After Shas unveiled its political campaign on Monday night, the ultra-Orthodox
party was surprised to learn that their campaign posters would be stripped from
all Egged buses.
The Shas advertisements featured pictures of Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman with the
slogans “Only Shas is strong enough to protect the weak” and “Only Shas is
strong enough to stop assimilation.”
Egged advertisements can no longer
feature people, after a fight over discrimination against women ended with the
decision to bar all humans featured in bus advertisements
Cnaan, the company responsible for the bus ads, claims that
in the past, haredi extremists have defaced buses with paint and stones and even
set an empty bus on fire because of ads featuring images of women they deemed
As a result, it refused to run any advertisements with women,
insisting it would cause the company financial damage.
Movement fought this decision in a number of appeals to the High Court of
Justice, claiming that Cnaan was discriminating against women.
Transportation Ministry said it would refuse to work with any companies that
discriminate based on gender on July 11, legal advisers from Egged and Cnaan
decided the best course of action would be to remove any people from bus
advertisements. On August 1, the company began removing all ads featuring
“We took them off, it was a mistake,” said a Cnaan spokesman. He
added that all the campaign posters were removed by Tuesday afternoon, and that
the company was “absolutely” sticking with their decision not to have any people
on bus ads.
City Councilor Rachel Azaria (Jerusalemites Movement) called
the incident “very ironic.”
“When they said they didn’t want women on
buses, we didn’t think that Shas would pay the price,” she said.
what got me involved in the campaign against discrimination against women in the
first place,” Azaria added. In 2008, the city councilor turned to the High Court
after Cnaan refused to put her campaign advertisements on buses because they
featured a photo of Azaria. The High Court forced Cnaan to run the ads just
three days before the municipal election.
The Shas bus campaign also
ruffled feathers by featuring Liberman in a black kippa traditionally worn by
haredim. The foreign minister has been an outspoken advocate of encouraging the
ultra-Orthodox to enlist in the IDF.
A Yisrael Beytenu spokesman pointed
out that Liberman was at a Deri family wedding when the photo was taken because
the two are friends. He added that it is “hypocritical” to attack Liberman in
the way the posters do.
The Shas spokesman refused to comment on the