April 21, 2010 – Miami, Florida: When the South Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) pressured the Miami-Dade Country Transit Authority to yank bus panel ads contracted and paid for by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer of the Freedom Defense Initiative because the ads were “offensive to Muslims”, the two activists turned to the Law Offices of David Yerushalmi, P.C. for help. Mr. Yerushalmi joined forces with the Thomas More Law Center and the two law firms began preparing a federal complaint alleging breach of contract and violation of Ms. Geller’s and Mr. Spencer’s First Amendment Rights.
The bus ad, which appears immediately below, began running on Tuesday, April 13th. Just two days later, on Thursday, after pressure from CAIR, the bus ads had already been pulled down and Mr. Yerushalmi’s clients received notice of the ad contract termination through media reports on Friday.
CAIR, as it typically does, issued nationwide press releases and blasted emails to tens of thousands of outlets on Friday crowing over its “victory” of suppressing free speech on the grounds that the ads promoted “bigotry”. Newspaper and other media stories in the Miami Herald, the Orlando Sentinel, Fox Business News, and NBC ran blindly with the CAIR-generated story on Friday with headlines like: “Miami-Dade Transit Throws Islamic Ad Under the Bus.”
Ironically, CAIR, which has been named by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI as a Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front group and unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror fund raising trial—a trial which culminated in guilty verdicts for all of the Muslim Brotherhood defendants—claims it is “the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights organization.”
“It is ironic,” Mr. Yerushalmi noted, “that the media allows CAIR to claim the mantle of a civil rights organization when it embraces censorship by the government all in the service of the ‘anti-blasphemy’ platform of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC), which calls for international legislation providing for criminal penalties against anyone who ‘insults Islam and its prophet Mohammed.’ Free speech is apparently not one of the freedoms in CAIR’s version of the U.S. Constitution—at least not for critics of Islam.”
Mr. Yerushalmi added that the Center for Security Policy, a leading Washington D.C. national security think tank run by former Reagan administration official Frank Gaffney, has documented that CAIR is an illegal, unregistered foreign agent of the OIC, receiving millions of dollars from Islamic countries in order to pursue their political goals in the U.S. (See the CAIR Observatory at www.cairobservatory.org.) Mr. Yerushalmi is General Counsel to the Center for Security Policy.
By Friday, the day after the bus ads had been pulled, Mr. Yerushalmi and his co-counsel Robert Muise were prepared to go into federal court early the next week armed with a complaint and motion for temporary restraining order.
A teleconference was arranged first with the Miami-Dade County Attorney’s office, which took place Monday afternoon. After listening to Mr. Yerushalmi’s brief, the county attorneys conceded the ads should not have been pulled. By Tuesday, Mr. Yerushalmi had negotiated a full and complete retraction of the contract termination with a NY-based attorney for CBS Outdoor. Not only would the original 10 king-sized ads go back up on the Transit Authority buses, but CBS would run an additional 20 king-sized bus ads for no additional charge.
The new agreement was inked and signed by Wednesday, April 21. The ads are expected to go back up by early next week.
“This is not just an important day for the First Amendment. It is a ‘teaching moment’ for the media and for others in various government agencies who come across CAIR,” Mr. Yerushalmi added. “CAIR is a criminal organization with ties to Hamas and other jihadists. This is not my opinion but the considered view of the U.S. Attorney’s office, the FBI, and the federal courts, all based on evidence CAIR has never refuted. If you find yourself on the same side of an issue with CAIR, you’d better examine the facts a bit more closely. You’re likely in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood, even if only unwittingly.”
Mr. Yerushalmi is currently prosecuting two separate fraud cases against CAIR on behalf of five former CAIR clients, three of whom are Muslim Americans, who were defrauded by CAIR.
About David Yerushalmi, Esq.
David Yerushalmi has been practicing law for more than 26 years. He is a litigator specializing in securities law, public policy relating to national security, and public interest law. Mr. Yerushalmi is licensed and practices in Washington D.C., New York, California, and Arizona.
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