Stop Forcing Companies to Run Anti-LGBTQ+ Ads

Target: Esther Hayut, President of the Supreme Court of Israel

Goal: Allow advertising companies to decline prejudiced solicitors.

A judge has recently ruled that advertising companies in Israel cannot turn down homophobic adverts if they originate from political parties. The decision came after two billboard owners refused to provide advertising space to Noam, an ultra-Orthodox Zionist party, which associated gay people with child trafficking. The posters read: “‘Pride’ and the buying of children or my son will marry a woman – Israel chooses to be normal” and “Reform [Jews], or my grandson remaining Jewish – Israel chooses to be normal.”

Noam which was founded not too long ago by Rabbi Zvi Yisrael Thau, attempted to run the ads on a bus and a Jerusalem hotel wall ahead of the September election. The advertising companies rejected the group on the basis that the ads “could be hurtful to whole communities.” The party then petitioned a parliamentary body chaired by Israeli Supreme Court judge, Neal Hendel, who ruled that companies must sell advertising space to any party that wants it or none at all, under election law.

Elon Essar, a lawyer representing advertising companies Knaan Media and Y. Mor, claimed the decision means the companies are forced to run ads that insist “the LGBT community is involved in ‘buying children’ and that any family not composed of a mother and a father is abnormal.” Sign below to urge lawmakers to outlaw this discriminatory practice.

PETITON LETTER:

Dear President Hayut,

A report submitted to Israel’s president at the beginning of 2019 by the country’s largest gay rights group claimed that 2018 saw a 54 percent jump in the number of reported homophobic incidents over the previous year. The Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, or Aguda, told Reuven Rivlin that an anti-gay incident occurs on average every ten hours in Israel, and a homophobic social media post turns up every four minutes. These statistics show the alarming rise of homophobia.

Neal Hendel’s recent ruling just added more fuel to the fire. His resolution obliges advertising companies to offer services to any political party, including ones that wish to spread discriminatory views against the LGBTQ+ community. A right-wing party even went so far as to make links between gay individuals and child trafficking in its campaign posters. Allowing such acts to take place and justifying them as freedom of speech is not liberal at all, and will only encourage violence. I urge you to stop tolerating this form of hate speech and advocate for its removal.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Quinn Dombrowski


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