Transport for London, the body that oversees the London Underground, have banned a series of advertisements that are critical of Israel.
Millions of passengers were greeted by a number of ads published by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement accusing Israel of torturing and murdering Palestinians. Transport for London promptly pulled the advertisements saying that “these are not authorized adverts”.
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According to a report in the Jewish Chronicle, the campaign includes four ads purportedly put up in 500 trains.
The posters were made for what anti-Israel activists dub “Israel Apartheid Week”. One claims that British-made arms were used by Israel to “massacre Palestinians” in the 2014 Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, while another says the BBC’s reporting is biased towards Israel, and a third criticizes security company G4S for working in Israel.
Notably, the BBC was recently criticized by Israel for alleged bias against it after it reported on Palestinian terrorists who were shot dead in a manner implying the terrorists were the victims.
Transport for London, the body that oversees the London Underground, said in a statement that it had not approved the ads. “These are not authorized adverts,” read the statement. “It is fly posting and therefore an act of vandalism which we take extremely seriously. Our staff and contractors are working to immediately remove any found on our network.”
MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said he spoke with London Mayor Boris Johnson regarding the campaign on Monday. “Since the government of Israel, as usual, did nothing, I contacted the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, who is a friend of Israel and explained that the State of Israel found these things unacceptable,” said Lapid. “I asked him to intervene. He explained that they were put up without authorization and would give the instruction for them to be taken down immediately.”
Speaking shortly after, Netanyahu said he had requested that Dore Gold, the Foreign Ministry’s director-general, who was holding meetings in London, ask the British government to crack down on the ads.
“Whoever says we are not taking action is not telling the truth,” Netanyahu said.
Interviewed by Israeli broadcasters, Gold gave credit to Israel’s embassy in London, saying its staff had spotted the ads on Sunday and had flagged them up to British authorities as part of their anti-boycott campaigning.