Judge orders New York transit agency to run pro-Israel ad

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 21, 2015 12:47 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday issued an order requiring New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority to display on its buses a controversial ad from a pro-Israel group, which the agency had sought not to run amid concern it could prompt violence.

In issuing a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Judge John Koeltl in Manhattan said the ad from the American Freedom Defense Initiative, referred to by both sides as the "Killing Jews" ad, qualified as protected speech. He also said the MTA did not present objective evidence that its display would likely incite imminent violence.

According to the decision, the ad portrayed a menacing-looking man whose head and face were mostly covered by a head scarf. The decision also said the ad contained a quotation, "Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah," and then stated, "That's His Jihad. What's yours?"

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Ted Botha)