Pre-election Poster Critical of Britain's Theresa May Blasted as anti-Semitic

The British prime minister is pictured with Star of David earrings; group behind poster says it was meant to criticize May's foreign policy, not Judaism

The poster hanging in Bristol.
Twitter screenshot

Two days before Britain goes to the polls, a poster depicting Prime Minister Theresa May has come under criticism for anti-Semitism.

The poster, which hung in the southwestern city of Bristol and reported by the Bristol Post, shows Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Conservative rival May facing each other with a Star of David-shaped earrings dangling from the latter's ear. The word "Balfour" appears next to May's photo, seemingly referring to the 1917 Balfour Declaration that helped pave the way to the State of Israel.

Nima Masterson, one of the people who put up the poster, told the Bristol Post that it was meant to criticize May's foreign policy, and not Judaism.

“What we are doing with that symbol – it’s an earring – is a reference to Theresa May’s Government’s relationship with Israel," Masterson was quoted as saying. “This is about foreign policy.”

The banner was later removed by its organizers, the Bristol Post reported.

The Jewish Chronicle quoted a Jewish resident of Bristol as saying that “the Magen David earrings are clearly implying that the Jews/Israel have hegemony over our government, which is a century-old anti-Semitic trope.”

The resident told the JC that he was "incredibly sad and angry that the place both me and my partner, who is also Jewish, live is rife with such disgusting views."

Labour leader Corbyn has been a divisive figure for many Jewish voters, having previously called members of Hamas and Hezbollah "our friends." Some in the Jewish community have also been concerned with anti-Semitic statements made by Labour members since he took leadership of the party.

Last April, Palestinian leaders said that Britain had rejected a Palestinian request for an apology over the Balfour Declaration. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for the apology in an address to the UN General Assembly in September, but Britain plans to hold celebrations along with Israeli officials to mark the November 2 centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

Palestine was under British rule when Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour made the policy statement in a letter to Lord Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community.

Palestinians have long condemned the document as a promise by Britain to hand over land that it did not own.

Reuters contributed to this report.