Controversial pro-Palestinian posters put up on the Tube over the weekend were unauthorised and an “act of vandalism”, transport chiefs say. Up to 150 posters about Palestinian treatment at the hands of Israel appeared on London Underground trains across the capital yesterday, making what the London Jewish Forum called “awful smears”. These posters are “subvertisements,” political messages designed to look like sanctioned advertising. They were fitted on top of paid ads, the activist said.
— LDNPalestineAction (@LondonPalestine) February 21, 2016
They are part of the Israeli Apartheid Week campaign by pro-Palestinian campaigners in London, which, according to its website, aims to highlight “Israel’s ongoing settler-colonial project and apartheid policies” over the Palestinian people. She said: “It’s to highlight the illegality of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the involvement of British companies there.” The activist went on: “Because in the media there’s silence about what’s really happening in Palestine, we wanted to have the opportunity to speak to members of the public.”
— Israel Foreign Min. (@IsraelMFA) February 22, 2016
Tube adverts included a doctored still from BBC News, claiming the corporation was biased towards Israel and reporting figures of 142 Palestinians killed, plus a further 15,620 injured since last October. Another poster, focusing on British-made arms allegedly being used by Israel in Gaza, read: “Apartheid is Great Britain.” Others targeted security company G4S, which operates some prisons in Israel and the West Bank, according to the Jewish Chronicle. The posters accused the firm of “securing Israeli apartheid” and doing “whatever it takes to secure profits.”
— Ewa Jasiewicz (@ewajasiewicz) February 21, 2016
But a spokesman for the London Jewish Forum said: “These posters are awful smears that do nothing to contribute to peace and dialogue, placing significant strains on inter-community relations across London. They are an act of vandalism, seeking to undermine the UK’s relationship with Israel and designed to foster discomfort. We welcome Transport for London’s commitment to quickly remove them.”
Transport for London have now confirmed the ads were unauthorised and will be taken down.
— LDNPalestineAction (@LondonPalestine) February 22, 2016
London Tube Subvertisment: The campaign was done by activists from London Palestine Action (LPA) for the launch of the Israeli Apartheid Week 2016. Approximately 150 posters were neatly placed on top of adverts already located in the tube carriages. The reasoning behind the action was not only to promote the start of the Israeli Apartheid Week but also to counterattack Western media’s silence over the situation in Palestine. As public bodies, local councils and student unions are threatened to be banned by law from boycotting “unethical” companies, Israeli Apartheid Week and similar collective actions are more crucial and relevant than ever. The subvertisments cover four issues:
The BBC repeatedly sacrificing the truth on the altar of their pro-Israeli bias
The infamous British security company, G4S, helping in the imprisonment and abuse of thousands of Palestinians, including hundreds of children
The UK – Israeli arms trade resulting in massacres of Palestinians, but also greasing the cogs of the Israeli apartheid machine
The destruction of Palestinian homes becoming a means of routine collective punishment under the Israeli occupation
BBC Bias: In the first eight months of 2015, Israeli occupation forces injured more than 1,372 Palestinians and between October – December 2015, 116 Palestinians were killed. Not only has the Western media ignored the extrajudicial killings but the coverage misrepresented and was completely bias towards Israel, particularly in the BBC news. Once again, BBC was forced to admit its coverage of the situation in the West bank has been misleading and refuses to acknowledge Palestinian deaths and their suffering under occupation. In a letter to Netanyahu, B’Tselem condemned the Israeli government: “Your government permits – and encourages – the transformation of police officers, and even of armed civilians, into judges and executioners.” Dania Irshied, a 17 year old, was one of the many victims of extrajudicial killings that continue until today. Amnesty International called on Israel to bring its “pattern of unlawful killings” to an end.
— Keith Walker (@KeithWalkerNews) February 22, 2016
Child prisoners and G4S: More than 500 Palestinian children are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military court system every year. G4S provides services to the Israeli prison system making it complicit in the illegal occupation of Palestine and the unlawful imprisonment of Palestinians, including children. By outsourcing occupation-related work to G4S, the Israeli state frees itself from accountability for human rights violations and breaches of international laws. G4S is one of the UK’s most reviled companies engaged in conflict related profit making the world over.
— Al-Shabaka الشبكة (@AlShabaka) February 22, 2016
Apartheid is Great (Britain): UK is directly complicit in Israel’s continuing violations of human rights and international law. British-made arms worth £7m were used by Israel to massacre more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza. By purchasing arms from and selling arms to Israel, the UK government is giving direct material support for Israel’s aggression and sending a clear message of approval for its actions. Almost 100 companies supplying military & security equipment to Israel are based in the UK. Amongst suppliers on your doorstep are BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, G4S, Boeing, Elbit Systems. Israeli companies make enormous profits from military technology that is “field-tested” on Palestinians. The UK government sponsors three “major defence and security exhibitions in the UK” – DSEI, Farnborough International and Security & Policing arm fairs.
— kristyan benedict (@KreaseChan) February 22, 2016
House Demolitions: Since October 2015, 29 demolitions were carried out in occupied East Jerusalem. In January 2016, Israel demolished three Palestinian homes in punitive actions, leaving 18 persons homeless. In 2014, Israel demolished 1,177 homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. This policy is a form of collective punishment, and in accordance with humanitarian and human rights law, is assessed as a war crime and a crime against humanity.