web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Savaged for Daring to Name Savagery: Pamela Geller Attacked by Critics of Free Speech

The ads are already running on the sides of San Francisco buses, they began running today, September 24th, in New York City, and they were scheduled to begin appearing in the Washington, D.C. metro system. However, the DC system balked, citing the violent rioting by Muslims allegedly inflamed by a YouTube video which represents, so Geller initiated an emergency court action at the end of last week to enforce her First Amendment rights.

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller

Pamela Geller, conservative commentator and blogger provocateur, is the executive director of the American Freeedom Defense Initiative.  AFDI created and paid for an ad campaign to run in several urban transit systems, in response to anti-Israel ads that ran in the same spaces.

The AFDI ads contain a paraphrase from the philosopher Ayn Rand: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”  It concludes with: “Support Israel.  Defeat Jihad.”

The ads are already running on the sides of San Francisco buses, they began running today, September 24th, in New York City, and they were scheduled to begin appearing in the Washington, D.C. metro system.  However, the DC system balked, citing the violent rioting by Muslims allegedly inflamed by a YouTube video which presents an unflattering view of Mohammad, so Geller initiated an emergency court action at the end of last week to enforce her First Amendment rights.

Because there is so much misinformation both about Geller and her ad, The Jewish Press asked her to explain what her ad means, why it is scheduled to run this week, what the responses to it have been and, most importantly, why she continues to express her views so publicly, when she is repeatedly condemned by virtually the entire spectrum of mainstream media and even by other Jewish and pro-Israel groups.

First, let’s get the chronology and the geography straight.

2010, Seattle

In late 2010, in Seattle, Washington, anti-Israel groups sought to run advertisements on the side of municipal buses reading: “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work. Stop30billion-Seattle.org.”  Just before the anti-Israel ads were about to go up, the county executive crafted a new policy banning all non-commercial advertisements.  The new policy enabled the municipality to reject not only the anti-Israel ad, but also two counter-ads that had been submitted, one of which was one proposed by Geller, the other one offered by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

September, 2011, New York

Last September, another series of anti-Israel ads went up in various transit systems including the one in New York City.  This ad shows two smiling dads – one Israeli, one “Palestinian,” with their young daughters.  The ad copy: “Be on our side.  We’re on the side of peace and Justice.  End U.S. military aid to Israel.” In other words, American tax dollars is being used to support Israeli militancy and injustice.  These ads ran in 18 NYC subway stops for a month, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

That same month, Geller’s organization, AFDI, submitted the anti-Jihad ad.  The MTA refused to run it, claiming the ad violated its advertising standards because it “demeans[s] an individual or group of individuals.”  AFDI claimed that rejection violated the U.S. Constitution. On September 227, 2011, AFDI, Pamela Geller, and AFDI’s  associate director, Robert Spencer, filed suit against the MTA claiming that the transit agency’s no-demeaning standard constitutes “viewpoint discrimination” and is unconstitutional and therefore the MTA’s rejection of AFDI’s ad unlawfully restricted their free speech.

September 2012, New York

On July 20, 2012, Judge Englemayer, the federal district court judge in New York before whom the matter was heard, ruled that the MTA’s  prohibition on “demeaning” language is unconstitutional and the ad must run.  Significantly, the court ruled that

the AFDI Ad is not only protected speech—it is core political speech. The Ad expresses AFDI’s pro-Israel perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, and implicitly calls for a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy with regard to that conflict. The AFDI Ad is, further, a form of response to political ads on the same subject that have appeared in the same space.   As such, the AFDI Ad is afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.

While AFDI was the victor in the case, Judge Engelmayer threw more than a few crumbs to the ad’s opponents.

For example, there was a fundamental disagreement over the use of the term “savage” – Geller claims it refers only to those committing acts of barbarism against innocent victims in the name of Islam.  Judge Englemayer, however, held that a reasonable person could conclude the term referred simply to Muslims.

What’s more, the judge practically wrote a recipe for the MTA to follow for rewriting its advertising policy so that a ban on an ad like AFDI’s could, in the future be upheld by a court.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

Please use the Facebook Tab below to leave your comment:

19 Responses to “Savaged for Daring to Name Savagery: Pamela Geller Attacked by Critics of Free Speech”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Loading Facebook Comments ...
Loading Disqus Comments ...
Current Top Story
The United Nations Security Council
UN Security Council Demands Gaza Cease Fire
Latest News Stories
Israeli soldier reciting the Shema prayer near the border in Southern Israel on July 20, 2014.

Calling for a global recitation of the Shema at 12:00 noon EST, 7:00 a.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. in Israel.

The United Nations Security Council

The UN Security Council wants a cease fire now. The focus is on the safety of Gaza civilians, but not Israel’s security.

UNRWA School in Gaza

The IDF claims from their investigation and released video of the shell that hit the UNRWA school that they did not kill the 16 people.

French police in riot gear during an anti-Israel riot in Paris on Sunday, July 20, 2014.

If anti-Israel doesn’t necessarily mean anti-Israel-Semitic, why do anti-Israel protests always seem to be so violent?

Make up your mind: PA Chairman can’t decide whether Palestinians are sovereign state or feeble protectorate

2010 cruise to Gaza ended so well, ‘humanitarian activists’ want to try it all again.

PM Netanyahu gave an interview (in English) and talked about the cease fire violations.

Islamic Republic pledges ongoing support for Hamas, tells Meet the Press that US weapons intended to kill Arab civilians.

Hamas had been preparing a murderous massive assault on Israeli civilian targets during the upcoming Jewish New Year holiday, Rosh Hashanah.

Hamas not only has no respect for the living but it also has no respect for the dead.

Kerry is consistent. He has talked so much and promised so much that, like the peace process, his ceasefire delivered nothing.

Hamas proposed a truce after rejecting it, and true to its principles, continued to fire at rockets at Israel.

Hospital staff at Schneider Children’s Hospital in Petach Tikva gathered up the babies and took them to the stairway for protection after a rocket siren went off this morning.

Wouldn’t a direct wire transfer from the White House to Pyongyang have saved on the wire transfer fees?

Police report that a massive car bomb was found inside a car that was stopped at the Beitar Checkpoint.

Twenty Days, 30 terror tunnels destroyed and 2,200 rockets fired at Israel. The price: 43 soldiers.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Israeli soldier reciting the Shema prayer near the border in Southern Israel on July 20, 2014.

Calling for a global recitation of the Shema at 12:00 noon EST, 7:00 a.m. PST, 7:00 p.m. in Israel.

The United Nations Security Council

The UN Security Council wants a cease fire now. The focus is on the safety of Gaza civilians, but not Israel’s security.

Bibi’s cabinet unanimously rejected Kerry’s ceasefire proposal, but still considering 12-hour break.

Hip Hop musicians create a song and video to express how they feel about the current Arab/Israel war.

Senators wrote to Obama insisting any ceasefire ensures Israel will be free from Gazan terrorism.

Sen Ted Cruz wants the administration to give straight answers to questions about the FAA ban on Israel.

Why is the ban on Israel’s airport different from all other FAA bans?

US extends ban on flights to Israel despite lack of such precaution in similar or worse situations.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/savaged-for-daring-to-name-savagery-pamela-gellers-point-made-by-critics-of-free-speech/2012/09/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: