An Egyptian-American anti-Israel activist was arrested Tuesday for vandalizing a pro-Israel billboard that was posted on New York City’s Times Square subway station, The New York Post reported.
Mona Eltahawy, who has made guest appearances on CNN and MSNBC, reportedly sprayed pink paint on the controversial ad that compares “Jihadists” to “Savages.”
"In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad," reads the ad, which has sparked controversy in New York City.
One passerby, Pamela Hall, intervened in an effort to stop the defacement.
“Do you have a right to do this?” demanded Hall, a supporter of Pamela Geller, leader of The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), the pro-Israel group behind the posters.
“I do actually,” Eltahawy responded, according to The Post. “I think this is freedom of expression, just as this [the ad] is freedom of expression.”
“If you don’t want paint, you should get out of my way,” Eltahawy said as she threatened to spray paint Hall.
According to the report, Hall then poked Eltahawy with her video camera stick, which prompted an enraged Eltahawy to shout expletives.
Shortly thereafter, an NYPD officer and an MTA official arrived at the scene and arrested Elthaway, who was reportedly charged with “criminal mischief, making graffiti and possession of a graffiti instrument” and was held overnight.
Just prior to going on her Times Square mission, Eltahawy tweeted: “Meetings done; pink spray paint time. #ProudSavage.”
Signs in seven of the 10 stations where the ads have been posted were defaced with words including, “racist” and “hate speech,” according to the blog Mondoweiss.net.