Civil and Human Rights

Jerusalem Bus Ads, Complete with Females Again

15 May 2014 By New Israel Fund

In yet another achievement in the ongoing fight against women’s exclusion in Israel, images of women will finally return to bus advertisements in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. The victory follows a two year struggle led by NIF grantee Yerushalmim (Jerusalemites).

Yerushalmim first submitted a petition to the Supreme Court in 2012, which quickly ruled that the Egged bus company could not censor women from its ads. When Yerushalmim launched an ad campaign to celebrate the victory, Egged's ad agency covered up the bare arms of women in the photos. In a subsequent effort to evade the ruling, Egged removed all human images from its bus ads, leading to another Supreme Court petition from Yerushalmim.

Egged, the ad agency, and the state have now signed an agreement in which images of women will return and the state will pay compensation for any acts of vandalism.

Yerushalmim's Professor Aviad HaCohen said: "At the end of the day common sense prevailed, and the obvious was accepted without the need for court intervention. The public sphere in Israel in general, and Jerusalem in particular, belongs to everyone, and it is forbidden to exclude women."

Photo Credit: Egged Bus in Haifa, Israel via Wikimedia Commons