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ISRAEL: Things get curioser and curioser on King County buses

Letter by Bambi Lin Litchman, Tacoma on Dec. 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm with 35 Comments »
December 22, 2010 2:12 pm

Re: “King County rethinks bus ad policy” (TNT, 12-22).

One group is running anti-Israel ads on King County Metro buses. Now another group wants to run anti-Palestinian ads. Each ad accuses the other country of war crimes. Both contain disturbing photos.

Is Metro in the advertising business, or is it simply a transit system that also advertises?

It is a transit system, considered a common carrier, and thus legally bound as a common carrier to a higher standard for transporting passengers safely.

Metro’s advertising policy states that it can reject ads that incite a “breach of public safety, peace and order.” It can “reject any material that is so objectionable under community standards as to be reasonably foreseeable that it will result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with the transportation system.”

Metro’s first duty is to transport passengers safely. The ad purchasers are free to seek alternate billboard space that won’t impact the safety of bus drivers and numerous passengers.

Imagine these buses toodling through town – a traveling call for inflaming public fervor about a complex political issue.

Who really wants to ride on a bus with graphic ads inciting powerful sentiment about the Middle East? If Metro seeks a unique way to cut ridership, this is a winner.

Leave a comment Comments → 35
  1. The one positive is that there is some “discussion” about the issue.

  2. Demonizing either side only serves to rationalize the continued horrific behavior by both sides.

    Israelis will not have peace and true security until there is a 2 state solution.
    Palestinians will not have peace and true security until there is a 2 state solution.

    It is in the best interests of both sides to accept that is in their own interest to accept that they must negotiate in good faith and give up something to get something.

  3. CrazyJim says:

    There has to be a better way to get the debate going about Israel’s bad behavior than to put it on buses. But then!

  4. johnearl says:

    “Is Metro in the advertising business, or is it simply a transit system that also advertises?”

    Even if that were the primary issue, this is a distinction without a difference. Metro is a government agency funded with public dollars. Irrespective of it’s policy prohibiting speech that is”…so objectionable under community standards…”, I would not expect the courts to permit Metro to set itself up as the arbiter of “community standards”.

    Metro (and many other public agencies) have placed themselves in a real predicament by allowing advertising on public property that they manage. Having entered (and benefited from) the wonderful world of free markets, they have just now noticed the “public” baggage that they have brought with them.

  5. redneckbuck says:

    I am surprised Jimmy Carter isn’t on the anti-Jew advertisments

  6. ItalianSpring says:

    Please libs- stop hating Jews (the chosen people of God). Remember, hate is not a family value.

  7. redneckbuck says:

    Jews remind the libs that God is in control.

  8. bobcat1a says:

    I get that He chose them for 40 centuries of persecution. I’m a liberal; I don’t hate Jews; I know a lot of liberals; I don’t know any who hate Jews. I’ve been a big supporter of Israel for fifty years. Does that mean I lose my liberal card?

  9. bobcat – Israel is not a consensus liberal issue

  10. Not sure how red/Italian think that their rhetoric is helpful to pro-Israel public relations…….

  11. Israel’s version of anti-miscegenation:

    One of the protestors called out, “Any Jewish woman who goes with an Arab should be killed; any Jew who sells his home to an Arab should be killed.”


    There is irrational hate coming from both sides.

  12. First_Lefty says:

    velmak says:
    December 22, 2010 at 2:20 pm
    Maybe we can have the Crips running anti-Bloods aids, and vice versa.
    After all, they’re just exercising their First Amendment rights.”

    Watch for Karl Rove’s First Amendment Businesses blasting the busses with anti-Democrat ads

  13. “Not sure how red/Italian think that their rhetoric is helpful to pro-Israel public relations……. ”

    Those posts represent the emotional, not the rational, side of the debate. As such they are representative of a portion of the problem – it is the highly charged emotions that make this such a tough problem to solve

    “rational self interest” is too often overwhelmed by emotional self interest, and it is difficult to separate the two

  14. First_Lefty says:

    Most Jews I’ve known are liberals.

  15. nwcolorist says:

    Most Jews I have known are not religious.

  16. Ya know what I find disturbing about this……It’s the idea that “curioser” isnt even a word and no one has mentioned it….INCLUDING the TNT Staff who let it slip by.

    and MERRY CHRISTMAS too ;)

  17. Well what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It’s a shame that a public entity like the transit system opened this can of worms in the first place – but that is the namby-pamby crowd up in Seattle,

    Doubt any solution will be seen in our life-time. On one hand you have extremity on both sided. Some in Israel want to re-establish the Kingdom of David (all territory won in wars as a start – and rebuilding a their temple where the Dome of the Rock now sits). And on the Palestinian/Arab side they want the “right of return” to reclaim all property they willingly abandoned in 1948 – and like Muslims everywhere, once they establish a mosque (as on the Temple Mount or Sophia in Istanbul) they claim it as sacred land for themselves alone. Israel will never accept those conditions,

  18. ratujack says:

    Bambi you are right …….it is not censorship etc. just good taste and remain out of politics on Metro Bus.

  19. ratujack says:

    beerboy …………say you are sorry.

  20. all property they willingly abandoned in 1948

    I suggest you read up on the Nakba – from a history not written by Israel. (of course, Israel won’t allow the Nakba to be taught in their schools…..)

  21. ratujack – to whom?

  22. Gee…..when did former Maoist, David Horowitz move to Seattle……oh, he didn’t………..? Gosh…..that makes him a bit like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

    StandWithUs said Wednesday it plans to buy its own ad if the “Israeli war crimes” ad appears on buses. On Tuesday, the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Stop Islamization of America both said they plan to run ads to counter the ad that touched off the controversy.


  23. Meanwhile back in the West Bank, the land rush is on with settlements expanding at record rates.

    Israel’s Peace Now, an NGO critical of the settlement expansions, says that the construction is likely at its most active in over a decade. Settler groups did not dispute Peace Now’s numbers, but insisted the growth was a good thing.

    And the IDF is gearing up to further degrade living (dying) conditions in Gaza
    A senior Israeli army officer has told the BBC that as long as Hamas remains in control of the Gaza Strip, another war is “only a question of time”.

    It seems that rocket attacks are being used to legitimize Son of Cast Lead yet

    Hamas is not thought to have been behind the increased rocket fire from Gaza this week, to which Israel retaliated with air strikes.

    However, Israel has said it will increase attacks on Hamas facilities even if the movement is not directly responsible.

    So….Israel says Hamas is the problem even though they aren’t the problem.

  24. Bb’s Hamas-mouse is a’ clicking away on overtime today….Love those “Open(no)Border” and Israel=always bad–Philistine victims=always good” websites……are those auto-encrypted in your RNA or something?
    FYI-Gaza has beautiful multi-story shopping malls.
    Are you related to Jimmy (Hussein) Carter?

  25. But there will be no celebrations this year in a Jewish suburb of Nazareth, after its mayor sparked outrage by refusing to allow Christmas trees to be placed in town squares, calling them provocative.

    Nazareth Illit, or Upper Nazareth, is adjacent to Nazareth. It has a sizable Palestinian Christian minority, as does mostly Muslim Nazareth itself.

    “The request of the Arabs to put Christmas trees in the squares in the Arab quarter of Nazareth Illit is provocative,” Mayor Shimon Gapso told Agence France-Presse.

    “Nazareth Illit is a Jewish city and it will not happen — not this year and not next year, so long as I am a mayor,” he said Wednesday of the northern Israeli town.


  26. Are you related to Jimmy (Hussein) Carter?
    Are you related to these guys?

    It’s not anti-Semitic to say that Hasidic Jews are intolerant of goyim

  27. FYI-Gaza has beautiful multi-story shopping malls.

    You gotta be kidding.

    Hanan Elmasu of the United Kingdom-based organization Christian Aid worked on a new briefing detailing the impact of Israel’s measures to ease the blockade of Gaza after six months.

    Elmasu, a regular visitor to Gaza, told the British Baptist newspaper The Baptist Times, “Life for Gaza civilians is very traumatic. There is very little economic activity, high unemployment and much of the population are dependent on handouts.”

    She continued: “I’ve been going to Gaza for several years and have seen how life has changed. What’s distressing is the destruction of the people there. There used to be a glimmer of hope but now there is an inability of people to plan for the future. Parents can’t provide for their children, children aren’t going to school because of a lack of construction materials and you put all that together and it’s a hopeless position.”
    The report, Dashed Hopes: Continuation of the Gaza Blockade, says that little has changed for Gaza’s 1.5 million residents, because “not only has Israel neglected to address major elements of the blockade in its easing measures, such as lifting the ban on exports from Gaza, but it has failed so far to live up to key commitments it did make.”

    For instance, Israel promised to expand and accelerate imports of construction materials for U.N. and other international projects such as schools, health centers, houses and sewage plants. Many of those facilities were damaged or destroyed during the military attacks Israel launched on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

    But in reality progress has been “slow and limited” since Israel’s pledge, says the report.

    An average of only 715 truckloads of construction materials have entered the Gaza Strip per month since the easing announcement. The United Nations has estimated that Gaza needs 670,000 truckloads of construction materials for housing alone.

    Exports from Gaza remain banned, which continues to “cripple” the local economy, while the movement of people has also seen little change, adds the report.


  28. ItalianSpring says:

    This debate reminds me of the pro-God people who want to put a nativity scene at the state capital, and the anti-God/Christian/Jew forces that have forbade it. That dam God causes so many problems with his square rules, right libs?

  29. Maybe your god does, ItalianSpring. Mine doesn’t.

  30. IS – Help me out here, I was raised Catholic and we didn’t have to memorize the entirety of Scripture – where in the Bible does G_d command with a square rule that:

    Thou shalt erect a Nativity Scene upon State Capitol grounds during the Christmas Shopping Season.

  31. And…..does that “square rule” negate that Commandment about graven images?

  32. And….why is the Baby Jesus a blonde, blue-eyed European?

  33. So he won’t be profiled as a terrorist?

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