An advertisement for a maternity ward in one of Israel's top hospitals has caused controversy on social media after depicting a foetus as a future Israeli soldier, according to +972 Magazine.
The advert for Lis Maternity Hospital, part of Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, shows a foetus in the womb wearing a military beret and saluting, with a caption reading: "Received the Presidential Award of Excellence, 2038."
Many individuals disturbed by the advert took to social media to express their fear at the militaristic sentiments increasingly promoted in Israeli society. Some also highlighted the fact that Israel regularly accuses the Palestinians of giving birth to "terrorists" and educating children to hate Israelis from a young age, yet it was Israel that was encouraging viewers to associate a political cause with an unborn child.
Wow, an Israeli hospital published this ad for its maternity ward (via @the7i)#reminder: there's a class action lawsuit against 4 hospitals in Israel (not the one w/ this militaristic ad) for segregating Jewish & Palestinian women in their maternity wardshttps://t.co/R8soYFAzNM pic.twitter.com/1AggVyWAYe
— Asaf Ronel (@AsafRonel) May 20, 2018
When asked to comment, Ichilov Hospital spokesperson Avi Shoshan said only: "This was a one-time ad published in Makor Rishon." However no one from the hospital has responded to the criticisms on the nature of the advert.
Read: Israel soldier who accidentally shot colleague charged with manslaughter
The Israeli public has seen a heightened sense of nationalism recently, with a poll revealing that 83 per cent of respondents "strongly support" the open fire policy adopted by Israeli soldiers to deal with peaceful protesters on the Gaza border, which resulted in the deaths of at least 120 Palestinians participating in the Great March of Return.
A survey last year also found that nearly two thirds of Israelis were more inclined to believe that the international community was hostile towards them than that criticism of Israel was due to the occupying state's policies.
One in four Israelis also believed that the government should prioritise fighting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as part of the country's foreign policy.
Military service is compulsory in Israel and those who speak out about the crimes of the occupation are panned.
Read: Ex-Israel soldier: I helped entrench the occupation