Disputed bus ads
Photo: Shmulik Grossman
An advertising campaign posted on Egged buses in Jerusalem, which called for the construction of the Third Temple instead of the al-Aqsa Mosque, has been removed by the advertising franchiser, Ynet learned Tuesday.
About a week and a half ago, the "Eretz Israel Shelanu" (our Land of Israel) movement initiated a wide-scale campaign calling for a speedy construction of the Third Temple. As some of the buses passed through east Jerusalem neighborhoods, the campaign sparked a great deal of objection among left-wing activists and Arab residents.
The "Eretz Israel Shelanu" movement expressed its anger over the decision to remove the ads. Its spokesman, Itamar Ben-Gvir, told Ynet that the organization was considering suing Egged and the advertising franchiser, Cnaan.
"The two companies have apparently joined the Palestinian Authority's side, and they too view a prayer for the Temple's construction as a provocation. We will weigh our options in the coming days," he said.
Kobi Cnaan, the signpost franchiser's director, said the signs were removed following many threats received by the company over the past week.
"Most of the elements who made the threats were not necessarily Arabs. They threatened to deface the signs and the buses if we failed to remove the campaign ads."
'Don't want to be part of provocation'Cnaan added that he preferred not to get into a conflict and told Ynet that he eventually gave in to the pressures and threats.
"Had we noticed the content of the advertisement, it's possible that we would not have put it up in the first place. We preferred not to be part of a provocation to begin with, but we will consider filing a complaint with the police due to the many threats."
Egged spokesman Ron Ratner said in response that the company had decided not to intervene in ads posted on its buses and that the decision was made by the franchiser.
"We have no problem with a utopian vision of one group or another, and we see no harm in the hopes to build the Temple. We view the decision to remove the signs as puzzling, but the Cnaan company is fully responsible.