Remember, every AFDI/SIOA ad we ran was a response to vicious attack ads on Jews, on freedom, ...
The quisling "rabbi" Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah, which spent $10,000 on ads last fall to oppose my pro-Israel ads, said "I wish that none of this had ever started." Really, "Rabbi"? Jacobs will answer to higher authority. Jacobs was silent when vicious anti-Israel ads ran in cities across the country. Jacobs only got involved to condemn me for standing up against the vicious anti-semitic ad campaigns running on transit platforms from NY to California. Jacobs is not a rabbi -- Jacobs is a quisling, an enemy with a Mona Lisa smile. She should be stripped of any rabbinical status (I am sure she's of the ridiculous "reformed" movement -- which no practicing Jew takes seriously).
Jill Jacobs is a disgrace to rabbinical leadership. She is everything Jews should not be -- cowed and compromised, yet self-reverential in her cowardice.
M.T.A. Ad Space Becomes Contentious Forum for Mideast Politics NY Times, Matt Flegenheimer, April 7, 2013
There was the campaign more than two years ago against a proposed Islamic center near the World Trade Center site, when about 20 city buses bore the message: “Why there?”
Or perhaps the tipping point was last fall, when the word “savage,” seemingly used to denigrate Islam, appeared in a widely disseminated subway advertisement from a pro-Israel organization.
And then came the rebuttals — from a Methodist group, a social justice advocate and a collection of rabbis, who advised travelers to “choose love.”
On two matters, at least, all parties seem to agree. The give-and-take did not begin last month, when a group espousing Palestinian independence delivered its latest message at a series of commuter railroad stations: “Stop U.S. aid to Israel.”
And it will not end this month, when the pro-Israel group has planned to display its retort in those same stations: “Stop U.S. aid to Islamic states.”
Long the advertising domain of retail chains, community colleges, and one ubiquitous Midtown skin doctor, the trains, buses and stations of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority have come to assume an unusual role: sounding board for Middle East policy debates.
Though the ads have often attracted — and actively courted — controversy, they have also provided the authority with an unlikely, if modest, revenue source in an age of fare increases, unwieldy capital projects and frequent turnover at the top.
“We don’t have a category of controversial ad revenue,” Allen P. Cappelli, a member of the authority’s board, said. “But that thought did cross my mind as I’m looking for revenue streams to increase services.”
According to estimates from advertisers, campaigns focused on the politics and religion of the Middle East in recent months have cost them well into the six figures, a figure which makes up a considerable portion of the authority’s so-called viewpoint advertising revenue.
The authority and its advertising partners shared more than $120 million in ad revenue last year. The agency estimates that about 1 percent came from viewpoint ads.
But unlike many viewpoint ad campaigns, which are often aimed at public health issues about which there is little disagreement, the controversial ads seem to have a multiplying effect: one ad begets a response which begets a response.
Initially, the authority wanted neither the attention nor the revenue associated with the ads. When the pro-Israel group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, submitted its “savage” ad, transit officials rejected it, citing its demeaning language.
But after the group sued the authority, and won its federal court case on First Amendment grounds, the agency voted last fall to amend its policy, allowing such ads, with written disclaimers, as long as the agency did not expect the ads to “imminently incite or provoke violence.”
Pamela Geller, the executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, said in an e-mail last month that the group had spent “well over” $100,000 on advertising in New York’s transit system. She said in December that the group had spent about $70,000 on one purchase alone: ads placed beside each of the subway station’s roughly 220 clocks.
In other cases, transit system advertising has proved attractive, in part because it is relatively inexpensive. Some purchases, for the placement of 10 posters inside stations, can cost as little as $5,000.
Hatem Bazian, the chairman of American Muslims for Palestine, whose ads were installed at some Metro-North stations last month, said the purchases were easier to justify given the authority’s perpetual financial challenges.
“They are cash-strapped,” he said. “Much better to go to a public agency than a private agency.”
But some religious leaders, even those who have advertised on the system, acknowledged the inherent risks of distilling teachings into ad slogans.
“I wish that none of this had ever started,” said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T’ruah, a human rights organization, which spent $10,000 on ads last fall in response to Ms. Geller’s group.
Unfortunately, she added, “You can’t put an essay up on a subway ad.”