An activist from the group, who did not want to be named, told The Electronic Intifada that they posted 150 copies around at least four different lines on the network. The activist provided these photos.
These posters are “subvertisements,” political messages designed to look like sanctioned advertising. They were fitted on top of paid ads, the activist said.
The action was timed to coincide with the launch of this year’s Israeli Apartheid Week in the UK on Monday.
In a statement sent to The Electronic Intifada, the activists said: “Israel and its supporters are used to having the mainstream media repeat their talking points. Our action’s aim is to shine a spotlight on the support that Israel receives from the UK government and arms industry and UK companies like G4S as well as the one sided reporting which is endemic in the BBC.”
The UK Zionist Federation on Monday called for authorities to “apprehend the original culprits.”
Photos of the posters began appearing on social media Sunday evening.
Transport authorities confirmed to the Jewish Chronicle that many of the unofficial ads were still up Monday morning. A spokesperson told the paper Monday that the posters were being removed.
This means they would have been seen during this morning’s rush hour by some of the millions of commuters that use the tube network every day.
Update: London Palestine Action has now published the full original posters for people to use online or “print them off and post them wherever! Responsibly (obviously).”
Israeli politicians reacted with near hysteria on Monday.Israel’s foreign ministry called the subvertisements “inciteful” and said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had instructed their director-general to “demand” the posters’ “immediate removal” during a visit to London for talks with the UK foreign office. Two Israeli opposition leaders also condemned the ads. Yair Lapid claimed the ads were “anti-Semitic” and implied that he had persuaded the mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to remove them. Former foreign minister Tzipi Livni, who in 2009 evaded a UK arrest warrant for war crimes, denied that Israel practices apartheid and said the posters showed that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement “is against the existence of Israel.”
A spokesperson for the Israeli embassy in London claimed that the ads were a “grim” act of “vandalism.”
London Palestine Action activists issued this full statement detailing references for all the facts stated on the posters:
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.
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.
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.
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.