One of the “offensive” posters
Haifa to change offensive Independence Day posters
Source: Haaretz newspaper, Haifa
Date: Sun, April 18, 2004 / Nisan 27, 5764
By: David Ratner, Haaretz Correspondent
The Haifa municipality and local media in the city on Sunday moved to change posters advertising the upcoming Independence Day festivities that caused offense to the Bahai community, which is based in the northern city.
The large colorful posters were placed all around the city, inviting the public to next week’s Independence Day celebrations, and featured a smiling man and a woman with text underneath listing the shows that will take place in the city.
A closer look revealed that the graphic design artist added “hats” on the heads of the two. The woman was depicted wearing Haifa’s unique missile-shaped municipal building, while the man was wearing the golden dome that sits atop the Bahai shrine built on Zionism Boulevard years ago.
Representatives of the Bahai community on Sunday telephoned Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav to demand a change in the posters. Although the golden dome has been a symbol of the city for years, they said, they reject its use in a such a secular and commercial manner.
The mayor instructed teams to conceal the image of the shrine on the hundreds of posters throughout the city.
The status of the Bahai community in Haifa has increased considerably over the past years. This partly down to the huge investment, estimated at hundreds of million of dollars, spent on the construction of the hanging gardens between the Carmel and the lower area of the city, which today are one of Israel’s top tourist attractions.