Freedom To Speak

Pro-Israel group in judicial victory against New York transportation authority

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A judge has ruled in favor of a pro-Israel group seeking to place a controversial ad on New York’s public buses, Reuters reports.

The ad, created by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, reads "in any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel/Defeat Jihad." The ad was expected to be posted over 300 city buses for a month. But when the MTA refused, the group filed suit.

Manhattan U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer determined that a 1997 rule issued by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority barring demeaning language in advertisements is a violation of free speech.

“This is a great victory for the First Amendment," the group noted on its website.

"Disallowing a pro-Israel ad was clearly a politically correct, politically motivated denial of free speech," agreed Pamela Geller, the group's executive director.

World Jewish Daily recently reported on another set of ads, which were permitted to be posted by the MTA, currently in New York’s metro stations, accusing Israel of systematically taking land from Palestinians in a bid to expand the Jewish state.

In light of the recent judicial opinion, the MTA has announced that it is currently, “evaluating its existing advertising standards.”

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