ISRAEL: Ad Companies Ordered To Run Extremist Party Billboards Accusing Gay Parents Of Child Trafficking

Haaretz reports:

Advertising companies have to run the anti-gay campaign ads created by the ultra-Orthodox-Zionist Noam party, the acting chairman of the Central Elections Committee Neal Hendel [photo] ruled Tuesday.

Hendel determined that in their decision not to run Noam ads, some billboard companies had derogated from equality and freedom of expression, and caused “effective harm to [Noam’s] ability to fully publicize their stances in comparison to other parties.”

Noam had requested to place billboards in Jerusalem and run ads on buses with slogans such as “Pride and buying children, or my son marrying a woman”; “Pride and buying children, or my grandson remaining Jewish – Israel chooses to be normal” and “Reform [Jews], or my grandson remaining Jewish – Israel chooses to be normal.”

Reuters reports:

Noam, a recently-formed, ultra-Orthodox Jewish party, did not respond to a request for comment, though it called the ruling “a great victory” on Facebook. Gay rights campaigners said such advertising had no place in a democratic election campaign.

“When children like our children – 5, 6, 8 year-old children – see this kind of hate advertising they ask us, ‘Dad, do you think that I am normal?” said Julien Bahoul, spokesman for the Association of Gay Israeli Fathers.

Such advertising has “nothing to do with freedom of speech,” said Or Keshet, who lobbies Israeli politicians on behalf of a coalition of 14 Israeli LGBT+ groups.

Noam was founded by ultra Orthodox Rabbi Zvi Thau explicitly to oppose LGBT rights.