4 arrested for ‘correcting… poisonous ad’

Israel/Palestine
on 95 Comments
Defaced ad
Four were arrested for placing these signs on defaced ad

The Islamophobic ad in the NY subways is spurring responses all over town, it seems. Last night Mona Eltahawy was arrested for spraypainting one of the Pam Geller ads, and Sherry Wolf (who’s helping to bring the Russell Tribunal on Palestine here) reports on an incident in the N-Q-R station last night:

Yesterday evening four of us—Palestinian, Jewish, Black and Brown, a multicultural united front against hate—were arrested immediately after posting a couple of signs correcting the racist subway ad in the 49th St. station. Downtown side of 49th St station, next to turnstiles, very busy and visible spot. We had initially wanted to use the premade stickers, but they were too big, so we created our own signs to post reading: “Racist Hate Speech” and “Arabs and Muslims Welcome Here.”

We were all held in jail for about 7 hours, released in the middle of the night tired and hungry, but proud to have participated with others around the city challenging these poisonous ads. We wound up in jail with journalist Mona Eltahawy who was arrested for spray painting an ad at Times Square around the same time as us. All four of us were given desk appearance tickets for Nov. 2, 2012. Eltahawy is to be released this morning after arraignment for criminal mischief.

95 Responses

  1. flyod
    September 26, 2012, 1:30 pm

    it appears that this racist ad is self-damning. it defaces itself

    • Ellen
      September 26, 2012, 1:43 pm

      And that is maybe why they should have left it up. Sometimes it is better to let thing like that expose themselves for what they are. Now, those who do not know the ad will not understand the paste over.

      Juan Cole has a great poster in response to Geller’s ad on his site.

      CALL OF THE SAVAGE

      link to juancole.com

      Either way, good for Mona and others.

      • Philip Weiss
        September 26, 2012, 4:02 pm

        I agree Ellen that the ads themselves have been a tremendous education moment and we can thank Geller for that. And myself I’d want the amendments and corrections not to destroy the original.

      • flyod
        September 26, 2012, 4:28 pm

        “And that is maybe why they should have left it up.”

        exactly. that ad from geller is a gift

      • Tex Tradd
        September 27, 2012, 12:31 am

        But when you censor ideologues like Geller, you allow them to claim victimhood and claim the moral high ground. Then someone like Limbaugh or Hannity runs with it and they push the “liberal fascism” meme or “leftists act like Nazis” line. What a gift to the Islamaphobes!

      • Kathleen
        September 28, 2012, 9:16 am

        I don’t think this issue is going that way. Will be listening to whether Limbaugh and Hannity pick this up. I don’t think they will touch it.

    • Ellen
      September 27, 2012, 7:43 am

      Here is a great and intelligent response to that ad without defacing in. Yet it succeeds in shaming it for what it is.

      I am a Jewish Jihad

      link to twitter.com

      But I wonder if ConEdison will press charges that The Dialog Project (link to thedialogueproject.org) pasted over their ad?

      • Taxi
        September 27, 2012, 10:28 am

        Wow thank you Ellen for the links. There sure are some amazing jews out there.

      • AlGhorear
        September 27, 2012, 3:09 pm

        Wow, Ellen. What a beautiful response by Marcia Kannry and thank you for the link to the Dialogue Project.

  2. Woody Tanaka
    September 26, 2012, 1:31 pm

    Great job to these heroes.

  3. Annie Robbins
    September 26, 2012, 1:37 pm

    i hope it jams up the courts dealing with thousands of arrests over the defacement of these ads.

    • EscapeVelocity
      September 26, 2012, 1:48 pm

      I hope so too.

      Criminal thugs need to be prosecuted, to protect our democratic polity.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 26, 2012, 6:15 pm

        “Criminal thugs need to be prosecuted, to protect our democratic polity.”

        No, sadly we cannot prosecute Geller and her band of criminal thugs.

      • Sumud
        September 27, 2012, 10:15 am

        Criminal thugs need to be prosecuted, to protect our democratic polity.

        Especially in the international arena: abolish permanent membership of the UN Security Council and abolish the veto power. Full equality for all nations. One nation one vote.

        Criminal thug nations like Israel will not get the free pass that the US continues to give them, currently – and some hefty international sanctions and Israeli politicians in the Hague will soon moderate Israel’s behaviour.

      • EscapeVelocity
        September 27, 2012, 7:47 pm

        I say take it all the way….abolish the UN.

    • lysias
      September 26, 2012, 3:41 pm

      I hope they insist on going to trial. I can’t imagine a New York City jury unanimously voting to convict.

      • W.Jones
        September 27, 2012, 1:19 am

        Me too!

  4. ColinWright
    September 26, 2012, 2:09 pm

    Works for me. I’m looking forward to the first Zionist of the day bleating about ‘vandalism.’

    • Blake
      September 26, 2012, 5:28 pm

      Or vanadalism. Lol

    • Tex Tradd
      September 27, 2012, 12:39 am

      I’m not a Zionist (though I agree with about everything Peter Beinart has written so far) but I will bleat about vandalism nonetheless. The Zionists are right to do so.

      People, this sort of behavior sets back the cause of critiquing Zionism. The AIPACers and Greater Israel types and hasbara trolls use this kind of thing to bring back questioning doubters into the fold, or to convince idealistic college students and liberals that anti-Zionism is extreme and anti-liberal. Anyone have any doubt they will make hay out of this?

      You either let your opponents have their say or you abandon liberal ideals.

      “If you’re really in favor of free speech, then you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely for views you despise.”

      • Annie Robbins
        September 27, 2012, 12:50 am

        vandalizing is a form of free speech. personally, i like most graffiti, especially on corporate space .

      • Blake
        September 27, 2012, 1:21 am

        Yeah but this is just rubbing salt in the wounds of a people the usurping zionists savagely stole the land from and oppress as we speak. It’s out of order.

      • Tex Tradd
        September 27, 2012, 1:57 am

        Free speech that prevents other free speech doesn’t really count as respecting free speech, does it?

        If much of this website was covered with anti-mondoweiss pop-ups that won’t go away, and that prevents people from reading the posts, would that be free speech?

        Or are you saying, free speech for me, but not for thee?

      • ColinWright
        September 27, 2012, 3:43 am

        To Tex:

        You may well have a point — but I remember going with some friends to counter a neo-Nazi demonstration in the late seventies.

        One of us had actual expectations of violence, too — although I at least suspected the outcome that did in fact ensue. The County Sheriffs Department ensured the respective parties were kept far too distant from each other to do any real harm, and it was all a bit of a farce. As I recall, the Nazis wore motorcycle helmets whilst bearded intellectuals attempted to fling stones roughly one hundred yards.

        However, the point is that some expressions of free speech are truly vile, and while yes, people may engage in them, unfriendly reactions from others are only to be expected. If I start finding it amusing at a party to suggest that you are a pederast, it’s entirely possible that eventually you’ll be moved to punch me in the nose — right to free speech or no.

        This woman is essentially defaming a fifth of the world’s population and advocating that we wage war against them. I can’t think of a more vile proposition. I’m not going to suppress her — but I’m not going to fret about the well-being of her signs either. She can most certainly watch out for herself.

      • ColinWright
        September 27, 2012, 4:55 am

        Tex Tradd: “…I’m not a Zionist (though I agree with about everything Peter Beinart has written so far) but I will bleat about vandalism nonetheless. The Zionists are right to do so…”

        There is the point that the Zionists are extremely well-organized, generously funded, and utterly unscrupulous.

        They get their opponents variously listed as terrorist organizations, drummed out of jobs, evicted from apartments, barred from debates, etc, etc. They have most of the political machinery and a great deal of the press either completely subverted or crouched in quivering terror.

        All more or less legally, of course. However, legality is not morality, and it’s a bit much when people who will unhesitatingly pull every dirty trick in the book start bleating about their signs being vandalized.

        ‘Give us your bombers and you can have our baskets,’ as the accused terrorist in Battle of Algiers says when accused of planting bombs in baskets.

        Let the anti-Zionists have the power the Zionists wield and the sheer utter lack of any moral compunction the Zionists display in wielding it — and they can vandalize our signs all day. In fact, now that I think about that deal, I’ll even help them do it.

  5. Blake
    September 26, 2012, 2:26 pm

    The people who should have been arrested are the ones who put the ads together. The irrational zios have far too much clout in a supposedly civilized USofA so much so that it has morphed into an alternate universe.

  6. Sassan
    September 26, 2012, 2:46 pm

    It is absolutely fantastic that you guys support the stifling of free speech and free expression.

    • ColinWright
      September 26, 2012, 3:41 pm

      Sassan says: “It is absolutely fantastic that you guys support the stifling of free speech and free expression.”

      Your remark immediately makes it obvious you haven’t read the rather voluminous comments ‘we’ have made.

    • Woody Tanaka
      September 26, 2012, 3:57 pm

      Nonsesne. The acts complained of are free speech and free expression themselves. I certainly support that.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 26, 2012, 5:59 pm

        The acts complained of are free speech and free expression themselves.

        lol, guess you missed the video of mona!

      • EscapeVelocity
        September 26, 2012, 6:50 pm

        The correct response would be to run counter ads. Instead of thuggish heckler veto of others speech.

      • Tex Tradd
        September 27, 2012, 12:27 am

        What he said.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 27, 2012, 12:42 am

        some people have run their own ads taking advantage of the flexibility afforded because of these lawsuits.

        link to mondoweiss.net

        commenters like sassans, basically a strawman argument, assume we do not support free speech. but i think racists like gellar should fly their freak flag. it makes our job so much easier. she’s really highlighted the kernel that resides inside the core of so many ziofreaks. that’s a good thing for us, the exposure. there’s nothing we could say about them better than a geller or a sasson could demonstrate. and my goodness look at how they’ve dominated so much space during our election season. it’s like a gift for our movement, light shining on their racism. this allegation we do not support free speech..my very first reaction to her ad (top comment in first the read) “game on”. show us your stuff gellar.

      • Tex Tradd
        September 27, 2012, 12:56 am

        The more I think about it, the more the “worse is better” idea seems appropriate here.

        The Geller and Adelson wing of Zionism has a tendency to reveal some attitudes about Arabs that Middle Americans find pretty shocking and repulsive. To the extent their statements are publicized, more U.S citizens may question wonder just what we are spending our money on over there.

      • Woody Tanaka
        September 27, 2012, 10:14 am

        “The correct response would be to run counter ads. Instead of thuggish heckler veto of others speech.”

        That’s your opinion. I differ. While I agree that the state must take a position that respects everyone’s speech, regardless of content, I see no reason why I must do so. The “honorable” (read: stupid) man who says to evil man, “I may disagree with your speech but will defend to the death your right to say it;” who then lets the evil man speak, and waits his turn to “counter speak” is likely going to end up being stabbed in the back by the evil man and die at his hands before getting a chance to offer the “counter speech” while the evil man monopolizes the conversation.

      • marc b.
        September 27, 2012, 1:32 pm

        The correct response would be to run counter ads.

        that’s horse bleep. suppose, for a moment, that 95% of new yorkers oppose the ads, but they can barely pay their rent or afford to put food on the table. so how the eff are they going to run counter ads? you have inadvertantly highlighted one of the great failures of ‘democratic’ thinking: that people with money are entitled to ‘more’ speech than those without. for someone who isn’t a zionist, you sure have all the intellectual hallmarks of zionist thinking. (upset about a senator or congressman being bought off by AIPAC? well, then buy your own damn senator.)

      • EscapeVelocity
        September 27, 2012, 7:52 pm

        Ads can run concurrently, there is plenty of bandwidth.

        Your proposition is totalitarian….which the Left is always drawn to, silencing dissenters to your morality. No platform.

      • EscapeVelocity
        September 28, 2012, 11:41 am

        Im pretty sure Mona has money. There is always Soros.

    • Exiled At Home
      September 26, 2012, 6:11 pm

      Sassan,

      The government intervening to remove or cover the ads would, arguably, be stifling free speech and free expression.

      Individuals intervening to remove, cover, deface or shout-down the ads and its supporters is, actually, free speech and expression.

      The government intervening and arresting those exercising their rights is an affront to free speech and expression.

      I can’t believe you support governmental suppression of free speech and expression.

      • Shingo
        September 26, 2012, 11:53 pm

        I can’t believe you support governmental suppression of free speech and expression.

        Wht would you be surprised that a tyrant fan boy like Sassan would have a problem with governmental suppression of free speech?

    • Shingo
      September 26, 2012, 10:13 pm

      It is absolutely fantastic that you guys support the stifling of free speech and free expression.

      It is absolutely fantastic that you support dictators and wars against the people you claim to speak for.

    • Blake
      September 26, 2012, 10:29 pm

      I am all for rational freedom of expression but fringe lunatic bigotry aimed to provoke hatred and intolerance I am not. By free speech of course sassan means the latter. I notice in all his comments not once does he criticize zionism. Obvious who sent this messenger.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 26, 2012, 10:35 pm

        he’s a die hard blake. just check out his archives. i’ve never heard him come close to refuting anything geller said.

      • Blake
        September 26, 2012, 11:55 pm

        Annie he also has not graced us with his presence (read: hasbara propaganda) for a month and a half and shows up just to say that. Pitiful really.

    • ColinWright
      September 27, 2012, 5:10 am

      SassanL “It is absolutely fantastic that you guys support the stifling of free speech and free expression.”

      Even granting this (which I don’t) compared to Zionists, we’re really pikers.

      If we were like Zionists, we’d be working on getting that Gregory Stanton character who posted here fired from his job ( link to mondoweiss.net )

      We’d be figuring out who you were and getting you evicted from your apartment, we’d be getting AIPAC listed as a terrorist organization, and we’d be pushing for Abe Foxman’s deportation.

  7. seafoid
    September 26, 2012, 2:53 pm

    I can’t believe that these ads are running on Yom Kippur.

  8. Blaine Coleman
    September 26, 2012, 3:07 pm

    Someone explain this to me:

    Mondoweiss refuses to front-page any story where people are demanding a total boycott against Israel. I know that, because I submit those stories to Mondoweiss and get nothing back but a question about why I spell “Israel” with quotation marks.

    Yet Mondoweiss sounds like it’s cheering on young people to get themselves arrested in subways, trying to spray graffiti on advertisements, while enraged Zionists try to physically block their spray cans!

    Is Mondoweiss going to pay the legal bills for any Arab students who foolishly get into spray-can fights with Zionists in the subways?

    Is Mondoweiss going to explain to these students’ parents why these kids got deported for some spray-can fight?

    What if a physical fight resulted in the subway, caught on video? — That could end in jail time, and in hospital bills up the wazoo.

    It’s beyond my comprehension why Mondoweiss is so hostile to a nice legal demand to boycott “Israel” until it’s abolished, yet so reckless in urging people to get arrested for spraying graffiti while Zionists hurl their bodies in their path.

    Somebody explain it to me.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 26, 2012, 3:30 pm

      blaine, we have had lots of front page articles promoting BDS. here’s one link to mondoweiss.net

      maybe the stories you submitted didn’t cut the mustard. why don’t you try posting the opening of one of your articles in a comment section and see what kind of feedback you get.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 26, 2012, 3:54 pm

        Annie, you are sharp as a tack.

        You are acutely aware of the difference between “BDS” and a total boycott against Israel.

        BDS has come to mean tiny boycotts of one product (like Ahava or HP), and even more often just an attitude of liking BDS. In Mondoweiss, I can’t remember any time “BDS” has meant a blanket boycott against everything from Israel.

        To be fair to you, the BDS “movement” has also rejected blanket boycotts against Israel. That is their shame and Mondoweiss’s too.

        Because the BDS movement is thus signaling that they are ready to make a deal with Israel. And Israel is always ready to make, and break, a deal. That way, Israel keeps its legitimacy, its nukes, and a hell of a lot of land.

        That’s because the movement, including Mondoweiss, lacks the backbone to fully reject the whole apartheid state of Israel.

        That full rejection of Israel will win the day, as it did with apartheid South Africa.

        Anything less is, you know, nice, but it leaves Israel with legitimacy that you should not allow them to claim.

        Israel deserves no legitimacy.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 26, 2012, 6:05 pm

        Annie, you are sharp as a tack.

        right, i got your OT shtick whining about how MW and the bds movement suck. we’ve had it here many times before.

        i noticed how you didn’t take me up on my suggestion to post the opening paragraphs of your ‘article’. cold feet?

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 26, 2012, 7:47 pm

        I emailed the article and photo to you today.
        I’ll send it again.

      • sardelapasti
        September 26, 2012, 8:45 pm

        Whining my eye.
        I also have a complaint matching that. All ads questioning the Zionist Anti-Zionists are censored. Most if not all attacking tribal loyalty are censored. Attacks against fraternization with Zionists are censored.
        “Whining”? Where did you see the whining. After all, Phil is on his own site. Would be nice if he had the honesty not to protect official Zionist propaganda and to what many consider Zionist propaganda by censoring answers thereto.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 26, 2012, 9:32 pm

        P.S.: Annie, Mondoweiss and the BDS movement are the best thing out there — and yes, they still suck. They do good work, but they have no backbone and no conviction. They will improve as they move toward demanding the boycott and abolition of the racist state of “Israel”.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 26, 2012, 10:14 pm

        you sent it to me? [email protected]? either way i don’t make editorial decisions.

        To be fair to you, the BDS “movement” has also rejected blanket boycotts against Israel.

        do you have a link to support this? or a quote from them?

        That is their shame and Mondoweiss’s too.

        our shame? and you wonder why you are not published here? i don’t know that we even have a site policy on “blanket boycotts against Israel”. if we do no one told me.

        so it sounds like your target is MW and the bds movement who just isn’t doing enough. is that correct, that is your main beef? because that is how it sounds. i just fail to see why anyone would be surprised you can’t get your beef up on the front page here. but certainly there would be other blogs who could print that. have you tried any other blogs.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 27, 2012, 6:46 am

        Of course there is no written policy.

        But how many times do I have to submit “Boycott-Israel” campaigning news, and see it front-paged nowhere (except one small blog)?

        How many times do I have to see funny dances for miniscule boycotts front-paged instead?

        How many times do I have to see Mondoweiss respectfully front-page steadfast Zionists?

        You’re right; there is no written policy, and yet the words “Boycott Israel” somehow don’t appear in Mondoweiss, or in any BDS campaign I have seen in the United States.

        Why?

        Because the whole visible BDS “movement” wants to make a deal with Israel, they don’t want to see it abolished.

        You can’t imagine it being abolished as Apartheid South Africa was.

        Too bad for Palestine.

      • Taxi
        September 27, 2012, 8:15 am

        Don’t fret so much, Blaine. Everybody does what they ‘can’. And it’s all good.

        And besides, most Palestinians ain’t waiting on us Americans to liberate them, they ain’t waiting no more.

        Yet still, Palestine WILL BE liberated – and it’s people WILL BE going back to their rightful homes, one way or another. How? With the help of zionism’s evil hand that’s already throttling it’s own decrepit neck. Or in the aftermath of a regional war, which will take place, no doubt, at some point in our lifetime.

        Either way, it’s a done deal.

    • ColinWright
      September 26, 2012, 3:58 pm

      Blaine Coleman says: “Somebody explain it to me.”

      I think you raise an interesting point. I sometimes start trying to keep ‘Israel’ within quotes myself — and generally speaking, to me ‘moderation’ means an orderly exodus and a generous luggage allowance for Zionist refugees from Palestine. No war crimes trials and no reparations.

      …and I freely express these and similar views in comments. However, when it comes to the articles I consider writing, I generally feel something more constructive is called for. Radical, swingeing attacks on ‘Israel’ are certainly justified in my view — but are they all that useful as a headliner for the site?

      The goal isn’t necessarily self-expression. It is also to do what will constructively advance the desired end. It was clear to Roosevelt as early as the late 1930’s that something needed to be done about Nazi Germany. He didn’t start openly advocating war at that point. Will Mondoweiss do more good if it starts printing full-on calls for the dismantling of Israel or is it in fact more useful to confine the articles to making more moderate points?

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 26, 2012, 4:15 pm

        Colin,

        You’re right; our primary duty is not to advance formulas for what Palestine should look like.

        But I think it’s very constructive to demand full boycotts against all products from Israel. Why? Because that was common in the movement to boycott South Africa.

        The predominant attitude to South Africa was “Cut all Ties to the Apartheid State”.

        That’s simple, true, and it works.

        Today, the predominant attitude of the BDS movement is “Let’s look responsible and respectable and ready to dialogue”.

        As Palestine dies.

      • ColinWright
        September 26, 2012, 5:05 pm

        I’m inclined to agree. The push should always be for a wider and more complete boycott of Israel. The place should be made into a pariah among nations.

        And indeed, BDS does seem to be a bit mealy-mouthed.

        However, whether it’s constructive to headline ‘destroy ‘Israel,’ ‘ is another matter entirely. At this point, I’d tend to advocate saying ‘as long as Israel does x, y, and z, it should be boycotted.’ After all, I certainly agree it should.

        If pushed, I would readily admit that I personally would want Israel to be boycotted regardless of what it did — but I don’t think that should be the position of BDS. And indeed: I don’t.

        The big tent. If people want to fantasize there can be such a thing as a ‘nice’ Israel, let ‘em. The outcome will be the same in the end. Israel won’t agree to x, y, and z, and so she’ll be boycotted — and that much more effectively, since fewer will be able to argue that she shouldn’t be.

        After all, if I argue you should be ridden out of town on a rail just because you’re you, I may not be able to round up the townsfolk. If I say you should be ridden out of town on a rail because you won’t stop molesting children, I can probably get up a pretty respectable mob — particularly if you just can’t keep your hands off the small boys.

        “As Palestine dies.”

        Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? I don’t want to sit around in ideological purity while it does just that. I want to start moving. I have my own opinion about where it will all have to go in the end — but I don’t need everyone to agree with me about that.

      • sardelapasti
        September 26, 2012, 8:51 pm

        “At this point, I’d tend to advocate saying ‘as long as Israel does x, y, and z, it should be boycotted.’ After all, I certainly agree it should.”
        Fine, that’s how you see it. No reason for censoring other views, though, if it’s about what you call “the big tent”.

        Others may make the point that it is totally illegitimate, must be destroyed, a statement to be repeated every time before admitting compromises. They make also make a point that goes totally against your way of registering compromises. Still no reason for censorship (except the excellent reason that this is Phil’s own site and he can do what he wants.)

      • ColinWright
        September 27, 2012, 5:19 am

        “Still no reason for censorship (except the excellent reason that this is Phil’s own site and he can do what he wants.)”

        Well, that’s a pretty good argument, in my opinion. I’d resent it if he started censoring my posts regularly.

        However, I really don’t think I have the right to demand he put up the articles I would like to see. If one wants that — well, one really should start one’s own site, shouldn’t one? It’s hardly ‘censorship’ to post only the articles that are to one’s own taste. That’s why one starts a site: so one can post only the articles that are to one’s own taste.

      • Rusty Pipes
        September 27, 2012, 12:03 pm

        Once again, the BDS movement is being mischaracterized here. It doesn’t call for either a partial boycott or a total boycott, for a 1SS or a 2SS. It calls for a boycott of Israel however you can wherever you are. It is a broad-based movement of Palestinian civil society reaching out to broad-based people of conscience around the world. Members of Palestinian civil society disagree on many things, but they are united around three things:

        We, representatives of Palestinian civil society, call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era. We appeal to you to pressure your respective states to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel. We also invite conscientious Israelis to support this Call, for the sake of justice and genuine peace.

        These non-violent punitive measures should be maintained until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

        1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall
        2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
        3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.

        People who support Palestinian human rights are also very diverse in their opinions and in their particular social and political realities. The call for BDS is flexible enough to accommodate individuals and groups who want to Boycott Israel entirely and those who want to target specific companies or institutions. I have come to know more and more BDS activists who personally try to avoid buying products if they know that they are made in Israel because the whole economy is tied in with the occupation; however, because the American public is so uninformed and misinformed about Palestine, they prefer to work on targeted boycotts of companies as a means of educating the public about specific abuses.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 27, 2012, 1:51 pm

        Rusty,

        I hope you will be shocked to discover that the same official BDS site, on a different page ( link to bdsmovement.net ) , is suddenly asking only for Israel to end “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967″.

        Do you see how the BDS movement is breaking its own legs?

        Now it has reduced its land claims down to Gaza and the West Bank.

        I guess that puts my total rejection of the Israeli state outside of the official BDS movement, doesn’t it?

        Too bad for Palestine that the BDS movement is so terribly afraid.

      • ColinWright
        September 27, 2012, 5:14 pm

        To Blaine:

        Well now, you see, I would only avoid BDS if they actually stated they ‘support Israel.’ It’s for that reason I never sign anything from J Street. I don’t support Israel, and I’m not about to lie about it.

        I see nothing stating that ‘BDS supports Israel’s right to secure blah blah…’ What your link does call for is entirely sufficient to the opposite end:

        “Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
        Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
        Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.”

        Israel won’t agree to this, and so she’ll be boycotted, and that’s what I want to see. It’s a moot point that the above hardly represents my own personal wish list. The point is to make Israel a pariah — and this will.

        Big tent. We can all push for BDS’s goals in good conscience. What we expect that push to lead to is another matter.

        You can have a movement of 100,000 stalwarts who demand the abolition of Israel — or you can ten million people agreeing that Israel needs to be boycotted until she does things that she will never do. Which do you see as more useful?

        Do you want a movement that expresses your desires, or do you want a movement that will fulfill those desires? You have to choose.

      • Blaine Coleman
        September 27, 2012, 7:19 pm

        I have to have a movement with room for those who say totally boycott Israel until that racist state is abolished and Palestinians are finally safe.

        I don’t have to have the whole movement agree with me. I don’t have to have any of the movement agree with me.

        But it has to have room for those who totally reject and totally boycott that racists state, or else it’s too mealy-mouthed to get anything done.

    • Blake
      September 26, 2012, 10:24 pm

      Blaine, I have seen many comments calling for a full boycott of “Israel” on here.

  9. kma
    September 26, 2012, 6:33 pm

    continuous bickering about whether an action was “right” or “wrong” seems to be a pattern after something REAL is actually DONE! especially something that Americans are too timid to try.

    keep in mind that the ISSUE is that Israel is getting away with ETHNIC CLEANSING. thousands of words will be written about piddly spray paint and getting arrested, while the words ETHNIC CLEANSING aren’t even uttered. that’s sad!

    so many actions are legal offenses of some sort (freeway banners, sit-ins, blocking traffic, etc). can we instead talk about the real problem?

    • Tex Tradd
      September 27, 2012, 2:12 am

      There is plenty of talk about the “real problem” but you are not going to convince Middle Americans to come over and support your cause if your tactics seem antithetical to our ideals. Freeway banners may get you a ticket but they don’t attempt to silence debate. If there is an acceptance of communist or black-bloc intolerant tactics in the anti-zionist movement, it will forever remain politically impotent and marginal in this country, and the Palestinian suffering will continue.

      I rather suspect that there are quite a number of rightwing Zionists out there who have very similar non-liberal ideas about free speech as do some of the posters here!

      • ColinWright
        September 27, 2012, 4:09 am

        Tex Tradd says: “I rather suspect that there are quite a number of rightwing Zionists out there who have very similar non-liberal ideas about free speech as do some of the posters here!”

        Given some of the concerted persecution that goes on against even the most innocuous of threats, there’s the understatement of the day.

        The sad truth is that when you wrestle with a pig, you get all hot and dirty, and the pig just enjoys it — and that’s what trying to oppose Zionism is like.

  10. ColinWright
    September 26, 2012, 7:35 pm

    Part of the problem is that ‘apartheid’ provided an immediate and inarguable pejorative tag for South Africa. After all, it was inarguably an ‘apartheid’ system — they’d coined the term themselves.

    Nothing equivalent exists for Israel. ‘Zionist’ is not reflexively pejorative. It should be, but it’s not, and (at least for now) that’s that.

    One can label Israel as ‘apartheid’ — but there are people who will in all seriousness argue with the accuracy of that label. Again, you just lack the beautifully inarguable quality the label had when affixed to South Africa.

    How about listing some of the more indisputable facts then ‘racism is always wrong. Boycott Israel.’

    Or better…that wonderful photo of Yishai gloating over the black man in his office, along with his quote ‘ ‘Israel is for the White Man’ — Israeli Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai.’

    Then ‘Racism is always wrong. Boycott Israel.’

  11. Sherry Wolf
    September 26, 2012, 7:38 pm

    I hate to interrupt this dispute, but let me be clear about these crassly racist and stupid ads and the response across this city to them. Many activists either grouped together or individually have stickered, defaced and otherwise physically altered these ads because it’s repellent to have such overt bigotry anywhere, no less a public venue like the NYC subway system, go unchallenged. I’m proud so many have taken action and spoken out.

    Personally, I do not support state censorship because I know what the state does with such practices against the weak, the poor and the dissident. But I do defend my right to not pretend that it is normal to walk past such Islamophobic filth. We aimed to post signs that visibly defied the hateful message without obscuring it, so people could see both, but someone earlier had ripped away much of the ad.

    I don’t want to live in a city where people allow bigots and institutions to normalize these overt expressions of hatred in a nation at war against Arabs and Muslims abroad and at home. What’s the fucking point of free speech if we don’t express it?
    —Sherry Wolf

    • Philip Munger
      September 27, 2012, 12:15 am

      Many activists either grouped together or individually have stickered, defaced and otherwise physically altered these ads because it’s repellent to have such overt bigotry anywhere, no less a public venue like the NYC subway system, go unchallenged.

      That’s good to know, Sherry.

      Regarding the discussion above re BDS vs. total boycott:

      A year and a half ago, I was against BDS. That changed early last winter, and I now support it fully. I’ll probably come around to total boycott within the next year, unless something unlikely happens – a reduction (as opposed to rapid growth) of overt racism in Israel itself.

    • ColinWright
      September 27, 2012, 4:13 am

      Sherry Wolf says: “…Personally, I do not support state censorship because I know what the state does with such practices against the weak, the poor and the dissident. But I do defend my right to not pretend that it is normal to walk past such Islamophobic filth. We aimed to post signs that visibly defied the hateful message without obscuring it, so people could see both, but someone earlier had ripped away much of the ad.

      I don’t want to live in a city where people allow bigots and institutions to normalize these overt expressions of hatred in a nation at war against Arabs and Muslims abroad and at home. What’s the fucking point of free speech if we don’t express it?”

      Outstanding.

    • kma
      September 27, 2012, 1:06 pm

      Sherry Wolf:
      thank you for standing up for the American public who are generally not all jerks, (dont live in NYC), and are rarely heard proportionally relative to the jerks who dominate our media. thank you also for taking action against the transparent attempt to pollute American thinking with Israel-Is-The-Victim-So-Let’s-Forget-The-Real-Victims-And-Bomb-Another-Country propaganda. and also, thanks for posting your comment! you’re awesome.

    • Blake
      September 27, 2012, 1:46 pm

      Amen Sherry.

  12. chuckcarlos
    September 27, 2012, 12:16 am

    leave it alone…free speech means just that…

    if one wishes to tag the stupid thing then do it artistically between the lines or after the body not defacing the original intent but rather as a comment….

    if one is going to destroy someone else’s rights of free speech or assembly then be prepared to go to jail…have some guts like Thoreau…

    one can not, like Pussy Riot, invade someone else’s private property or church and stage a protest and not expect consequences…

    freedom of assembly, speech, religion, means what it says in the Constitution…and has so been broadened by the Supreme Court…

    the original poster is so stupid that defacing the damn thing only adds to the stupidity…

    • ColinWright
      September 27, 2012, 4:20 am

      chuckcarlos says: “…if one wishes to tag the stupid thing then do it artistically between the lines or after the body not defacing the original intent but rather as a comment….”

      Oh sure. That would be my choice. However, the central outrage are these signs, not people’s responses to them. The signs are literally evil; those who deface them are merely failing to consult Doctor Colin for moral guidance first.

  13. Walid
    September 27, 2012, 12:16 am

    I agree that BDS’ sole preoccupation with the occupation is wrong, but I also understand why MW can’t involve itself with a full boycott. At best, BDS is nipping at Israel’s heel. In any event, it’s now too late for a full boycott of Israel. The Palestinians’ only chance is to hang in there and wait for Israel to self-destruct. It may take a few more years, but it will happen.

    • ColinWright
      September 28, 2012, 5:37 am

      Walid says: ‘ At best, BDS is nipping at Israel’s heel. ‘

      The actual physical effect of the boycott isn’t the point. By the time there’s a boycott powerful enough to bite, it’ll all be over anyway.

      The point of the boycott is to highlight Israel’s evil practices and encourage people to ‘take a stand’ in a painless way. Once they’ve done that, they’re committed, and they’ll be reluctant to back off.

      When I was a kid, there was a boycott on California table grapes. For decades after that ended, it just seemed wrong to me to buy grapes somehow. These things stick. Get people thinking of Israel as ‘bad,’ and they’ll start noticing all the bad things and they’ll want to feel virtuous by continuing to oppose Israel. People like meaning in their lives — it’s great to get the shopping done and strike a blow for justice while you’re at it.

      It’s all symbolism and PR — and it all matters. Why do you think BDS drives Israel nuts? They know it can kill them.

  14. Taxi
    September 27, 2012, 12:22 am

    Yeah I call it real progress when the fight against zionism and islamophobia hits the subways and the streets of our beloved New York.

    Yeah I still remember the days, not too long ago, when Americans didn’t even know how to spell zionism let alone know about it’s diabolical, racist, blood-soaked history.

    Fight fight fight fight fight fight!!!!!! LOL I love it!

    I love it especially that it’s mostly women who’re taking up the street-fighting! LOLLLLLLLLL!

  15. ColinWright
    September 27, 2012, 3:49 am

    The way I see it, everybody’s doing their job.

    Geller, as a shameless bigot with a taste for inciting violence, is exploiting her right to post incredibly offensive signs.

    Those who deface those signs are refusing to repress what is the most understandable of all possible reactions.

    Those who cite those who deface the signs are doing what they are paid to do, and ensuring that yes, if you do insist on vandalizing signs, you are probably going to have to pay a modest fine.

    It’s not exactly free society at its finest — but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  16. wes
    September 27, 2012, 5:00 am

    colin……. “It’s not exactly free society at its finest — but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

    the ads are embarrasment-but then i searched around and decided to ask the question

    did anyone deface the pro palestinian ads ?

    probably not—strange …not even a scratch —just a few complaints here and there

    feels good to be a savage “in a free society”

    hohohohohoho and away we go

    • ColinWright
      September 27, 2012, 5:24 am

      wes says: “did anyone deface the pro palestinian ads ?”

      No. Zionists, in their scrupulous morality, confine themselves to hounding people from their jobs, getting them evicted from their apartments, having them listed as members of terrorist organizations and then sent to prison for it, blocking the publication of books, and subverting our entire media and our political system with a complete lack of scruple.

      They don’t vandalize subway signs. You’re right.

  17. ColinWright
    September 27, 2012, 5:34 am

    Incidentally, try posting ‘Israel is a Nazi state. We should pull the plug.’

    I happen to think that’s a considerable improvement over Geller’s ad, in that it’s true, but just try putting it up in the subway.

    Let me know if it goes scrupulously undefaced. In fact, let me know if you can get it up.

    Better still, put it on your back bumper. Let me know how your rear window does. I’m sure those scrupulous Zionists would never do anything.

  18. wes
    September 27, 2012, 9:54 am

    blaine coleman

    i read your comment on calling for a full boycott of israel similar to the one applied to s.africa and i laughed –
    i lived in s.africa during those years and i have lived on a kibbutz in israel so i can say that i understand the difference -s.african whites were boycotted, -it was easy to overthrow the white government and install a black puppet government
    mining companies are still stealing resources and nothing has changed.they shot dead a few hundred last month
    israel on the other hand is about a relegious war,jew versus moslem and jews do not only live in israel but worldwide -hey there might even be one living next door to you.when push comes to shove jews will not allow the wholesale destruction of israel
    blaine do you understand the difference

    blaine do you understand what i mean when i say that the only thing that south africa and israel have in common is that they were the result of white british imperial racist policy. remember it was the british who defeated the ottamans at gaza during ww1
    before you call for a full boycott of israel i suggest that you call for compensation for the suffering that both jew and arab has endured due to past british racist policies.lets go to the source of the problem and eradicate it.

    • ColinWright
      September 27, 2012, 3:01 pm

      wes says: ‘israel on the other hand is about a relegious war,jew versus moslem and jews do not only live in israel but worldwide ‘

      Tell us about this ‘world wide relegious war’ between Jews and Muslims as it existed apart from Israel. Then tell us how Israel is pouring oil on troubled waters.

      ‘lets go to the source of the problem and eradicate it.’

      Your complete balderdash notwithstanding, it’s clear of course that the source of the problem is Israel. I agree: let’s eradicate it.

      • wes
        September 27, 2012, 6:39 pm

        colin

        “Tell us about this ‘world wide relegious war’ between Jews and Muslims as it existed apart from Israel. Then tell us how Israel is pouring oil on troubled waters.”

        israel cannot afford to pour oil on troubled waters because the arabs have most of the oil in the region and israel is like a bridge over troubled waters between the unbelievers and the believers in one G-d ….blahblahblah
        if you assume x then x+1=true
        what i am saying is that if the jewish belief that israel belongs to the jews as stated in the bible is a lot of balderdash then both christianity and islam are also a lot of balderdash as they are based on judaism.
        got tell that to the fundamentalalist chritians
        or the fundamentalalist moslems etc or maybe anders breivik and his norwegian filmakers

        those “silly little stone tablets” that “moses” received all balderdash wars fought between christians ,moslems and jews all balderdash.
        youtube video of mohammed and the riots that followed all balderdash.
        arabs dying in gaza in 2006 all balderdash
        continous back to back suicide bombings of israelis all balderdash
        blackwater in iraq all balderdash

        all because israel poured oil on troubled waters

        colin you say
        “Your complete balderdash notwithstanding, it’s clear of course that the source of the problem is Israel. I agree: let’s eradicate it.”

        well done son
        look how much baiting it took from wessy boy to finally get you to sqeeeeeze it out

        i agree:lets eradicate it
        all racists to be lined up against the wall and shot
        well colin old chap i will make sure i am standing right next to you

        hohohohohoho and away we go

      • ColinWright
        September 28, 2012, 5:25 am

        Wes says: “well done son
        look how much baiting it took from wessy boy to finally get you to sqeeeeeze it out”

        I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I have never hidden my belief that Israel should be eradicated, which is coming up on a good ten years now. You didn’t squeeze anything out. You haven’t even irritated me — which isn’t actually all that hard to accomplish.

        …and it’s nothing to do with racism. Israel could consist of any ethnic group whatsoever and my reaction would be the same.

  19. Blaine Coleman
    September 27, 2012, 11:55 am

    In response to Annie, I did some research.

    I found that the official BDS movement is suddenly on the record asking only for Israel to end “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967″.

    This is a change.

    Up until now, the official BDS movement had always asked for an “end of occupation and colonization of all Arab lands”.

    Do you see how far the BDS movement has devolved into accepting the Israeli state?

    Why have they done this?

    Because there is no movement rejecting the Israeli state, only a movement begging Israel to please make a deal.

    Pitiful.

    Don’t believe me? Then look at your new BDS movement’s statement:

    link to bdsmovement.net

    • ColinWright
      September 29, 2012, 10:35 pm

      Blaine Coleman says: “In response to Annie, I did some research.

      I found that the official BDS movement is suddenly on the record asking only for Israel to end “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967″…”

      Alright.

      So?

      So support BDS and start your own movement pushing for whatever you want. In fact, if you’re involved with BDS, you can help keep them from drifting into J-Street land.

      They may not be asking for everything you want, but they’re asking for some of it, and so long as Israel refuses to give way, the more moderate the demands, the better.

      Picture Oliver Twist. Which makes him look better and the cook look worse? If he says ‘please sir, may I have some more’ and the cook says no — or if he says, ‘gimme the whole pot, fatso,’ and the cook says no.

      This is a game. You can play to feel virtuous, or you can play to win.

  20. LanceThruster
    September 27, 2012, 12:33 pm

    I would want these countered in a way that does so legally (if possible – such as methods not permanently defacing, or a link for a rebuttal argument, etc.), highlights the hypocrisy of the Gellar ad, and compares how often ads spotlighting Israeli perfidy are routinely blocked from appearing or removed afterward based on pressure put on by a powerful and vocal minority.

    Short of that, I would like anyone prosecuted for their response to the ads due to outrage over the racist message to be able to show in court how an opportunity to disseminate a competing message is regularly denied.

    If Pam and her ilk are so certain their message will resonate with the public, let it be put forth in a fair forum, with ample opportunity for rebuttal.

    By all means, let’s have an open discussion about the nature of savagery and civilization.

  21. kma
    September 29, 2012, 12:11 pm

    don’t forget that the Geller ad is not someone’s private free speech and nobody broke into her home to harass her over it (or arrest and jail her for it, which we know DOES happen in the US).
    it is an ad placed on public property. we own that property. (and should not be selling ads to anyone with more money than brains, and should be able to say NO we don’t need to raise funds for public services by selling to the corporate/racist/one-percent.)

    I don’t see it as Geller’s right to buy public space guaranteed by our constitution, and I don’t see the public as not having a right to help it decay faster than it would normally. being in a subway, don’t we have the right to bump into it, sneeze on it, block it from view, and of course, ruin it? it’s not intended to be speech, it’s intended to do harm to the public. if Geller wants it encased in bullet-proof glass, she can hang it in her window at home.

    what if it were an ad to encourage your children to smoke?

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