Billboard
© Reuters/Nir Elias
An ultra-orthodox municipality just east of Tel Aviv has edited a female politician out of a billboard ad, and not for the first time, some saying the practice is meant to "erase Israeli women," altogether.

Tzipi Livni, a leader in the liberal opposition party Hatnua, was edited out of a billboard in densely populated Bnei Brak, while her male-colleagues remained. Livni posted a video of her standing in front of the sign to her Twitter account Saturday, offering criticism and worry.

"You understand, it's not my face they want to remove, but the faces of you the women of Israel, over 50% of the population," she told her online audience.

A local Israeli news station reported on the situation last Thursday, pointing out that another ad had been selectively edited to remove Knesset member Tamar Zandberg. Municipal authorities have refused comment so far.


They have, however, made their position clear in the past. The censorship is not limited to women in politics... it is not even limited to human women. Last year, the city removed an image of Smurfette from a billboard over fears the 7-inch tall animated blue creature would "incite the feelings of the city's residents."

Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll, the co-founder of a group called Chochmat Nashim which "combats extremism and the exclusion of women throughout Israeli society," called the municipality's policy "simply outrageous," adding on her Twitter account that the "extremist trend" is an effort at "erasing women."


She also claims the city refused to allow a billboard about breast-cancer awareness, allegedly due to their view that "women's health is not something to be discussed in public."

The controversy comes in the wake of Israel's decision last month to dissolve the Knesset altogether, with snap elections to be held as early as April.