Makor Rishon, whose readership is affiliated with the right-wing religious public, has refused to publish an ad of Religious Zionist members of Israel’s gay community and will likely face a discrimination lawsuit as a result, Channel 2 News reported.
Makor Rishon officials said that they would not run the ad without a signed letter of indemnity from the advertisers, committing to compensate the newspaper “for any damage caused by the publication, in particular for cancelled subscriptions by readers whose feelings would be hurt by the advertisement.”
The newspaper reportedly required a payment of $260 plus VAT for every lost subscriber.
Because of these conditions and the unfairness they claim, the authors of the ad gave up advertising in the newspaper and decided to file a lawsuit against them for discrimination.
Religious gay activist Zehorit Sorek who spoke to a representative of the paper’s ad department was told that the demand to sign a document of indemnification is repeated in every publication of ads with political content. According to the official, right-wing movements must also sign the same commitment.
The ad, by dozens of alumni of the Religious Zionist movement, protested the rabbis’ letter against the gay community. The rabbis’ letter was published a week ago, and signed by 250 leading rabbis criticizing what they called the “terror” of the recent pro-LGBT campaign.
Among other things, the LGBT ad stated: “We, who grew up on values such as Love for your fellow man as yourself, and God favors man who was created in His image, experience the pain of the insults, segregation, irresponsible aggression of many rabbis in the Religious Zionist leadership, against us and against our brothers and sisters.”
Makor Rishon issued a statement saying the paper has already published ads from LGBT organizations in the past and did not object to publication in this case. “However, after consultation with our legal advisors, we conditioned it upon receipt of a document of indemnification for possible damages that would be caused to the paper as a result of the publication, as is customary when advertising ads with content that may offend some readers.”