Judge orders Israeli ad companies to run anti-gay billboards

Judge orders Israeli ad companies to run anti-gay billboards August 11, 2019
Images via YouTube and Gay Community News

A SUPREME Court judge in Israel – Neal Hendel, inset above – has ruled against companies which refused to run anti-gay campaign ads created by the ultra-Orthodox Zionist Noam party.

Hendel, acting chairman of the Central Elections Committee, said that, in refusing the ads, some billboard companies had derogated from their duty to uphold equality and freedom of expression, and thus caused:

Effective harm to [Noam’s] ability to fully publicize their stances in comparison to other parties.

Noam wanted to place billboards in Jerusalem and run ads on buses with slogans that suggested that same-sex couples were trafficking in children and that Reform Jews are abnormal.

The companies felt such ads:

Could be hurtful to whole communities.

Noam appealed to the Central Elections Committee, arguing that the companies violated election laws. Hendel ruled that anybody defined as an “advertising marketer” who decides to run campaign ads could not discriminate against specific candidates.

“An advertising marketer may not refuse to publish political advertisements based on their content,” ruled Hendel, excepting cases where it is forbidden by law. He also said that in this case, the companies were not arguing that Noam’s ads were illegal, just:

Offensive to and scornful of certain communities.

Hendel added that his ruling does not make any statement about the legality of the Noam ads, but “merely determines that it was not a clear-cut case” of illegal advertising. He said the Attorney General agreed that the campaign should be run on the grounds that the companies should treat the parties equally, irrespective of the content of the advertisements, unless it clearly violates the law.

Noam was delighted by the ruling and stated that the Central Elections Committee had:

Accepted the Noam party’s position in full and directed the advertisers to put up Noam’s campaign ads immediately.

Elon Essar, a lawyer representing advertising companies Knaan Media and Y Mor, stated that the decision means the companies are forced to run ads that claim:

The LGBT community is involved in ‘buying children’ and that any family not composed of a mother and a father is abnormal.

Noam was founded by Rabbi Zvi Yisrael Thau, who runs the Har Hamor Yeshiva. The party’s chief concern is the fight against LGBT rights, on the grounds that they threaten the values of the “Jewish family,” which they say consists of heterosexual parents and their biological children.

Gay Community News claims that the Noam Party is “pointedly homophobic” and has declared in the past that LGBT people have “forced their agenda” on Israel.

Image via A Wider Bridge

Two weeks ago, hundreds of people protested against Israeli officials who incite violence against LGBT communities. At the time, Councillor Etai Pinkas-Arad, right, stated:

When the country is full of inciting billboards, when our religious leaders are willing to sacrifice our blood, and the Education Minister wants to convert us [Rafi Peretz spoke in favour of conversion therapy], then some people are hearing that message and are taking action.

The protest occurred following the stabbing of a 16-year-old boy outside the LGBT youth centre where he was seeking refuge from his ultra-religious family. Israeli politician, Issawi Frej, added:

Words have meaning, even words that are multiplying in the public sphere against the LGBT+ community. We must as a society maintain respectful discourse and fight any manifestation of hatred based on sexual orientation, nationality, skin color or any other definition.

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  • barriejohn

    Freedom of expression runs both ways; billboards can always be defaced. Fingers crossed!

  • Broga

    “The LGBT community is involved in ‘buying children’ and that any family not composed of a mother and a father is abnormal.”

    No evidence offered to support these claims? I suppose belief in the sky fairy, religious beliefs that terrify children by threatening them with hellfire, chopping off bits of babies penises – and much other weird stuff – is normal.

  • frostysnowman

    I imagine people are aware of Noam’s platform without them having to plaster it on a billboard.

  • barriejohn

    Does he also apply that to IVF births? Maybe he thinks that “God” has decreed that such should remain barren. He’s religious, after all!

  • Jim Jones

    Some of the right wing Jewish sects are notorious for kiddie rape and covering it up.

    Silence and self-rule: Brooklyn’s Orthodox child abuse cover-up

    Brooklyn’s ultra-Orthodox rabbis claim they are co-operating with authorities over child sex abuse. But victims say they are being persecuted – and that the DA is doing little to help

    When Mordechai discovered his mentally disabled child was being molested, he reported the crime to the police. A local man was arrested and charged with repeatedly raping the boy in their synagogue’s ritual bath. When news of the arrest got back to their Brooklyn community, the neighbours launched a hate campaign. But the object of their anger wasn’t the alleged perpetrator, Meir Dascalowitz, it was the abused boy’s father.


  • Michael Neville

    I wonder if an LGBTQ+ group could sue Noam for libel and defamation of character.

  • barriejohn

    That’s the problem with “communities”.

  • barriejohn

    Nice idea, but he’d have to refer to them by name, I feel sure!

  • rubaxter

    Who do those ad agency people think they are, the Isr&#8203aeli govern&#8203ment murderously able to supp&#8203ress the voices of even their own Ar&#8203ab citi&#8203zens?

    For shame on them thinking they could sup&#8203press fre&#8203e spe&#8203ech short of having the govern&#8203ment sh&#8203ell and sni&#8203per it into o&#8203blivion!

  • Broga

    Only extreme and subjective, narrow selectivity will work for people like him. And the selectivity is based on what suits his extreme prejudice. Of course, anyone visiting this site knows this from so many examples. Why do we keep returning to the subject and should we? We keep returning because otherwise, despite the opinions being nonsensical, the field is left clear for the bigots and their followers who do not question.

    While these followers are unlikely to spend much time on sites like ours I think it is important to keep the core of criticism alive. It continues to spread and more and more sites like this are important. Especially, for “people of faith” who encounter them.

  • Raging Bee

    I wonder if the progressives could run an ad campaign highlighting those abuses…

  • firebubbles310

    Man. These Orthodox freaks are really scared of the LGBTQ+ community and the Reform Movement. These ads are awful and I can only hope more liberal voices prevail there eventually. I know Reform and Liberal Jews need more of us (Reform Jews) there but I don’t know if I could handle that much concentrated hatred everyday. Because those ads aren’t t positions. They are incitement. They are dangerous rhetoric in an already dangerous country. Denying those ads weren’t an attack on the NOAM party stance. Just like Fundie Christians here in the US, anything that disagrees with Orthodox logic is evil.

  • Brian Shanahan

    In Israel, a country rapidly turning into a national soicialist state? Yeah right.

  • Hermes Brookover

    I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!! I can eat all the bacon that i want to, and the judeo christian community will say nothing about it. I can eat all of the lobster that i want to, and the judeo christian community will say nothing about it. I can disobey nearly all of the commandments given in the old testament/ torah, and not a single person anywhere will say a thing. But when it comes to the LGBTQ community they get all tied up in knots. Running around touting the order given by yaweh to kill them. Why do they focus with such intensity on this one commandment yet ignore all of the rest. Either they are all to be followed, or they can all be ignored. I choose to ignore them, and mock those that focus on one and yet ignore the rest.

  • LeslieFish

    Since the ads contain slanderous lies — “buying children” — they should have been banned anyway.