Yes, of course the MBTA is now embroiled in the Middle East conflict

The ad that upset the RWNJs

The ad that doesn't call Israelis savages.


An anti-Muslim group described by the ADL as extremist is suing the MBTA for the right to hang ads calling Palestinians "savages."

In the suit, filed Monday in US District Court and first spotted by Boston Magazine, the New Hampshire-based American Freedom Defense Initiative says the T rejected the ad - which uses a quote by Ayn Rand - and that this is an unconscionable abrogation of its First Amendment right to stir up hate - especially since the T accepted a pro-Palestine ad.

The suit, also brought by AFDI founders Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, says the company that handles advertising for the T rejected the ad under a policy against "demeaning or disparaging" language. AFDI, Geller and Spencer, who claim the US is under attack by "creeping Sharia," said there's nothing demeaning about calling several million people savages, that the ad company is just showing its "discriminatory animus against those speakers who support Israel in this conflict."



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    Oh horrors

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    Teh evile mooslims ARE PUTTING FACTUAL INFORMATION ON THE MBTA11111!!!!!1111


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    I didn't see any factual information in the original ad. Just propaganda disguised as fact.

    Not exactly "factual."

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    Not exactly "factual."

    They're marking as white in the first map land owned by Jewish individuals, and leaving the rest green. Which is dishonest prima facie, as most of that green area was not owned by anyone, Jewish or Arab.

    Pretty much accurate

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    The green area was entirely owned by people. The deserts were owned by Bedouin or by the Turkish Sultan (the original government of the time).

    Interestingly, the government of Israel still recognizes the chain of ownership from Turkish land titles... if the titles were issued to Jews. If they were issued to Palestianians, the government of Israel usually pretends that the land was "unowned" This is because the government of Israel is a racist, colonialist, apartheid government. It's kind of disgusting. Admittedly the US did something similar to steal land from the Native Americans.

    NOT FACTUAL. Omits the reason

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    NOT FACTUAL. Omits the reason for the shrinking of "Palestine" - the several failed Arab wars of attempted Israel extermination.

    so all the illegal Jewish

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    so all the illegal Jewish settlements supported by the government in the past few years have been the result of which recent Arab war?

    Ugh. Another expensive distraction for the T.

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    This is another in a long line of expensive distractions that the T just does not need. It is really unfortunate that the T has to be an involuntary litigant here.

    I find it offensive that a NH-based operation is going to cause the T to divert money from transit operations to defend against this (the T will win - it's advert guidelines have already been carefully vetted and, I believe, court-tested).

    Perhaps the saddest thing, however, is that we will hear more legislators on Beacon Hill weighing in on this than on fixing the T's broken funding mechanism for which the legislature is responsible.

    Let's try to stay focused on our core responsibilities, folks.

    This is a classic example why

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    This is a classic example why government agencies shouldn't be involved in selling any kind of political advertising on public property.

    OK, I'll bite

    how is quoting a noted author with whom you disagree "appropriating" anything? And how are people who want the state of Israel to disappear and do some of their work with children in suicide vests NOT savages? As to " stirring up hate", that horse left the barn years ago.

    Changed the word

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    I'd thought they were just using some particularly vicious but generic quote from Rand. In fact, she uttered it right here in Boston during a Ford Hall Forum speech. I'd say it makes me respect her and her ravings less, but I didn't have any respect for her to begin with.

    As for the use of the word in general, yes, I believe in a state of Israel. No, I do not believe that every single Palestinian is a savage, which is basically what Rand was saying and her followers are parroting. Here's the quote in context, given in response to a question about what the US should have done about the Yom Kippur War:

    The Arabs are one of the least developed cultures. They are typically nomads. Their culture is primitive, and they resent Israel because it's the sole beachhead of modern science and civilization on their continent. When you have civilized men fighting savages, you support the civilized men, no matter who they are. Israel is a mixed economy inclined toward socialism. But when it comes to the power of the mind—the development of industry in that wasted desert continent—versus savages who don't want to use their minds, then if one cares about the future of civilization, don't wait for the government to do something. Give whatever you can. This is the first time I've contributed to a public cause: helping Israel in an emergency.

    So in addition to being a hypocrite when it comes to government assistance, Rand was also a racist of the first order.

    I'm not a Rand fan, but I'm

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    I'm not a Rand fan, but I'm even less a fan of people using specious logic to make a point. And in your case, the least you could do is offer up a better criticism than "racist" and "hypocrite". Rand never said government shouldn't exist, or that people shouldn't depend on them for certain things. She most definitely thought people should be protected by police and courts. And there are plenty of quotes on the record about her opposition to racism, including one calling it a "caveman" point of view; I would've figured the least you could do for an evenhanded argument was dig up some of those.

    I'm assuming, of course, the meaning of "racist" you're using is the one that says a person's worth is determined by their ancestors and culture, and not the more common one of "someone who doesn't share my enlightened point of view". Really Adam, I'd expect better.

    OK UHubbers, fire away...


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    Lets flip this for a second.

    Some of the people who proclaim that they are the only true Jews and are pushing Israel toward the worst rights abuses against Palestinians are also a people who practice infant genital mutilation with drinking of blood from the wounds.

    This practice has resulted in a number of babies dying from herpes virus. Look it up.

    Explain how that constitutes "civilized behavior" and not "savagery"???

    You miss the point

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    The point being that Aging Cynic labeled all Palestinians as "savages" because there have been some fringe members who engage in suicide bombing.

    I don't see that as any more or less civilized than an extreme fringe of Judaism where religious leaders directly inflict wounds on infants and suck the blood.

    Interesting reaction

    As an ardent Humanist, I find that one's acceptance of "normal" in faith and religion really blinds them to a lot of things. What the poster [ETC: person who initially posted, not the ad as a "poster"] was doing was describing what many people would accept as just plain ol' circumcision, which is "normal" for many people in the US (even those who aren't Jewish). However, when framed slightly differently (yet accurately, especially for ultra-religious Jews who still believe that the mohel should suck the foreskin off with their mouth), it looks offensive and, to some, ridiculous.

    Similarly, if I told you there was a religion where people ritualistically eat the flesh of their deity, you'd think Aztecs or something like that. But I would be describing Catholics (albeit rather blithely).

    So when a group refers to one side as "savages" for their beliefs and actions, without contemplating the viewpoint of that very group, offense should be expected, not seen as a surprise.

    Then again, for anyone who knows anything about Pam Geller you'd know that this is her MO. She pretty much tries to be about as offensive as possible in order to claim headlines and reasons to raise more money from those who support her.

    Frankly, if religion didn't exist at all we'd be in a much better place as a civilization, so don't think that I am pro-Palestinian/Muslim or anti-Israel/Jew here. I'm an equal-opportunity religion-disliker.

    Anybody with me?

    I have been watching the nightly news since 1975 when I was 6. I have come to the conclusion that I really don't give a crap about anymore Israel, Palestine, Judea, Samaria, The West Bank, Southern Lebanon, or any of those populated areas which would fit inside a triangle bounded by Portsmouth NH, Worcester, and Plymouth.

    Just take your problems somewhere else. The Irish and the English made peace after they realized that this whole my God your God thing was stupid and they pretty much don't like each other, but they get along and they don't confound my transit agency, which just wants to move people around without any other problems.

    I was in midtown Manhattan

    I was in midtown Manhattan last week, visiting a synagogue for a meeting. I looked out the window and across the street and noticed that the Pakistani embassy was located on the same block. Clearly neither group is lobbing missiles at the other. It can be done.

    What the US needs to do is get itself out of aiding Israel. If Israel feels that persecuting a particular religious and/or ethnic group for the simple reason that Israel doesn't want to share its country with people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds (oh, the horror!) isn't very similar to a certain event that happened in the first half of the 20th Century, then I think the entire nation needs a history lesson.

    Only differance

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    Catholics and Protestants dont kill in the name of their "God".

    Islam is a political ideology.

    Air must be nice on whatever planet you live on

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    On this planet, Christians have been killing in the name of their God for centuries. Not all of them, of course, but you might want to Google phrases such as "crusades," "pogroms" and "Northern Ireland."

    You're really PC.This Is 2013

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    You're really PC.This Is 2013... the last Crusade ended in 1272... that's over 700 years ago; so what is the relevance except to inflame people.
    Should the English forgive the Danes for the Viking invasions of 900? etc.

    Longer ago than adam's example but closer to home

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    "The Ursuline Convent Riots were riots that occurred on August 11 and August 12, 1834 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, near Boston in what is now Somerville, Massachusetts. During the riot, a convent of Roman Catholic Ursuline nuns was burned down by a Protestant mob. ..."
    - Wikipedia et al.

    Violence has been perpetrated in the name of every major faith on this planet. An objective reading of history makes it clear that Christianity is as unfortunately susceptible to this failure as any other.

    (and btw, pedantic me can't help but point out that there were papally-endorsed crusades at late as the eve of the 16th century - look up the Reconquista and the Bohemian Wars.)

    Why did the T accept the original advertisement?

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    During another controversy regarding advertisements I thought a T manager said they do not accept controversial advertisements. We know that they do not relinquish the authority to remove advertising. The ban against alcohol advertising at South Station and the removal of controversial Tide advertisements several years ago (naked woman hiding behind a washer if I accurately recall) demonstrate that T managers will yank or decline advertisements that they don't like. That they use a vendor to find the ads does not exclude the T from deciding what ads are acceptable.

    So I don't understand why the current advertising, which I think are pretty obvious in its propoganda, was allowed in the first place. When T managers say allow one set of controversial advertising but not another then they are setting themselves up as either playing favorites or just plain incompetent in their attentiveness to how spaces belonging to the public are used for advertising private interests.


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    It seems like they have a set of guidelines for political advertising; the initial ads posted meet it, but I guess calling people savages doesn't, or so it would seem. (Similarly I imagine the naked women ads were taken down under an obscenity clause)

    I believe courts have ruled that there is a First Amendment role in advertisements who are controlled by the government, so I don't think they can just avoid anything "controversial" at all.

    Actually, I believe transit agencies

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    can have such a policy, but the guidelines must be clearly defined and applicable to everyone who wants to post ads (and just saying "no political ads" is not enough). If the MBTA actually has such requirements, they violated them when they allowed the pro-Palastine ads.

    All capitalist propaganda, ie

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    All capitalist propaganda, ie., advertisements, are also political. Nobody has a problem with those anymore it seems though.

    Consider the Source - And the Method

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    The AFDI quotes the T's advertising policy in its brief: “we have every confidence that our customers will understand that in our enlightened civil democracy, the answer to distasteful and uncivil speech is more, and more civilized, speech.”

    The AFDI believes the original ad from the Committee for Peace in Israel and Palestine, which uses maps and statistics apparently from the UN, is "distatsteful and uncivil," and that the AFDI's own ad, which cites no source and alleges no fact and doesn't even seem to attribute the apparent Ayn Rand quote as it calls one group of people "civilized man" and the other group "savages," is "more civilized" than the original ad.

    Put your feelings about Israel and Palestine, if you have any, aside for a moment. This is the sort of black-is-white, up-is-down, bald-faced hypocrisy that Pamela Geller and her cohorts engage in.