Haredi Papers Reel at Order to Publish B'Zhutan Ad

Ads for haredi women's party 'like publishing an ad for Baruch Marzel in an Islamist Movement magazine,' Yated Ne'eman opines.

Haim Lev and Tova Dvorin,

File: hareidi man reading Yated Ne'eman
File: hareidi man reading Yated Ne'eman
Flash90

Publishing the advertisements for a haredi women's party is an insult, Yated Ne'eman opined Sunday - and is fighting a High Court for Justice decision demanding they give press time to the fledgling campaign. 

"For us it's like publishing an ad for [right-wing activist and Otzma Yehudit/Yachad candidate] Baruch Marzel in the Journal of the Islamic Movement," sources from the paper told Globes. "Do our readers not have feelings? Tomorrow they're telling us to post photos of women." 

The ruling was handed down to Yated Ne'eman and Yom LeYom after complaints from B'Zhutan party leader Ruth Colian that the papers refused to publish her party's ads because she is a woman. 

As a result, the court demanded that both papers publish one ad featuring the party per issue, ahead of the upcoming elections Tuesday. 

Colian made it eminently clear that she would send advertisements without photos - only with texts - according to the restrictive haredi doctrine against photos of women in any context. 

A refusal to publish these ads, which would otherwise conform to these standards, violates political freedoms, she argued. 

"I find it difficult to accept the argument that a newspaper that discusses the elections, and includes articles about different parties, may offend readers by publishing a notice of Orthodox Women's Party," the judge wrote in his decision. "When it comes to advertising in haredi society, this is a medium in which is the prime method of conveying information regarding the Knesset elections." 

B'Zhutan was launched earlier this year as a response to haredi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, which proponents argue have refused to represent haredi women or advocate for their needs.

Key issues such as difficult family or economic situations are swept under the rug, female activists within the community argue, and the response has been both to boycott the elections and to attempt to siphon off votes from the predominant haredi parties by beginning a campaign by women, for women




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