Azrieli Group briefly refuses to run Haaretz democracy ad on mall’s screens, relents

Organization initially told newspaper ad saying ‘Democracy doesn’t end with elections’ was political; now says it has canceled policy to reject such banners

A view of the Azrieli towers and the surrounding buildings in central Tel Aviv. (Courtesy of Avison Young)
A view of the Azrieli towers and the surrounding buildings in central Tel Aviv. (Courtesy of Avison Young)

Azriel Group, which owns many of the country’s shopping centers, briefly refused in recent days to publish an ad by the Haaretz newspaper on the face of Tel Aviv’s central Azrieli Mall, before walking back the decision.

The ad for the paper simply displayed the sentence “Democracy doesn’t end with elections” atop a blue background.

The paper wanted it displayed on the mall’s outer video screens ahead of a major opposition protest to be held there Saturday evening against the new government’s judicial overhaul plans.

The paper said it was initially told by Azrieli Group that the ad had been rejected for being political.

However, the decision sparked a public backlash on social media and the organization later said it would run the ad.

In a statement, the group said it “is careful to operate in the business sector without taking sides on political issues.”

However, it said that with “public discourse at a boiling point and with various groups wishing to make their voices heard on a wide range of issues, we’ve decided to cancel this policy… out of a belief in true democracy that allows the range of political positions to be heard.”

An ad on the face of the Azrieli Mall building Saturday evening declared: “Supporting democracy — Azrieli Group.”

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