Those who are dedicated to maintaining Jerusalem as a pluralistic capital of all of Israel won a small but important victory in July: The Ministry of Transportation ordered Cnaan, the agency that handles advertising on Egged buses, to include images of women. The ruling was in response to a petition by Yerushalmim, a group that advocates pluralism and equal rights in Jerusalem, which tried to launch an advertising campaign last year, a part of which is pictured below. Afraid of Haredi reaction, Cnaan initially refused. Now the government has declared that the ads must be displayed.
In a city where images of women have been torn from outdoor spaces and erased from public life, this small step is to be celebrated. In its clear statement against discrimination of any kind, the ministry upheld the Jewish values of equality and fairness. “Women of Jerusalem, Nice To Meet You,” the ads declare. Yes, nice to meet you.