Palestine Solidarity Campaign
The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (abbreviated to PSC) is a campaign based in the United Kingdom founded in 1982. It has branches across the United Kingdom with the most active branches in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
The organisation claims to campaign for the solidarity of Palestinian refugees, but it has been exposed as an Islamist front group with links to the Iranian government, anti-Semitism and the promotion of a number of hate preachers.
The PSC was recently criticised by representatives of all three leading political parties for their invitation to Raed Salah, a recognised homophobe and racist, to speak in Parliament. As a recognised extremist, he was banned from the country, but still came anyway. When confronted with evidence of his views, the PSC claimed the evidence of Salah’s racism was forged and the PSC leadership praised Salah and his views.
The Labour Party blog, LabourList, immediately refuted the PSC’s claims and published a poem written by Salah:
- You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques,
- Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies.
- Robbers and germs in all times,
- The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys,
- Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Salah wrote in Saut Al-Haqq Wa-Al-Hurriyya: “A suitable way was found to warn the 4,000 Jews who work every day at the Twin Towers to be absent from their work on September 11, 2001, and this is really what happened! Were 4,000 Jewish clerks absent [from their jobs] by chance, or was there another reason? At the same time, no such warning reached the 2,000 Muslims who worked every day in the Twin Towers, and therefore there were hundreds of Muslim victims.”
An interview with Salah in Haaretz in May 2003 conducted by Jalal Bana:
Bana: What is your opinion of homosexuality?Salah: It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society. Those who believe in Allah know that behavior of that kind brings his wrath and is liable to cause the worst things to happen. There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.—Salah
Salah’s views on Muslim women’s rights to use Israeli civil courts like Jewish women
Bana: What is your opinion of the legislation now being discussed in the Knesset, which would grant Muslim women rights similar to those of Jewish women in matters of personal status?Salah: That bill is tantamount to a war on Islam. It is an attempt to dictate different, foreign values that are neither Muslim nor Palestinian values.—Salah
Deir Yassin Remembered has been part of the PSC and still enjoys support from many of its members. This group preaches open anti-semitism and regularly talks about the “Jewish Question”. The socialist activist Tony Greenstein has noted with horror the writings of Israel Shamir, who has stated:
- “There is no ‘tainted blood’ – acceptance of Christ is the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, while assimilation and intermarriage is the way to undo the vestiges of Jewish separatism.” (‘The Marxists and the Lobby – Part II’)
- Shamir has no trouble working with the far-right. For example he attended an “anti-Zionist” conference in Kiev in early June 2005 alongside David Duke, ex-KKK Grand Wizard. In a report of the Kiev Conference “our friend, a Polish philosopher Marek Glogoczowski” attacks Duke because “although superficially fighting against ‘Jewish supremacy’, in a deeper reality [he] tries to assure that the wealth of the former Soviet Empire will safely land, like a ‘ripe fruit’, in hands of heavily Judaised world plutocracy!” It takes some doing for David Duke to be accused of not being anti-Semitic enough! (Shamir Readers, 14 June 2005)
Incitement to Violence
On the 15 May 2011, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign helped organise a protest in support of a third intifada. Participants chanted “khyber al-Yahud [slaughter the Jews]” and waved Hezbollah flags.
Seven Jewish Children
The PSC has been complicit in producing and promoting productions of the widely reviled play ‘Seven Jewish Children’, which has been condemned by anti-racism groups as extremely offensive and demonstrates indisputable anti-Semitism.
Dave Rich of the Jewish anti-racism group CST has written:
- In February 2009, the playwright Caryl Churchill wrote a short play, called Seven Jewish Children, as her “response to the situation in Gaza” the previous month. The play is explicitly about Jewish parents and children (Jews are mentioned in the title and the text, whereas the word “Israeli” does not appear once in the play); but in attempting to explore Jewish attitudes towards children, both Jewish and Palestinian, Churchill achieved little more than to reflect the febrile atmosphere of the time, in which antisemitic incidents in this country reached an all-time high and public demonstrations against Israel regularly became violent.
The author and academic Howard Jacobson wrote in The Independent:
- Caryl Churchill will argue that her play is about Israelis not Jews, but once you venture on to “chosen people” territory – feeding all the ancient prejudice against that miscomprehended phrase – once you repeat in another form the medieval blood-libel of Jews rejoicing in the murder of little children, you have crossed over.
Peter Tatchell has noted:
- Is there a revival of old-style 1970s leftist homophobia? It seems so. Diverse sections of the left – including individual members of the Socialist Workers Party, Respect and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) – are questioning the right of the queer activist group OutRage! to fight back against the officially-sanctioned persecution of queers in the Palestinian-controlled areas of Gaza and the West Bank.
- According to the PSC, OutRage! is “attempting to defame” the Palestine solidarity movement and is “damaging the cause of solidarity with Palestinians”. In particular, it objected to OutRage! revealing how PSC officials and stewards had attempted to silence criticism of Palestinian homophobia.
- Members of OutRage! joined the PSC demonstration in London on 15 May, supporting an end to Israel’s human rights abuses of the Palestinian people.
- Contrary to claims by the PSC, we did not stage a “counter-demonstration”. We were there in solidarity with the Palestine liberation struggle. Our placards said, “Israel: Stop persecuting Palestine”.
- But we also called for an end to the torture and murder of lesbians and gays by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Our placards additionally read, “Palestine: Stop persecuting queers”.
- It was never our intention to disrupt the PSC rally or create a commotion. We had a small, low-key presence. Our aim was to raise awareness. We wanted to alert supporters of Palestine, in the hope they would help us pressure the Palestinian leadership to halt its oppression of queers.
- What turned a minor presence into a major incident was the repressive response of the PSC organisers and stewards. They surrounded us, ordering us to the back of the demonstration. When we refused, they blocked out our placards with their own, obscuring our message. PSC officials also shouted us down, preventing us talking with journalists and other protesters who wanted to find out more about the suffering of queers in Palestine.
- The PSC now denies this intimidation and censorship took place. But it was filmed by a Channel 4 documentary maker, Darren Lewey, and photographed by four professionals, including the respected left-wing and pro-Palestine photographer Paul Mattsson. They all corroborate OutRage!’s version of events.
- In a bid to deflect criticism, the PSC has issued a statement saying it opposes homophobia. Fine words. But what has it actually done to challenge the violent homophobia of the PLO, Hamas and PA? I wrote to the PSC nine years ago, asking them to urge the PLO to stop killing queers. The PSC did nothing. I emailed the PSC office six weeks ago requesting dialogue. They never replied.
- The PSC accuses OutRage! of damaging solidarity with the Palestinians. That’s right PSC, blame the people who defend the victims, and let the oppressors off the hook.
- It is the PLO’s and PA’s homophobia that is damaging solidarity, by dividing gays and straights – both here and in Palestine.
Links with the Far-Right
Endorsement of the far-right and overt anti-semitism is now common-place within the PSC. Reading PSC member Anthony Gratex recently commented on a piece about Baroness Tongue:
- I admire the work you do and am in agreement with virtually everything you say except for your attitude regarding the media. You state that the jews do not control the media but that it is under self censorship. This is patently wrong and only a cursory glance using the internet will show that a majority of the media is Jewish owned or controlled. During the interview you use the expression “who pays the piper calls the tune” and that is precisely the problem when one considers who controls the international banking system.”
The SSNP is one of the oldest fascist parties in the Arab world, and as The Atlantic has noted, the group pays frequent homage to the 1930s fascism:
- They greet their leaders with a Hitlerian salute; sing their Arabic anthem, “Greetings to You, Syria,” to the strains of “Deutschland, Deutschland über alles”; and throng to the symbol of the red hurricane, a swastika in circular motion.”
- These are the hallmarks of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), the oldest terrorist organization in existence today and one of the most secret and deadly. Despite its long history of violence, Western security organs were recently taken by surprise when they learned that a well-camouflaged arm of the SSNP had succeeded in setting up a large terror network in Western Europe—complete with safe houses, weapons caches, and forged passports—and that it was the SSNP that had set off a series of deadly explosions in the heart of Paris, to gain the release of Georges Ibrahim Abdallah. The United States, too, has felt the effects of the SSNP. The explosion aboard a TWA flight nearing Athens in April of 1986, which cost the lives of four passengers—one of them an infant—has been traced to May Mansur, of Tripoli, a veteran member of the SSNP, who debarked at a previous stopover after placing a bomb under her seat.”
In 2009, Andrew Collingwood, a PSC member, published photos of a protest with which he was involved, including one of a placard (below) that was deemed deeply offensive by Jewish groups, anti-racism organisations and media outlets. The placard was decried as racist and offensive by anti-racism groups and broadsheet Journalists
The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign has often appeared to have no qualms about expressing anti-Jewish sentiments. The Chairman of the York branch, Terry Gallogly, encouraged members of his mailing list to distort a poll about the English Defence League in order to paint British Jews as racists:
Gallogly paints British Jews as Nazis
Gallogly, also a member of the national executive of the Palestine Solidarity Committee, was part responsible for the visit of the infamous Ahron Cohen of the extremist sect Neturei Karta in 2007. The previous year, Cohen had stated that the Holocaust victims “deserved it”.
Furthermore, the previous chair, Stephen Leah, helped produce a report calling for the banning of goods from the World’s only Jewish state. His same report promoted the writings of the Christian Far Right author Stephen Sizer, who has many known links to Holocaust-deniers.
In 2004, a vigil at Clifford’s Tower, to commemorate the terribly massacre of Jews in 1190, was gatecrashed by PSC activists, who saw fit to exploit the massacre of more than 110 Jews with their own political agitprop.
“The Jews are a deeply unpleasant people.” – Video was taken at a National PSC Christmas meeting
- As soon as the scales fall from the eyes of international Jewry with regard to the racist and fascist ideology that is Zionism, the world will begin to emerge from the iron heel of war and brutality in the Middle East.
Edinburgh PSC chair Mike Napier linked to a number of neo-Nazi websites while writing a justification for the murder of 8 Jewish students
The PSC have been known to chant ‘death to the Jews’ on their demonstrations. At a protest at the Israeli Embassy, the crowd began chanting the words “Khaybar al-Yahud“ as the crowd chant with him. There is no one on the Palestinian side in the video link who attempts to stop this or distinguish between Jewish people and Israelis. This happens at about 5mins 30sec into the video.
- ↑ http://www.labourlist.org/our-tolerance-of-extremism-will-do-for-us published a poem
- ↑ http://www.memri.org/book/AntisemiticMythBook.pdf
- ↑ http://justjournalism.com/the-wire/raed-salah-in-his-own-words/
- ↑ http://www.whatnextjournal.co.uk/Pages/politics/Counterpunch.html
- ↑ http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index9b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=4&l2_id=99&Content_ID=1918
- ↑ http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/49007/arrest-during-israeli-embassy-nakba-day-protest
- ↑ http://www.palestinecampaign.org/index9b.asp?m_id=1&l1_id=4&l2_id=99&Content_ID=1516
- ↑ http://engageonline.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/lincoln’s-blood-libel-and-seven-jewish-children/
- ↑ http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/howard-jacobson/howard-jacobson-letrsquos-see-the-criticism-of-israel-for-what-it-really-is-1624827.html
- ↑ http://www.petertatchell.net/international/palestine/palestine2.htm
- ↑ http://www.alanhart.net/hart-of-the-matter-7-dr-jennifer-louise-tonge-baroness-tonge/
- ↑ http://cifwatch.com/2011/07/10/guardian-airbrushes-extremist-links-of-british-flytilla-participants/
- ↑ http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/87jun/yaari.htm
- ↑ http://www.nouse.co.uk/2007/03/06/anti-zionist-talk-on-campus-leads-to-religious-flashpoint/
- ↑ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article756142.ece
- ↑ [http://hurryupharry.org/2009/06/07/stephen-sizer-accuses-evangelicals-now-of-equivalent-to-holocaust-denial/
- ↑ http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/archive/2004/03/19/York+Archive/7890386.Memorial_hijacked/
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fUKsDG9v2A&feature=player_embedded
- ↑ http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=189594
- ↑ http://hurryupharry.org/2008/03/17/the-abominable-dr-shahak/
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bvOQflF1-A