London’s public transport authority has said it will review its advertising policy after protests against a poster campaign on buses promoting an anti-Israel event next Friday.
Board of Deputies chief executive Jon Benjamin, and his Jewish Leadership Council counterpart Jeremy Newmark, called for the removal of the advertisements for the annual Al Quds Day march, organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.
The Community Security Trust also asked Mayor Boris Johnson to intervene this week, warning that the event would harm Muslim-Jewish relations.
In response, Transport for London (TfL) said that the posters — which were similar to adverts run last year — were due to come down “in a few days”.
In the meantime, a spokesman said, “no similar advertisements will be accepted until such time as the policy review has been completed”.
He added: “We share unease over any advertisement which can be viewed as being ‘political’. We are therefore reviewing our advertising policy… to address this issue in future.”
Al Quds Day was instigated by the late Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatalloh Khomeini. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said that the event was “to be viewed as a key for solving the world problems” through “the annihilation of the Zionist regime”.
Demonstrators at previous Al Quds marches in London have carried placards reading “We are all Hizbollah now” and speakers have called for the end of Israel.
According to video clips of last year’s event, IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh declared: “Please make sure no one goes to Marks & Spencer”.
The organisation’s website, in a section on Al Quds Day, contains a link to another website which says that international Zionism is “the greatest evil” facing Muslims and that “this same Yahud (ie Jews) tried to destroy” the Prophet Mohammed.
Publicity for the Al Quds Day event lists supporters including the Islamic Forum for Europe, the Muslim Council of Britain and the Stop the War Coalition.