According to the petitioners, this phenomenon violates the basic principles of human dignity and equality in general, and freedom of expression in particular.
The petition – filed by Attorney Aviad Hacohen against the Transportation Ministry, the Egged bus company and the Cnaan Media advertising company – says the petitioners and their colleagues have been engaged in a fierce struggle for several years now in a bid to keep Jerusalem's public domain open to all people equally.
About a month ago, the petition claims, following a series of acts of harassment against women walking on the streets of ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, and following the destruction of billboards displaying pictures of women, the Yerushalmim movement decided to launch a campaign presenting pictures of women living in Jerusalem.
The petition stresses that all photographed women were fully dressed in "regular, completely modest, unrevealing and unoffending clothes."
Later on, when the petitioners turned to Cnaan Media and asked to purchase significant advertising space, the latter refused, claiming that the company does not advertise pictures of women in Jerusalem for fear that radical elements will vandalize the buses.
According to the petition, the Egged company is shaking itself free of the exclusion of women in ads displayed on its buses, claiming it's the advertising company's business.
The petitioners claim that the police, Transportation Ministry and Egged and Cnaan companies are avoiding enforcing the principles of equality and discriminating against women, while seriously violating basic democratic and Jewish values.
The petitioners are asking the transportation minister to condition the receipt of license for the operation of public transportation in a commitment to avoid any act containing gender discrimination or any other type of discrimination.
The petitioners are also demanding that the police use a firm hand in enforcing the law in general, and in haredi neighborhoods in particular, including the prosecution of hooligans and those destroying bus ads.