JERUSALEM (JTA) – Several haredi Orthodox men were captured on video vandalizing the campaign posters of Rachel Azaria, the only female candidate for the mayor of Jerusalem.
The incident took place on Sunday night, hours after the posters were affixed on 300 Jerusalem city buses. The half-dozen vandals, clad in long black suit jackets and black hats, removed the photo of Azaria, which showed her from the shoulders and up.
Azaria, a member of Knesset for the Kulanu party, announced her candidacy two weeks ago for the October municipal election.
The campaign, which had been scheduled to launch on Monday morning, is being run under the slogan: “Believe it. We can live together.”
Akaria said in a tweet that she received information from haredi Orthodox supporters who made it clear that the vandals are a “small and fanatic group that does not represent the haredi Orthodox community in Jerusalem.” She vowed to rehang the ads and continue her campaign “because we know it is possible to live here together.” The tweet also included video footage of the vandalism.
Extreme haredi Orthodox sects object to seeing images of women, calling it a lack of modesty, and have vandalized posters and billboards over the years. Bus companies have in the past refused to hang such ads out of fear of vandalism.