Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni in a video discussing the ban on depicting women on billboards in Bnei Brak, 2019..
(photo credit: screenshot)
The Bnei Brak Municipality is delegitimizing women in politics by banning billboards with their photos, Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni said Saturday night after an alternative photo of a sign with her face on it went up in the predominately-haredi town.
Advertising executive Ilan Shiloah, IDF Brig.-Gen. (res.) Giora Inbar and others funded billboards with photos of the faces of actual and potential centrist party leaders and the message: “Without unity, the vote is lost.”
However, in Bnei Brak, Livni is missing, while Israel Resilience leader Benny Gantz, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, Labor leader Avi Gabbay, former defense ministers Moshe Ya’alon and Ehud Barak and ex- IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi are still there.
Livni posted a video in front of the sign without her face on it, saying that she saw it on the way to the supermarket near her home. Livni lives in northern Tel Aviv, parts of which border on Bnei Brak. She said she was pleased to see the campaign, because she supports the message, but not that particular billboard.
“You understand, it’s not my face they want to remove, but the faces of you the women of Israel, over 50% of the population,” Livni said, “the voices of you men and women that want Israel to be a liberal country with equality, in which women can speak, sing, stand on stage and lead this country.
“We are fighting for the face of this country. Join our battle,” she stated.
Last week, Meretz faced the same problem, when it sought to put up a billboard with a photo of its leader Tamar Zandberg near the Ayalon Mall on the Ramat Gan-Bnei Brak border and in the Geha Intersection on the Petah Tikva-Bnei Brak border.
The sign featured Zandberg’s face and that of Bayit Yehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich with the message: “Where are you for Shabbat? With me or with him? Most Israelis think Meretz.”
Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll, co-founder of Chochmat Nashim, an organization meant to combat the growing exclusion of women from the Orthodox Jewish world, called the Bnei Brak municipality’s policy “simply outrageous.”
“The city of Bnei Brak also did not allow us to present our breast cancer awareness campaign, because they said women’s health is not something to be discussed in public,” Keats-Jaskoll said. “It is unacceptable to participate in the erasing of women, which started as an extreme practice in a very small group and has become the norm. We see this is in health clinics and banks and in businesses that want to cater to an extreme practice, but human dignity must come before cultural sensitivity.”
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