The MTA is not permitted to block a pro-Israel group from running hateful "anti-Jihad" ads on public buses, according to a federal judge's ruling yesterday.
The ads, commissioned by pro-Israel "activist" Pamela Geller and her American Freedom Defense Initiative, were blocked by the MTA last year, after the authority argued they might incite violence. Geller argued that the MTA's move was a violation of free speech, and Judge John Koetl sided with her yesterday. "It strains credulity to believe that New Yorkers would be incited to violence by ads that did not incite residents of Chicago and San Francisco to similar acts," he wrote in his ruling. "This is not to minimize the terror threats to New York City, but those threats do not arise from these fleeting advertisements."
The ads might not incite violence, but they're certainly offensive. Per the Times:
The ad shows a man with a scarf across his face next to the words, “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” attributed to “Hamas MTV.” Below that, it reads: “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?”
MTA spokesperson Adam Lisberg told us in a statement, "We are disappointed with the judge’s ruling and are reviewing our options."