Bus stop posters calling Israel a 'racist endeavour' condemned by London Assembly

'A concerted effort by racist, antisemitic and politically motivated people to intimidate London’s Jewish communities'

Tom Embury-Dennis
Friday 07 September 2018 00:48 BST
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Anti-Israel sign at a bus stop in Westminster
Anti-Israel sign at a bus stop in Westminster

Illegal posters put up in London bus shelters declaring Israel a “racist endeavour” have been unanimously condemned by the London Assembly.

On Wednesday, bus stops in at least four different sites across the capital were spotted featuring the statement “Israel is a racist endeavour” - apparently in protest at Labour’s decision to adopt all internationally recognised examples of antisemitism.

The posters were a reference to one of the examples of modern antisemitism as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

Labour’s adoption of the IHRA document came after months of prevarication that threatened to further engulf the party over accusations of deep-rooted antisemitism.

Mr Corbyn, in a rare defeat, was forced to withdraw a clarification, because he lacked support, which argued it should not be “regarded as antisemitic to describe Israel, its policies or the circumstances around its foundation as racist”.

On Thursday, the Assembly passed the motion condemning the posters and thanking London mayor Sadiq Khan for his “swift criticism of this vandalism”. It also urged Transport for London and the police to “ensure that those responsible are identified, found and brought to justice."

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A spokesperson for Mr Khan had earlier branded the adverts “offensive” and “an act of vandalism”, while the Metropolitan Police announced it had launched an investigation.

Gareth Bacon, an assembly member (AM) who proposed the motion said: “Yesterday we saw a concerted effort by racist, antisemitic and politically motivated people to intimidate London’s Jewish communities.

“We must make a clear and united stand when it comes to racism in all forms and make sure that those trying to demonise certain communities in our city are brought to Justice.”

Andrew Dismore AM, who seconded the motion, said the incident was not the first of its kind in London, and that he had raised the issue with TfL “several times before”.

“Those responsible must be identified and prosecuted if this abuse is to be deterred in the future,” he added.

JC Decaux, the advertising firm which owns a number of the advertising spaces, told The Jewish Chronicle the posters were “vandalism – not advertising”, and that it had reported the bus stops in question.

The posters were seen at bus stops in Elephant and Castle, Waterloo Bridge, Bloomsbury and Westminster.

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