Female Political Candidate’s Image Ripped Off Campaign Placard in Jerusalem

    Orly Levy-Abekasis’s party says vandalism an attempt to ‘silence the voice of women,’ says it ‘won’t allow 51% of the public to be hidden away’

    A vandalized placard for Orly Levy-Abekasis and her Gesher party in Jerusalem, January 30, 2019 (Channel 13 news)

    A large campaign placard featuring MK Orly Levy-Abekasis was defaced in Jerusalem Tuesday overnight, only days after it was hung over a highway at an entrance to the city.

    Only Levy-Abekasis’s face was torn off the poster, leading to the assumption it was done by an ultra-Orthodox culprit.

    Some ultra-Orthodox Jews object to photos of women in public places or media, claiming they are immodest. Ultra-Orthodox newspapers in Israel have a controversial policy of not publishing photos of women.

    There have been repeated incidents of posters featuring women defaced in the capital and other cities.

    Levy-Abekasis, a former member of Yisrael Beytenu, is running for reelection to the Knesset with her newly formed party, Gesher.

    Gesher condemned the “grave incident,” which, it said, “attempts to silence the voice of women.

    MK Orly Levy-Abekasis at a conference of the Israeli Television News Company in the Jerusalem International Convention Center (ICC) on September 3, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

    “Gesher champions women’s advancement in Israeli society. We are the only party where women will have 50 percent representation… We won’t allow 51% of the public to be hidden away.”

    Levy-Abekasis entered the Knesset nine years ago as a member of hawkish former defense minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu. But in May 2016, she left the party because it joined the ruling coalition, saying that it had abandoned its social platform. She has since been serving as an independent MK in the opposition.

    She made her name with activism on behalf of children, the elderly, and the poor. She has not yet specified who else would represent her party.

    Former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, who heads the new Israel Resilience party, is believed to be courting Levy-Abekasis in a bid to join forces ahead of the April 9 election.