'Normal people boycott Israel' signs cover London bus stops

The signs calling to 'boycott Israel' were used to vandalize London bus stops.

A London bus is driven past The Royal Courts of Justice in London, Britain, July 30, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE)
A London bus is driven past The Royal Courts of Justice in London, Britain, July 30, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/TOBY MELVILLE)

London Police have been investigating a recent case of anti-Israel vandalism, as bus stops around the city have been defaced with full-length signs that read “Normal people Boycott Israel.”

The signs parody the cover of Sally Rooney’s book Normal People, replacing the author’s name with a call to “boycott Israel” and making the cover read "Normal People Boycott Israel." Rooney earlier this month refused to allow her most recent book to be translated into Hebrew, claiming Israel is an “apartheid state.”

The bus stop vandalism has angered London’s 150,000-strong Jewish community. The city's Transportation Authority called the signs "vandalism" and ordered them to be removed.

Dr. Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s Director for International Relations, urged the London bus stop’s advertisements operator JCDecaux to seek legal action against the perpetrators, asking CEO Jean-François Decaux to file a complaint with the Metropolitan Police. JCDecaux is the largest outdoor advertising corporation in the world.

Shimon Samuels, director of the Simon-Wiesenthal-Center. (credit: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN)Shimon Samuels, director of the Simon-Wiesenthal-Center. (credit: REUTERS/ARND WIEGMANN)

“We also propose that JCDecaux adopt the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of antisemitism, endorsed by states, municipalities, sports clubs, companies and more,” Samuels said. “This would be a clear message to hatemongers to cease and desist from squatting your advertisement infrastructure and abusing the good name of your company.”

London saw a sharp rise in antisemitism in 2021 in the midst of the most recent Israel-Gaza clashes, keeping with a worrying trend of rising antisemitic and anti-Zionist rhetoric across Europe.