Posters reading “Israel is a racist endeavor” have plagued London’s bus stops on Wednesday in several places; including Elephant and Castle, Waterloo Bridge, Bloomsbury and Westminster.
While it was unclear who put up the posters, accusing fingers were pointed toward “London Palestine” group that advocates for Palestine in London as they were the first to post images from London bus stops.
The group did not confirm or deny it, however, they posted the images with a caption that reads: “Created by ethnic cleansing; maintained by ethnic exclusion. Israel is a racist endeavour.”
For London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, the signs were offensive. He, along with many officials, denounced putting the posters up and ordered to take them down.
Meanwhile, images for the posters stirred debate on social media splitting opinions whether it is anti-Semitism or freedom of speech.
Israelis and Jews in London went to express their disappointment over finding such hate speech addressed toward them.
Pro-Palestine activists defended the signs saying it came as part of advocating for a cause and to remind Londoners of the fact that Israel is a racist and apartheid state.
This came in a critical time for Jews in the UK while the Labour party is facing fierce attack of anti-Semitism and hate toward Jews.
It all started when the Labour Party announced they will adopt a new definition of anti-Semitism that excludes the criticism of Israel, unlike the internationally-acclaimed one of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) that defines anti-Semitism as “denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor”.
Earlier last week, they voted to accept the international definition of anti-Semitism but they succeeded in adding a clause about free speech on criticizing Israel.
This led some people think the posters came in response to the Labour Party’s accusations.
The posters also reminded Londoners of another similar action was taken in 2016 when a pro-Palestine group posted banners criticizing Israel’s apartheid policies against Palestinians all over London’s underground train network.