Pamela Geller peddles in conspiracy theories, makes common cause with extremists, and advances hyperbolic, divisive and extremely misleading narratives about the so-called threat of “Islamization” of the United States. Geller was even banned from entering the UK by Theresa May, the British Home Secretary, “on the grounds that her statements may foster hatred and provoke violence due to her extreme views”.
Here’s just one example of the kind of vitriol found on her blog.
“Obama is a third worlder and a coward. He will do nothing but beat up on our friends to appease his Islamic overlords.”
— Pam Geller, AtlasShrugs.com, April 13, 2010
Geller has also reportedly claimed that “President Obama is the love child of Malcolm X, that Obama was once involved with a “crack whore.”
On April 1st, the Guardian published an Associated Press (AP) report on an anti-Islam bus ad campaign in Philadelphia sponsored by one of Geller’s groups.
Here’s the ad.
In the headline of the Guardian article (Hitler ads from pro-Israel group begin running on Philadelphia transit buses), and in the text, Geller’s American Freedom Initiative is characterized as a “pro-Israel group”.
Here’s the opening passage of the article.
The ads from the pro-Israel American Freedom Defense Initiative will appear on 84 buses. One features a 1941 photograph of Hitler and supporter Hajj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian Arab nationalist.
However, if you look at site in question (and other sites affiliated with Geller and her campaign), they don’t claim to be “pro-Israel” groups. Their focus is clearly on opposing Islam and putatively championing “free-speech“.
Here’s the mission statement of American Freedom Defense Initiative:
The American Freedom Defense Initiative is a new organization launched by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer. Our objective is to go on the offensive when legal, academic, legislative, cultural, sociological, and political actions are taken to dismantle our basic freedoms and values.
AFDI acts against the treason being committed by national, state, and local government officials, the mainstream media, and others in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, the ever-encroaching and unconstitutional power of the federal government, and the rapidly moving attempts to impose socialism and Marxism upon the American people.
Indeed, mainstream pro-Israel groups like Anti-Defamation League have condemned Geller and the anti-Islam message of the Philly bus ad.
Though Geller supports Israel, that position alone doesn’t warrant characterizing her movement as a “pro-Israel” group. The Guardian article unfairly smears pro-Israel groups by associating them with Geller’s extreme views, and we urge editors to revise the text and headline accordingly.