The Deal Tov billboard company refused to publish the billboards, which included a photo of an elderly women, reportedly telling the IMA that the Jerusalem Municipality bans the publication of women's pictures on billboards and posters in “a haredi area" – in this case, an area full of government offices located less than a mile from the Knesset.
Top: The original billboard. Bottom: The replacement billboard.
Israel Medical Association Billboard Banned In Jerusalem Because Of Haredi Objections To Photo – Of Elderly Woman
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
An Israeli Medical Association (IMA) advertising campaign has been censored in Jerusalem because of haredim, Ynet reported.
The Deal Tov billboard company refused to publish the billboards, which included a photo of an elderly women, reportedly telling the IMA that the Jerusalem Municipality bans the publication of women's pictures on billboards and posters in “a haredi area" – in this case, the corner of Herzl Boulevard and Sederot Yitzhak Rabin, an area full of government offices located less than a mile from the Knesset.
Municipality officials reportedly deny knowledge of the ban – although many observers don’t believe that claim.
In order to have billboards in Jerusalem, IMA was forced to redo its ad campaign so that only men’s photos were shown.
The original IMA billboard featured the picture of an elderly woman with the caption, "Why do I have to wait a year for surgery?" and a picture of a female doctor asking, "Why is there such a big doctor shortage?" They ran across the country last week – except in the capital.
Deal Tov told the IMA it didn’t even bother to ask the city for a ruling on the original billboard, because past experience showed the city would disallow it because of the elderly woman’s photo.
The Jerusalem city administration insisted it would not have banned the original billboard if it had been asked.
"The municipality's business signposts department and the billboard advertising department received no request and issued no instruction on the matter. The Jerusalem Municipality led by Mayor Nir Barkat permits the inclusion of women's pictures on billboards, has not disqualified any campaign featuring women and has included women in its official advertisements on billboards throughout the term,” it reportedly said in a statement.
The city administration also said it has now told billboard companies operating in the city that it will "not accept any ban on women's pictures on the city's billboards, and any company taking such measures will be seen as violating an agreement with the municipality. If it turns out that the concessionaire refused to publish women's pictures, the municipality will take legal measures as per its commitment."
Deal Tov declined Ynet’s request for comment.
Haredi vandals have repeatedly destroyed bus shelters and damaged buses displaying ads that feature photos or even cartoons of women and girls – even female infants – and has done the same to billboards. Police have done little to nothing to stop the vandalism largely, many allege, because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sees haredi political parties as his only natural Knesset allies and has been aggressively courting them, both during this government and the government he headed immediately before it.