Muni Runs Pro-Israel Ad on Buses, Calling Palestinians "Savages"

Update (2:39 p.m.): Muni spokesman Paul Rose called us to say that the agency's policy states that it doesn't allow political ads that specifically deal with political candidates or ballot measures in upcoming elections.

Original Story (9 a.m.):We're not sure when the Israel vs. Palestine conflict became a nonpolitical issue, but apparently it is -- to Muni. The transit agency, which has a policy against running political ads, is running this very political ad on its buses for the next four weeks:

Savage-ad.jpg

So if that's not political, what is? A shirtless photo of Paul Ryan, perhaps?

When ABC News asked Muni spokesman Paul Rose how the hell this ad wasn't political, he "struggled" to answer. But in the end, the agency figured it wasn't worth all the lawsuits it could get slapped with if it didn't run the pro-Israel ad.

In fact, the day San Francisco started rolling with this ad, is the same day a judge ruled in New York City that its Metropolitan Transit Agency couldn't legally refuse to run it on buses in the Big Apple.

If the ad wasn't considered political before, it sure is now.

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32 comments
geoffwking
geoffwking

For those who claim the First Amendment has no bearing on this issue (whether because the ads are on buses or otherwise), I would urge you to look more closely at the doctrine. Signed, A First Amendment lawyer who happens to think these ads are vile, but protected, speech

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

Pam Geller, the nutcase who runs Atlas Shruggs, has carried a multiyear campaigned to prevent a Mosque from being in the 9-11 area. She has not gone so far as Leonard Peikoff, the founder of the Ayn Rand Institute, who has called for FedGov to bomb the Mosque if it gets built ! That was even too much for Pam. Ayn Rand was a vehement anti-Arab racist who supported Israel solely because 'the Arabs' (all one lump to her) opposed it, see the Ayn Rand Q&A monograph.

The issue here is not free speech at all, since no one here is advocating censorship. The question is taste. And such a one-sided ad is a legitimate target of criticism.

By Rob Anderson's criteria one could never critically review a book because the author has free speech rights. True enough and so does the critic.

Since Muni is a government agency people have every right to complain and did when the shoe was on the foot a few years back.

thennever
thennever

THE woman paying for these tasteless ads, is very very scary, as granma would say a shitstirrrrrr.

rabbipedro
rabbipedro

Just more proof the Jews control every waking moment of America.

denis_drew
denis_drew

Paid for by: "Ethnic Cleansing Deniers"

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

Actually there is far more state terrorism by the US and Israel than there is Muslim terrorism.

I lived in Tel Aviv for two years, Jewish on Mom's side, but the history of Palestine is not known here. Every place in Israel was built on the ruins of a Palestinian town, village or farm. More 750,000 Palestinian Arabs were forced to flee what is now Israel in 1947-48. Another half million from the West Bank & Gaza after 1967.

The first air hijacking was done by Israel in 1954 with a Syrian airplane. The first letter bombs were sent by Israel in 1960 to scientists working in Egypt, there were the Irgun & Stern Gangs terrorist militias after WW2 in Palestine and there have been terrorist attacks by the IDF against Jordan, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, the West Bank over the years on many occasions.

When groups have attempted to place ads critical of Israel on BART and Muni they were invariably censored.

One doesn't have to endorse Arab or Muslim terrorism to see the double standard here.

Also there have been terrorist attacks by the JDL and JDO against Soviets and Arabs in the US

and against revisionists who question the standard Shoah story. The President of Iran has pointed out on several occasions the western double standard on legal actions against Shoah revisionists while hypocritically deploring Muslim attempts at censorship in western Europe.

Selective indignation by Rob Anderson and others here is part of the problem, not the solution.

Pam Geller of the Atlas Shruggs blog is a vehement bigot and racist and has been exposed as such on the libertarian antiwar.com site. That is the mentality of the people who promote this ad.They have every right to push their view but so do those of who disagree with it.

If you called Blacks and Jews you would be condemned as racist, same standard should apply here.

Mohammad Alyousef
Mohammad Alyousef

And steven it's not about muslims and jews it's more political I know alot of jews who doesn't believe in israel.. And we have nothing against the religion as we do against israel

Mohammad Alyousef
Mohammad Alyousef

Thay came to our country 63 years ago ... thay killed thousands of people .. thay took over people houses leaving them homeless and they still doing this until now in different ways and thay call us savages because we will never give up. How ridiculous .. I grew up in palestine and i was there in the second war.. And I've seen a lot it's hard to describe everything and the media shows whatever israel want you to see but here is something and there's way more http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UItyVuIoECE&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Steven Python
Steven Python

It's precisely because SFMUNI ran an ad last year with the contrary position that they feel compelled to run this one. Exactly the same thing happened in NYC, and this is why the judge in the lawsuit decided against NYCMTA - which had opposed running the pro-Israel ad. It seems that the MTA was worried about "inciting" Muslims to violence. This invites the most central question in this case: Why isn't anyone worried about "inciting" Jews?

rmajora
rmajora topcommenter

Some Moslems are in fact violent jihadists, which as we all know is a serious national security problem.

Recall that, back in 2006, the city's media disgraced itself when it refused to comment on how jihadists were bullying the media during the Muhammed cartoon incident. Only the SF Chronicle even published an editorial on the subject.

This is simply a misguided multiculturalism, as if opposing Islamic bullies and terrorists is some kind of intolerance.

 

Rob Anderson

JoshRotter
JoshRotter

@SFWeekly this is a juicy story!

rmajora
rmajora topcommenter

The judge in New York rules that the bus ad is not only protected by the First Amendment, it “is afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.”

 

Darren's reference to a website is irrelevant, since only the text of the message is in dispute here.

 

darren.mckeeman
darren.mckeeman

If you go to the website it's pretty hateful. I'd go so far as to call it hate speech. 

rmajora
rmajora topcommenter

Actually, the ad doesn't mention Palestinians. It refers to "Jihadists," which apparently refers to Islamist terrorists. The federal judge in New York based his ruling on the First Amendment, which, last time I looked, is still in effect here in Progressive Land.

rmajora
rmajora topcommenter

 @red.marcy.rand

 Marcy's potted history of the Middle East is completely irrelevant here. She has the right to put up $25,000 and put it in an ad on Muni buses. Pamela Geller may be a bigot and an all-around terrible person, but that too is irrelevant. All that's on the table here is the actual message reproduced above.

 

Terrorism as a tactic and strategy is deplorable no matter who does it. All you are saying, Marcy, is that you disagree with the implied political perspective of the message.

 

I'm not indignant at all, just bemused at how you and others completely misunderstand the First Amendment, which wasn't designed to cater to any religion or political perspective. That's the beauty of it.

 

Rob Anderson  

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

US-Israeli policy in the region is the major national security threat. There is more dissent on this issue in Israel than here.

richardchaven
richardchaven

 @rmajora Defining any opponent of Israel as "the savage" is intolerant, disrespectful, and absurd.

 

"Some Moslems..." defines the issue. Some Christians are terrorists, but we don't go around calling them savages, now do we.

mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

 @rmajora First amendment or not, if someone is paying you to do something, you have every right to reject the offer.  The first amendment doesn't require us to plaster our bodies and communities with billboards we don't like.

richardchaven
richardchaven

 @darren.mckeeman No, speech A is not hate speech because it refers to speech B, which is hate speech. Each speech stands on its own.

richardchaven
richardchaven

It refers to all opponents of Israel as savages. That removes it from rational debate immediately.

 

Let's look at "Jihadists" for a moment: while they might call themselves that, a more appropriate term is "harabist". Haraba means terrorism: a war on civilians. As long as we allow them to define themselves as "freedom fighters"  or "fighters for God", even rational arguments will keep pulling in emotional elements.

 

The First Amendment does not grant unlimited access of all speech to all media. I don't think many would support NAMBLA advertizments on Muni, for example. Muni might have right to censor what advertizments its patrons are forced to look at during their journey.

mrericsir
mrericsir topcommenter

 @rmajora The first amendment has nothing to do with bus advertisements.

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

Where did I endorse terrorism by anyone ? And where is my history wrong ?

I disagree with both the blanket racism and very selective condemnation of terrorism by the nuts who wrote this ad.

I am a First Amendment absolutist and never called for censorship.

Where does it say in the First Amendment that we can't examine the content of any message. And where were you when pro-Palestinian messages were censored by BART and Muni ?

Your comments are one long nonsequitur.

 

 

 

rmajora
rmajora topcommenter

 @richardchaven

 Most terrorism now is done by Moslem jihadists. Is that in dispute? Of course if Christians were doing something similar, it would be accurate to call them "savages." The Christian who killed an abortion doctor several years ago, for example, surely qualifies for the term.

 

Rob Anderson

rmajora
rmajora topcommenter

 @richardchaven

 "It refers to all opponents of Israel as savages. That removes it from rational debate immediately."

No, the ad refers to jihadists as savages, not "all opponents of Israel."

rmajora
rmajora topcommenter

 @richardchaven

 If they call themselves jihadists, why shouldn't we? Your semantic hair-splitting is euphemistic. I would prefer calling these folks terrorists, fanatics, and crackpots, but of course I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

red.marcy.rand
red.marcy.rand topcommenter

Then we can rightly refer to the IDF as savages when they commit atrocities and they often do.

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