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bus ad

Readers occasionally make comments to me that free speech in America is dead. If you still believe this, take a look at this shocking ad I saw plastered on a Metro bus in Washington, DC this morning. I could hardly believe it. The advertisements are reportedly the work of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, controversial founders of the organizations "Stop Islamization of America" (known as "SIOA") and the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Geller also operates a website and blog called "IslamicJewHatred.com" here. To see a statement like this on transport buses in ultra-liberal and culturally diverse Washington, DC is surprising. Yet this appears to be the shock value tactic of this organization, who also ran similar ads in New York City. The banner below became the subject of a heated court battle with New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority system last year, when SIOA attempted to buy ad space which was rejected on the ground the advertisement contained disparaging content.

nYC ad

SIOA sued the NY Transportation Authority on freedom of expression grounds and won. The ads eventually appeared in NYC subway stations. The organization currently is engaged in a similar battle with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority who refused this same ad.

Geller and SIOA's position in such matters is that they "aggressively seek to defend our nation's Judeo-Christian moral foundation in courts all across the nation." She even went as far as organizing protests against Park 51, a mosque/community center located two blocks from the World Trade Center. Speaking of September 11, SIOA also ran this ad in NYC.

ANTIISLAM-AD-570
On the other side of the battle, anti-Israeli groups like "American Muslims for Palestine" plaster anti-Israeli sentiments in NY subway stations.

pro palestine



Another pro-Palestine banner placed in NY subway stations.

palestine

From a legal and civil liberties perspective, it's all quite interesting. I've said numerous times that I advocate for all freedom of expression, no matter how controversial or idiotic the statement. It's the reason I've never once banned any troll from my blog, although I've been tempted to do so on many occasions.

Do I like seeing political advertisements during my already stressful morning commute? Absolutely not, but it's the price you pay to live in an open, free society. Having recently visited this region of the world, I can say the sentiments expressed in these ads are very real and palpable. It's part of the reason for my delay in writing my travel reports. The issues dramatically impact the daily lives of all people - both Israelis and Palestinians - and realistically I see no peaceful resolution during my lifetime. It's almost surreal to visit a country where a separation wall is still in place, where someone's designation on their identity card determines which borders they can cross, and how they are treated to a large extent.

I've never once seen a political ad of this nature in the Moscow metro or on a Russian bus. Do they exist? Should they? Discuss.

Comments

( 102 comments — Leave a comment )
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medok
May. 19th, 2014 03:53 pm (UTC)
due to last world news shoud say: Stop russians.
andrey_kaminsky
May. 19th, 2014 04:20 pm (UTC)
Хватит нацисткого идиотизма
News should say: Stop idiots who are uttering nonsense. Russians are different. Someone should be stoped, some should not.
What is "pro-Islamic"? - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 20th, 2014 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: What is "pro-Islamic"? - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 01:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - medok - May. 19th, 2014 05:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mujlan01 - May. 19th, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 19th, 2014 07:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - andrey_kaminsky - May. 20th, 2014 03:59 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 20th, 2014 09:11 am (UTC) - Expand
:) - andrey_kaminsky - May. 20th, 2014 03:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: :) - qi_tronic - May. 20th, 2014 04:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
just8sec
May. 19th, 2014 03:55 pm (UTC)
>I've never once seen a political ad of this nature in the Moscow metro or on a Russian bus. Do they exist? Should they? Discuss.

It was the question I would ask you during reading your post. The coverage of events are shocking to me (since Georgia) It's like we have cold war version 2.0
peacetraveler22
May. 19th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, return to the Cold War. Sitting in America, I feel the same.
(no subject) - just8sec - May. 19th, 2014 05:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - just8sec - May. 19th, 2014 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
real_marsel
May. 19th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC)
Islam is a very dangerous phenomenon and should be banned.
peacetraveler22
May. 19th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
Your statement is very bold! I don't support banning of any religion, especially one of the most popular in the world.
livejournal
May. 19th, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
Israel v. Palestine - Free Speech on American Public Transport
User deniszorin referenced to your post from Israel v. Palestine - Free Speech on American Public Transport saying: [...] Оригинал взят у в Israel v. Palestine - Free Speech on American Public Transport [...]
deniszorin
May. 19th, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
Бей чурок!
peacetraveler22
May. 19th, 2014 05:05 pm (UTC)
Английский перевод? Не понимаю. :((
(no subject) - plushevii_zaits - May. 19th, 2014 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
puerrtto
May. 19th, 2014 04:16 pm (UTC)
Just great! I've seen in the US and Europe some social advertisment "Israel vs Palestine" :)
Both side are extremly agressive. However, as someone (no idea who is) said:

"Not all muslims are terrorists, but most of the terrorists are muslims" (c).

Unfortunately, great majority of muslims (not all of them, but still) in the Middle East are illiterate religious people, mostly dog poor. That's too easy to manipulate by one, who 1) have nothing to loose, 2) is not able to analyze the situation and the consequences.

America's idea to build democracy around the muslim world is dangerous and hopeless, as those society still live the 14 century. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt. They need cruel totalitarian leaders. Russia as well :)



Edited at 2014-05-19 04:23 pm (UTC)
just8sec
May. 19th, 2014 04:43 pm (UTC)
I think we are fine with our autocracy. The rest of the western world just have to stop pushing us :)

I love your posts btw :) Keep traveling.
(no subject) - puerrtto - May. 19th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 04:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - puerrtto - May. 19th, 2014 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - puerrtto - May. 19th, 2014 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
There is no difference in manipulating - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 20th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC) - Expand
fesma94
May. 19th, 2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
You, Americans , not good in history and like oil , that is the problem !!!! Most of "palestinian" are arabs who came to work at Brits railway during construction . They came even from North Africa !!!
peacetraveler22
May. 19th, 2014 05:16 pm (UTC)
You are friends with no Palestinians or Arabs?
(no subject) - fesma94 - May. 19th, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fesma94 - May. 19th, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 05:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fesma94 - May. 19th, 2014 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 05:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
fesma94
May. 19th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
My respect to Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer !!!!
P.S Nobel Peace prize is bullshit !!!!

Edited at 2014-05-19 04:57 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
May. 19th, 2014 05:00 pm (UTC)
What!?! :) I don't support intolerance on either side - Israel or Palestine. But the hate there is very, very real.
a_nimaida
May. 19th, 2014 04:53 pm (UTC)
if the United States lost in the war with Germany, 20 million of its citizens are unlikely to openly advertised fascism.

the question is. Why the U.S. is funding radical Islam (Jihad) in Syria?
peacetraveler22
May. 19th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I don't have Obama's phone number nor do I speak to him or any members of Congress on a regular basis. So, I don't know the answer to your questions. I hate politics.
(no subject) - a_nimaida - May. 19th, 2014 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - a_nimaida - May. 21st, 2014 07:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 21st, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
skvorets1989
May. 19th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
In Russia you also can express your views publicly but only as long as those views are of love to the President Putin and his decisions.

When opposition leader Alexey Navalny was campaining for the post of mayor in Moscow (everyone was surprised he was registered as a candidate in the first place) police officers were coming to people's homes and forced them to take off from their windows banners in support of him.

Now Navalny is under home arrest and facing several more charges for the crimes he didn't commit and couldn't commit even theoraticaly.

Compared to this of course America is a heaven of freedom and liberty, but still when I read online versions of your newspapers I mostly don't like what I see.

peacetraveler22
May. 19th, 2014 06:44 pm (UTC)
Which topics/current news events do you think American media is portraying in the wrong way?
(no subject) - skvorets1989 - May. 19th, 2014 07:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - May. 19th, 2014 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skvorets1989 - May. 19th, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - May. 19th, 2014 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skvorets1989 - May. 19th, 2014 08:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - May. 19th, 2014 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skvorets1989 - May. 19th, 2014 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - May. 19th, 2014 09:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 19th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - May. 19th, 2014 10:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Wow! Great! - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 20th, 2014 02:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Don't you oppose Putin just now? - xpo_xpo_xpo - May. 20th, 2014 02:08 am (UTC) - Expand
qi_tronic
May. 19th, 2014 06:59 pm (UTC)
In Russia I remember only these ads:

ru. wikipedia. org/wiki/%D0%90%D0%B2%D1%82%D0%BE%D0%B1%D1%83%D1%81_%D0%9F%D0%BE%D0%B1%D0%B5%D0%B4%D1%8B

This was done by an independent group, not government.

Re Palestinians vs. Israelis I think that we should return to the UN resolution of 1947.
I think that today's Israel will not last for long.
It is an unstable temporary construct.

Sooner of later USA will get weaker, not being able to protect Israel, and Arabic countries will raise their civilizational and, as a result, military level.
After all, Adolf Hitler's Germany also saw themselves as civilized people against barbaric Russia :)

peacetraveler22
May. 19th, 2014 07:05 pm (UTC)
Why do you view Israel as an "unstable temporary construct?" Btw, I wonder what happened to that blogger that wrote about Soviet times - zina_korzina?? I noticed recently that her LJ page is now deleted.
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 19th, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pin_gwin - May. 19th, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 12:08 am (UTC) - Expand
notabler
May. 19th, 2014 09:58 pm (UTC)
They exist in UK. I doubt very much about Russia
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 12:22 am (UTC)
Last time I was in London I remember thinking it may have surpassed America as the world's "melting pot." Such a culturally diverse city! Not sure about other parts of the UK, but it doesn't surprise me that such signs and banners would be present there.
skvorets1989
May. 19th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
There is very interesting and controversial Israeli film on this topic about gay love between Israeli soldier and Palestian.

http://putlocker.bz/watch-the-bubble-online-free-putlocker.html

I can imagine how a ton of shit would boil if someone in Russia would shoot a movie about gay love between Russian and Ukrainean men. :)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 12:15 am (UTC)
During my trip, one of our drivers was Palestinian and he went out to the club one night, met a girl from the Jewish settlement, and they were making out like crazy in the back of the car on the way home. He worried someone would see them, and he'd get his ass kicked. I can't imagine gay cinema is very popular in Russia. :)
g_kar
May. 19th, 2014 11:48 pm (UTC)
He-he, I already feel pro-Israel sentiments in your comments :)
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 12:18 am (UTC)
Well, LJ is full of intellectual Jews. So what else do you expect? :)) I'm like Switzerland in this situation - neutral. I see both sides of the equation, especially after visiting the country.
skysheep
May. 20th, 2014 03:03 am (UTC)
Of course political ads exist on the buses in Russia. They appear around elections, and they all advertise for the candidate that is a member of the ruling EdRo party.
peacetraveler22
May. 20th, 2014 02:00 pm (UTC)
I was asking whether advocacy advertisements appear on Russian transport, like in this situation with pro-Israel and Palestine statements. In Russia, maybe it would be something pro or anti-Ukraine, but I don't think such banners appear in subway stations or on buses. Of course, all countries have advertisements during political elections for each candidate. Btw, I'm amazed the U.S. news media is already attempting to smear Hillary Clinton in anticipation of the next presidential election (focusing on her health, again about Benghazi, etc.).
(no subject) - skysheep - May. 20th, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 20th, 2014 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
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