I commend Joel Magalnick for his insighful article (“Provocative bus ads go to highest levels of county government,” Dec. 24).
Edward Mast’s bus ads are misleading and factually in error. Refusing hate speech is not censorship but a matter of common decency. This means the [county] goverment is not obligated to promote or provide a platform for hate speech. The proposed one-sided ad crossed the line between legitimate criticism and bigotry.
Promoting hate speech that could incite violence, vandalism and disruption of bus service is not “free speech.” The creators of the ad are not advancing the cause of peace and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
Anti-Israel messages have been known to inflame and lead to hate crimes against Jews and others such as the Naveed Haq shooting at the Jewish Federation in July 2006.
Dow Constantine and Metro management are to be commended for doing the right thing for cancelling the inflammatory ads that should not have been initially approved under current Metro policies. Metro authorities are now developing policies that will prevent a recurrence of hateful political ads being approved.
American aid to Israel is for military assistance to its only reliable ally in the Mideast. It is given in the form of American-made equipment for defensive purposes.
U.S. aid is also given to Egypt, Palestinians and other Arab countries.
Israel has always embraced the sacredness of human life, while the Palestinians have not. Until there is a positive change of the culture of hatred, violence and death by Palestinians, Israel must remain militarily strong.
Israel’s self-defensive actions against Palestinian indiscriminate rocket attacks on its citizens has wrongly been labelled as a “war crime.” What is nearer the truth are Palestinian actions of using women and children as human shields and suicide bombers — those are “war crimes.”
Why does Mast excuse Hamas of their serious human rights violations and whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel? Israel is to be commended to engage in peace talks with Palestinians despite the unrelenting threats and constant rocket attacks by Hamas threatening its existence.