New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has rejected an anti-Muslim activist's ad that calls critics of Israel "savages." However, other groups have been buying up billboards and sign space all across the city to express their varying viewpoints on the tumultuous Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Pamela Gellar, known for her controversial statements regarding Islam and insistence that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, was turned away for including in the ad: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
CBS Outdoor, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's media management company, informed Geller that her proposed ad violates authority standards, the New York Daily News reported.
The ad was unacceptable because it "demeans an individual or group of individuals," a CBS executive wrote in the letter.
The ad proposal comes at a time when New York City has been seeing the Israel-Palestine debate played out on billboards and subway station advertising.
The Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) has put up several billboards in New York neighborhoods, including heavily-populated Jewish areas.
The ads, critical of the presidnet, show Obama shaking hands with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and reads: "Not Pro-Israel."
ECI aims to maintain American military and financial support of Israel. "We know that, when provided with the facts, the American public will support those public officials dedicated to maintaining a strong US-Israel relationship and committed to keeping Israel safe and secure," ECI says on its website.
On the other side of the debate and advertising war, is The Committee to a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine (CJPIP), which aims to end military support to Israel. The group's ad campaign is called "Be On Our Side: End Military Aid to Israel," and shows both Israelis and Palestinians smiling and getting along "peacefully."
"The groups involved with the 'Be On Our Side' New York campaign support efforts to promote peace and justice in Palestine/Israel and a constructive US policy toward the region that will help further that goal," said Dr. Charlotte Phillips from Brooklyn For Peace, another sponsor of the campaign, in a CJPIP press release.
The NY Daily News reported that Geller plans to sue on grounds that the MTA is violating her First Amendment rights.