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA) is going to the Supreme Court. The costs involved are astronomical. But this case is far more important than what ads run or do not run: it’s a question of whether our public forums are going to be available to all people, or whether whole segments of the American public are simply going to be silenced and disenfranchised.
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.