The ad showed a smiling ultra-Orthodox man and called on HMO members to donate blood as part of "men's blood donation in cooperation with Maccabi Health Services."
The donation session was conducted by Magen David Adom's blood bank.
Ad calling on Ashdod men to donate blood
Moshe Greenboim, a haredi public activist and a member of the Maccabi management in Ashdod, said he couldn't understand what the fuss was about.
"The separation is for the sake of privacy, just like women's restrooms or men's restrooms," he said, adding that hundreds of blood donors were expected to arrive.
Why aren't women asked to donate blood too?
"In our office on Rashbi Street, anyone interested can be given a separate room. The separation stems from the right to privacy."
This has nothing to do with exclusion of women?
"It has nothing to do with it – it's just unpleasant lying in beds next to each other. Just like there are women's restrooms and men's restrooms."
Tanya Rosenblit, who made headlines when she refused to move to the back of a bus travelling from Ashdod to Jerusalem, told Ynet in response that although segregation and modesty were characteristic of the haredi community, "if people want to help is seems particularly odd.
"For example, what if a young couple wants to donate blood together? This way, they're preventing women from saving lives."
Rosenblit believes, however, that the haredi outlook is different and that the decision appears to be accepted by haredi women.
"My aim is not to change the community's customs," said Rosenblit. "I think it's wrong, but as long as there is a consensus within the community – who am I to change it? It's not like what happened in Beit Shemesh with the spitting."