The decision is in. The King County News release cites potential for disruption to transit service.
They will not be running these anti-Israel ads on their 12 buses for a month in the heart of Seattle starting on the 27th as planned.
The council just realized that the issue involved on the ads could escalate into something they had not originally imagined when they accepted the ad. After consulting with federal and local law enforcement authorities who had expressed concern, they were afraid their buses could be vulnerable to disruption.
People from Portland as well as elsewhere voiced their concern and shock to the councilmen in Seattle, voicing reason why it was wrong to use this political agenda of Palestinian supporters on Seattle buses.
The decision of the bus company is to eliminate ads of the categoryof non-commercial material. That's the best decision I have heard. Their present policy restricts ads that can be foreseen to result in harm to, disruption of, or interference with the transportation system. This definitely can bring harm to many. They did not foresee the debate or response it has brought about.
UPDATE: 1/20/11 ACLU of Washington sued the city saying that the transit agency infringed free speech rights of Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign by refusing to carry pro-Palestinian ads on buses. I feel that the city's bus company made the right move in refusing such political ads. Their ad was propaganda against Israel and they were carrying the war into Seattle by doing so. Seattle already had a mishugena walk into a Jewish office and shoot everyone in it, killing one. Seattle had realized what such ads would be doing and decided against any such political shenanigans. This is not refusing free speech. This was a paying customer, and they refused to enter into the war. They have every right to decide on the rules of what ads they are carrying and rightly decided on just commercial advertisements from now on. Thank you, Seattle, for your wise decision. I'm sorry to see that you have to go through such a suit. Shame on the ACLU. I think their ethics have wandered off the path of righteousness. I agree with freedom of speech; that's what I'm exercizing right now, but not with freedom of slander. Right now our government realizes that they have to tone down their speech, and Washington's ACLU is standing up for someone to be causing harm to others.
Reference: King County News-through Hadassah
Yahoo News: Israel-Palestinian dispute lands Seattle agency in court 1/19/11.