Metro is basically a victim in a flap over a bus ad attacking Israeli actions:
[Monday] afternoon, King County Executive Dow Constantine ordered a review of KC Metro’s policies concerning non-commercial bus advertisements, in response to controversial posters advertising “Israeli War Crimes,” which are slated to appear on 12 King County buses on December 27th and run for a full month.
Earlier [Monday], King County Council member Peter von Reichbauer claimed that the ads, purchased for $1,794 by the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign, could incite anti-Semitic violence. Interestingly enough, Constantine takes a different approach—he makes the argument that the ads are wasting more time and money than they’re worth…
KC Metro spokeswoman Linda Thielke confirms that metro staffers have been swamped fielding calls and emails… We’re entering into holiday week, with reduced services and our customer information people can’t even field those calls, they’re talking to people from Las Vegas and Australia about this issue instead.
As ever, generating a stink about it has generated far more attention than the ad itself could ever have created. The conflict over Israel and Palestine is way beyond our subject area, but the violence argument is a pretty heroic stretch to find an excuse to censor this ad.
Constantine’s concern is at least practical, although it’s distressing that a few motivated callers might get a veto on what ads Metro displays.
And if your feelings on this issue are driven by the underlying dispute, note that a reciprocal ad is going onto buses in response.
Comment warning: the merits of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and truth of the accusation of “war crimes” are off-topic for this thread.