The Egged Bus Company has again refused to allow ads it believes will offend haredi sensibilities to be posted on its Jerusalem buses and stations. Previously, the company banned any ads that depicted women or girls, no matter how young or modestly dressed – even female toddlers and cartoon figures – for fear they would spark haredi violence. Now, Egged is banning an ad that features a space alien for the exact same reason.
Kidum's "offensive" ad as posted by Walla
Israeli Bus Company Bans Space Alien Ads Due To Fears Of Haredi Violence
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Egged Bus Company has again refused to allow ads it believes will offend haredi sensibilities to be posted on its Jerusalem buses and stations, Ynet reported.
Previously, the company had refused to post ads that depicted women or girls, no matter how modestly dressed, no matter how young, even female infants, even cartoon figures, for fear of sparking haredi violence. The bus company even went so far as to refuse to post campaign ads for political parties led by female politicians, if those women’s faces were on the ads.
Israel’s High Court of Justice responded by putting a stop to Egged’s gender discrimination.
So now that Egged cannot ban women to please violent haredim, what is it that Egged is banning now?
A space aliens.
The extra-terrestrial life-form is part of a new ad campaign for Kidum, a school that tutors students for the SAT exams. The banned ad’s tagline reads, “advanced intelligence has been discovered on planet Earth."
The same ads are on buses and in bus stations around the country – but not in Jerusalem, where Egged refused to run them for fear fo sparking haredi violence.
Emails between Kidum and Cnaan Media, the company which owns the Egged ads concession in Jerusalem, is revealing.
"According to the concession [contract], it is impossible to use [human or human-like] figures of any kind in Jerusalem, and therefore the current campaign was not approved by Egged," Cnaan wrote.
Egged adopted a policy of banning all ads depicting any human being to get around the problem of banning women only.
"It's true that Jerusalem is characterized by more sensitivity due to its demographics. We try not to offend public sensitivities even if it occasionally damages the concessionaire economically,” Egged’s spokesman, Ron Ratner, reportedly said when asked about the policy.
The High Court has previously criticized this exact behavior by Cnaan and Egged when it came to depictions of women and girls.
Last year, Egged and Cnaan claimed censuring ads and banning all depictions of females was necessary because haredim have previously reacted to such ads with violence, causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage to buses and stations and physically attacking non-haredi passengers.
Under the previous Likud government, Israel’s police did little to arrest the perpetrators of this violence or to stop it from taking place.
Haredim have also defaced and vandalized ads that depicted non-kosher animals, like cartoon bears or cartoon pigs.