A "savage" and "demeaning" advert created by a pro-Israel organisation will go up on New York buses following a controversial ruling by a federal judge, reports the Washington Post.
The advert created for the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) reads: "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah" and features next to an image of a young man in a chequered headscarf. It is designed to highlight what the AFDI argues are Muslim attitudes to Jews.
The advert was originally rejected by New York's Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA), which said that they were "savage" and demeaned Muslims and Palestinians.
However, US District Judge John Koeltl has ruled that the MTA cannot stop the ads from running. In his judgment he said that MTA officials "underestimate the tolerant quality of New Yorkers and overestimate the potential impact of these fleeting advertisements". He added: "Moreover, there is no evidence that seeing one of these advertisements on the back of a bus would be sufficient to trigger a violent reaction. Therefore, these ads—offensive as they may be—are still entitled to First Amendment protection."
He pointed out that the same ad had run in Chicago and San Francisco without incident.
Right-wing commentator and AFDI co-founder Pamela Geller tweeted her delight at the ruling, saying that it was "a triumph for liberty and free speech".
AFDI says on its website that it "acts against the treason being committed by national, state, and local government officials, the mainstream media, and others in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, the ever-encroaching and unconstitutional power of the federal government, and the rapidly moving attempts to impose socialism and Marxism upon the American people".
Judge Koeltl suspended the implementation of his ruling for a month to allow time for appeals.