‘Israel is a racist endeavor’ posters plastered on bus stops across London
Twitter/London Action Palestine
Police have opened an investigation into the appearance of posters declaring “Israel is a racist endeavor” on bus stops across central London on Thursday, apparently in response to the UK Labour party’s decision to adopt the full international definition of anti-Semitism.
The full sized posters, which featured block-letter print in the green, red, and black colors of the Palestinian national flag declaring “Israel is a racist endeavor”, were plastered over existing advertising space in central London bus shelters including those on the Westminster and Waterloo Bridges.
The message seemed to be a play on the wording of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which states that "claiming the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor" equates to anti-Semitism.
The campaign was attributed to London Palestine Action, though the group did not explicitly take responsibility for the posters.
Amazing work by @LondonPalestine Action! From the same activist group which brought you the brilliant tube "subvertisements" which sent Israeli politicians into hysterics back in 2016: https://t.co/MBwuT6AM7A #DefyIHRA pic.twitter.com/J0LDB0E203— Asa Winstanley (@AsaWinstanley) September 5, 2018
A journalist with the anti-Israel publication Electronic Intifada hailed the posters as the “amazing work” of London Palestine Action, the same group behind another anti-Israel flyposter campaign that hit London’s subway network in 2016.
“We won’t stop speaking the truth: that Israel is, and has always been, a #racistendeavour,” the group said in one of a series of tweets featuring images of the posters.
“Created by ethnic cleansing; maintained by ethnic exclusion. Israel is a #racistendeavour,” it said in another.
Transport for London (TfL) said that the posters were “absolutely not authorised” by the transport network nor by its advertising partner JCDecaux. It described the fly posting campaign as “an act of vandalism” and vowed that the posters would be removed from bus shelters “immediately”.
A spokesperson for London mayor Sadiq Khan called the adverts “offensive” unauthorized acts of vandalism.
These adverts are absolutely not authorised by TfL or our advertising partner JCDecaux. It is fly posting and therefore an act of vandalism which we take extremely seriously. We have instructed our contractors to remove these posters from our network immediately.— Transport for London (@TfL) September 5, 2018
The ruling body of Britain's main opposition Labour party agreed Tuesday to adopt in full an international definition of anti-Semitism for its code of conduct.
Critics had argued that certain IHRA examples could curb legitimate criticism of the state of Israel, and Labour’s embattled leader Jeremy Corbyn tried unsuccessfully to add a caveat to the definition permitting describing Israel as a racist endeavor.
Corbyn, a veteran pro-Palestinian campaigner, has been steeped in a series of controversies relating to his seemingly one-sided pro-Palestinian rhetoric and repeated failure to stamp out burgeoning anti-Semitism within his party.
The crisis has led to a tumultuous relationship with British Jewry.
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