London Underground takes down pro-Palestine ads after Israeli protests

London Underground takes down pro-Palestine ads after Israeli protests
London Underground has removed posters plastered on trains by pro-Palestine activists to mark Israel Apartheid Week. It caused a spar between Israeli politicians seeking credit.
2 min read
23 February, 2016
Activists put up over 100 anti-Israel posters across London underground train network [Twitter]

Posters describing Israel as an apartheid state were removed from London's underground train network on Monday.

Activists had pulled up around 100 posters across the UK capital's train network, which aimed at denouncing Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and publicising the annual "Israel Apartheid Week".

The campaign is looking to encourage individuals to boycott Israel until it meets its requirements under international law in its treatment of Palestinians.

The anti-apartheid posters were taken down by Transport for London workers, the body responsible for the London underground network.

Meanwhile, Israeli officials are sparring for credit over who pressured London to take-down the anti-apartheid ads.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was criticised by political rival Yair Lapid for taking "no action" at all.

Lapid claimed he telephoned London Mayor Boris Johnson to complain about the posters.

"Since the government of Israel, as usual, did nothing, I talked to Johnson, a great friend of Israel, and explained to him that the State of Israel will not tolerate such things," Lapid said.

Netanyahu was quick to respond.

"Whoever says we are not taking actions is not telling the truth," he said.

The Israeli prime minister said he had called upon senior Israeli diplomat Dore Gold, currently holding meetings in London, to request the UK government to remove the posters.

Gold confirmed that as part of Israel's anti-boycott campaign, the Israeli embassy in London flagged the issue to the British authorities after spotting a number of the ads on Sunday.

Transport for London said the posters went up without authorisation prompting action. Workers took down the "offending" posters on Monday.

"These are not authorised adverts. It is fly-posting and therefore an act of vandalism which we take extremely seriously," Transport for London spokeswoman said on Monday.

"Our staff and contractors are working to immediately remove any found on our network," she added.