The cowards and the quisling Mayor of Chapel Hill have slithered out of making a decision on whether they will allow our anti-jihad ads to run on Chapel Hill buses, but they have allowed an anti-semitic ad to continue to run for months and months. We submitted our ad back in September after the anti-Israel ad appeaed on Chapel Hill buses in August.
This grotesque action on behalf of the town has led to a resurgence of anti-semitism and the appearance of swastikas on the property of the anti-Israel advertiser, and why not? The town has all but championed Jew-hatred by running these disgusting anti-Israel ads while prohbiting our pro-israel ads.
I would be ashamed to be a resident of a town that imposes a state-sanctioned discrimination policy against Jews. What next, Mark Kleinschmidt, yellow badges?
"Town delays decision on bus ad policy" Herald Sun, Gregory Childress
CHAPEL HILL – The Town Council on Monday agreed to delay a decision on its controversial bus advertising policy, which was suspended two weeks ago after transit officials discovered that they had erroneously used a draft ordinance in administering the policy.
The council, which was without three of its nine members, agreed to discuss the matter next at its Dec. 3 meeting, allowing town officials time to discuss the policy and possible changes with the town’s transit partners, UNC and the Town of Carrboro.
The transit partners are scheduled to meet later this month.
The decision to delay the matter came after the six present members split over a motion to reaffirm the correct bus advertising policy that restricts political, religious and social issue advertising on Chapel Hill Transit buses.
Council members Lee Storrow, Laurin Easthom and Ed Harrison voted against reaffirming the policy while members Penny Rich, Jim Ward and Gene Pease voted in favor of the motion.
Easthom said she was in favor of another option presented to the council by Town Attorney Ralph Karpinos that would protect free speech by allowing political, religious and social issue ads.
By allowing such ads in the past, Easthom said she believed the town had created a public forum on town buses, something the courts would consider if the town is taken to court over the policy.
“We have, whether we intended to or not, created a public forum,” Easthom said.
Earlier Karpinos told council that he believed the town would be on safe legal ground if it decided to enforce the ordinance adopted by council in June 2011 that banned political, religious and social issue ads.
“My position is that the staff’s error does not bind the council,” Karpinos said.
Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and council members Donna Bell and Matt Czajkowski were absent from Monday’s meeting.
The bus advertising policy has been a source of contention every since the Church of Reconciliation bought and placed an ad on buses over the summer urging the U.S. to end military aid to Israel.
About 20 people spoke out in favor and against the policy, with those against it contending that such ads are protected speech. Those against allowing the ad said they found it offensive.
Karpinos said he was concerned about the current suspension of the policy because it is not viewpoint neutral, meaning the council is allowing one ad stating a particular position but none with an opposing view.
Several speakers noted that the church had been vandalized last week. Someone spray painted nine Swastikas on the education building of the church, which is located on Elliot Road.
The decision to suspend the bus advertising policy put on hold another controversial ad, this one being proposed by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) which submitted a proposal to place five of the pro-Israel group’s ad on the exterior of town buses for up to six months.
The AFDI ad stating “In Any War Between the Civilized Man and the Savage, Support the Civilized Man, Support Israel. Defeat Jihad” has caused controversy across the country.
Pam Geller, executive director of the AFDI, successfully sued to have the ad run by city transit operations in Washington, D.C., and New York.
She angrily hinted last week at the news the town had suspended its transit advertising program that the AFDI will sue if it is not allowed to place its ads on Chapel Hill buses.
“We will pursue this gross violation of our First Amendment rights,” Geller said.