An activist in Ann Arbor, Mich., hoping to place an advertisement railing against Israel on local buses, was disappointed when a federal judge ruled that the Ann Arbor Transit Authority had the right to reject it.

Activist Loses Court Battle Over Boycott Israel Bus Ad, Accusing the Jewish State of Apartheid

Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press

The billboard, as WWJ-TV notes, includes a spider crushing skulls and it reads, “Boycott Israel, Boycott Apartheid.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the legal group representing the Blaine Coleman, the activist at the center of the debate, was disappointed by the judge’s decision.

“His view is that Israel should be boycotted because it’s equivalent to apartheid, and, as the ACLU, we don’t take a position on the validity of that opinion,” Dan Korobkin told WWJ Newsrasdio 950, going on to note the importance of free speech. “But we feel very strongly that, no matter what someone’s opinion is, that that speech should be heard.”

The transit authority argues that the anti-Israel ad violates its standards. However, Korobkin claims that it isn’t the government’s responsibility to decide which speech should be censored — even when it is volatile or holds the ability to offend.

The ACLU may continue the legal battle and is reportedly still looking at its options. The lawsuit was originally filed in Nov. 2011, according to the Detroit Free Press, and it was waged after Coleman spent nearly a year trying to get the bus system to post the controversial design.

(H/T: WWJ-TV)

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