Egyptian-American anti-Israel activist Mona Eltahawy was arrested on Tuesday evening on charges of criminal mischief misdemeanor for defacing a pro-Israel advertisement at a Times Square subway station, according to the New York Post.
Eltahawy, who claims on her website to be a columnist for Canada’s Toronto Star, Israel’s The Jerusalem Report and Denmark’s Politike, expressed her displeasure over the ads on twitter and publicly pondered how she would act on it. She added the hashtag #ProudSavage, in reference to the ad’s message, which labels Jihadis as savages.
The enraged pundit approached one of the ads hours later with a spray can of pink paint and set about defacing the subway poster. Within seconds, a passerby, Pamela Hall, a Manhattan mom who told the Post that she supports the message of the ad, intervened to block the defacement.
“So Mona, you think you have a right to do this?” said Hall, “I do actually” Mona responded, “I think this is freedom of expression.”
Hall persisted in her objections, protecting the ad with her body, prompting Eltahawy to threaten, “If you don’t want paint on yourself, you should get out the way.” Hall continued to press her objections, apparently infuriating the vandal, who cursed at Hall.
Shortly afterward, cops arrived at the scene accompanied by a police German shepherd and placed Eltahawy under arrest. She continued to protest loudly as she was marched away in cuffs, saying, “this is what happens in America when you non-violently protest,” an observer on the scene can be heard in the video posted below responding bluntly, “that’s true.”
The News Busters blog provided some further background information on Eltahawy, who spoke on a panel at J Street’s 2011 conference and called Israel’s 2008/09 defensive action against Hamas a “massacre”: “a former Reuters correspondent, (she) has been a recent favorite of CNN and MSNBC’s weekend morning shows to discuss Egypt, and she often smears together the Islamist “right wing” and the American right wing,” wrote Tim Graham.
A video of Eltahawy’s criminal act and the actions of Pamela Hall can be viewed below, courtesy of the New York Post.