A pro-Israel marketing campaign that compared Hamas to the Islamic State group has been rejected by the London transport company for being "too controversial," the Jewish Chronicle reported.
The campaign was underwritten by the British Zionist Federation, which planned to spend £12,000 (72,000 shekels) to “place Israel’s actions in the context of the wider struggle against religious extremism in the Middle East,” the organization said.
The campaign was due to the "unprecedented level of anti-Israel hostility in the UK," the federation said in a statement, but the agency which supplies adverts to Transport for London said the posters would be "too political."
Transport for London did not respond to requests for comment.
After being rejected by TfL, the federation approached billboard companies across Britain but found that three draft adverts were turned down.
Federation director Alan Aziz said: “We are very disappointed that these adverts were rejected, especially given the prominence of DEC’s Gaza appeal adverts which appeared on the underground and buses, adverts which inadvertently supported the notion that Israel was waging a war on innocent children rather than targeting a terrorist infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, a similarly themed campaign is due to hit New York in the next few days. Bankrolled by outspoken pro-Israel blogger Pamela Geller, the $100,000 (367,000 shekels) campaign will appear on 100 New York buses and at the entrances to the E. 59th St. station and the Columbus Circle station.
The ads are intended as an “education campaign” to warn of the “problem with jihad” and Islamic sharia law, Geller told the New York Daily News.
The ads feature images of western hostages just prior to their executions, a 1940s photo of Hitler with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and texts such as “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”
Mayor de Blasio has criticized the planned campaign saying, "these ads are outrageous, inflammatory and wrong, and have no place in New York City, or anywhere. These hateful messages serve only to divide and stigmatize when we should be coming together as one city."