Israel Airports Authority won't allow ads urging women not to give up their seats

An El Al airplane at Ben Gurion Airport.
(Image credit: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)

An ad campaign reminding women that it's illegal for airline crew to ask them to move seats at the request of a male passenger has been rejected by the Israel Airports Authority for being too political.

The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC), which is tied to the Movement for Reform Judaism, planned on putting up ads at Ben Gurion Airport during Passover that read, "Ladies, please take your seat ... and keep it!" Last year, a court ruled in favor of 82-year-old Renee Rabinowitz, who sued Israel's El Al airlines for gender discrimination after the cabin crew asked her to move when an ultra-Orthodox man refused to sit in his assigned seat next to her because she's a woman.

Women are frequently asked to move by El Al cabin crews, The Guardian reports, and Anat Hoffman, the executive director of IRAC, said passengers often bully the woman into moving so the plane can take off, instead of telling the man to just sit down. Hoffman told The Guardian that the ads are not political or divisive, and inform women about a tactic that is "discriminatory, dehumanizing, and illegal." Hoffman said the Israel Airports Authority needs to make its own ads about the subject, and "if they don't do that, we may have to sue them."

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