Graffiti
Graffiti iStock

The Jerusalem Municipality has promised to assign workers to deal with complaints about the defacement of billboards portraying women.

According to a report in the Haaretz newspaper, the municipality has also promised to implement various measures, with police cooperation, to deal with the phenomenon, and to get a budget approved to pay for security cameras to be installed near the offending billboards.

The municipality announced its intentions following a complaint submitted in July by the Reform Center for Religion and State, alleging that the municipality was not enforcing regulations against billboard defacement. The complaint was submitted in the wake of the defacement of a billboard portraying Holocaust survivor Penny Parnes at an exhibition that featured various photographs of Holocaust survivors at Safra Square in downtown Jerusalem.

Justice Shirley Renner of the Jerusalem District Court remonstrated with the municipality, saying that it was “unthinkable that lawbreakers were controlling the public sphere. Imagine the situation in reverse – if people were defacing images of men,” she said.

“A large number of security cameras should be installed in order to enable constant monitoring of the situation,” she added in her ruling, which was printed in Haaretz. The municipality “should be acting in a far more determined manner … as [this phenomenon] is giving the city a bad reputation. It is inconceivable that billboards on crossroads in the center of the city are being defaced,” she wrote.