Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Has Camden PSC Lost Control of its FB Page?

This is the facebook group for Camden PSC. The person to contact is Gill Kaffash. According to many sources she was forced to resign from the PSC earlier this year, possibly for her comments to Iran's IRNA:
There is no doubt that a great number of Jews along with other victims of the Nazi army were killed by Hitler. However, historical phenomena need to be further examined to uncover the truth. 
So why is she still listed as the person to contact?

When, in September, the JC reported that the PSC had put a statement on its website distancing itself from Holocaust denial, the Camden PSC organisation posted the following response on its Wall:
I wonder how many Gazans have heard of PSC? How long do you think it will be until the Jewish Chronicle demands that PSC unreservedly condemn Hamas? And how long before PSC complies? After all, Hamas is obviously ant-semitic - most of the people it attacks are Jewish.
These words were later attributed to Ms Kaffash herself by Paul Eisen and Lauren Booth. 

The page is still being updated and yet the details have not changed. Is it possible that the branch has lost control of its facebook page to Ms Kaffash?

Postscript: Sabby Saggal, chair of the Camden PSC branch, "liked" the comment from Gill which was posted on October 1st. Yet just two weeks later an email from Gill regarding her resignation was posted online. It's of course possible that in that short space of time the branch went from supporting her objections to getting rid of her. But is it possible that her resignation was just a publicity stunt and nothing has changed? Maybe the PSC can shed some light on this?

Monday, 12 December 2011

Ibrahim Thompson

Ibrahim Thompson was one of the Durham PSC's representatives at a PSC Branch Forum in March 2011. In a letter to the Guardian, an Ibrahim Thompson from Durham wrote:
Can someone explain why it is that yet again secular Jews, who are recognised as an "ethnic minority" by the race relations act, are exempted from identifying themselves in the census? Has there been pressure from a Jewish lobby conscious of how government statistics can be manipulated?
Mr Thompson also appears to have illustrated a book of poems written by Nahida Izzat. Ms Izzat was recently expelled from the PSC for anti-Semitism. According to a review of the book, entitled "I Believe in Miracles", one poem entitled "The Play"

contains 4 scenes, from 1948, 1967, 1987 and 2004. In each an Israeli soldier is ordered to "shoot them, kill them, burn them, don't leave any of them". "But sir, they're only unarmed civilians". "These are orders". The final scene: "but, sir I DID, and I can't get rid of them".

Friday, 9 December 2011

Maha Rahwanji

A previous post about Ms Rahwanji, an executive committee member of the PSC, is here. Since it was published the account of "Brent Psc" has been deactivated on However, Ms Rahwanji's has not yet been and amongst the many causes she supports is one entitled:
Stop calling it Israel..It is PALESTINE!!!!
She has a twitter account. Back in July (on the 22nd) when Anders Behring Breivik launched his terrorist attack against Norway, someone using the name muiz complained (correctly) that people were jumping to the conclusion that it was an Islamist attack. Maha replied:
agreed and yet Norway has been one of the most supportive when it comes to BDS from Israel? Suspicious...
Apparently the irony was lost on her. Two days later she retweeted the following:
Clues keep adding up in #Norway slaughter that #Israel had a hand. A big hand.
Maha also added her name to a petition calling for:
the immediate and unconditional removal of Hamas and all other Palestinian liberation organizations from the European list of proscribed terrorist organizations.
Incidentally, the first signatory from the UK was one Gilad Atzmon.

UPDATE: Maha has deleted her comments about Oslo so here's a screenshot:

She has also deactivated her account but if you want a screenshot of that page feel free to email me.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Bolton PSC and Innocent Jews

The point of contact for the Bolton PSC branch is someone going by the name John and using the email address "". The same email address is used on comments by a user called "John Somebody" e.g. here, here and here.

In one comment using that email address and alias, John says:
A pity, that people fail to notice, that if Palestinians had the hi - tech weapons that Israelis have, they could then be more specific in their choice of targets. So, genuinely innocent Israelis, (babies etc.) would be hit less, and more valuable targets, like the Israeli Death Force would be hit more.
It isn't immediately clear who else besides babies are innocent in his eyes but another comment by a user with the same name says:
So, David thinks that Hamas are lobbing Qassams at Sderot. I suppose Israelis have a right to protect their innocent children, but they can do that, by clearing off, out of stolen land. And if we believe that the Israeli state / society has a right to protect itself, then we’d have to believe that a state / society which depends on ethnic ” cleansing”, to exist, has a right to exist. Well, it doesn’t.
Israeli children are innocent but Israel has no right to self defence therefore if Israelis want to keep their children alive they must leave Israel. Of course, while John talks about Israelis here he only means Jews since there is little doubt that he is not calling on non-Jews to "clear off" out of Israel. John seems to think that all Jews should leave Israel regardless of their actions or beliefs.

Repeating the suggestion that Israelis have no right to defend themselves, John asks:
I wish some arch zionasty would explain to me how Arabs could not want to drive them into the sea – without being rational enough to accept, that not all Jews, are to blame for invading and theiving, what was never invaded by Palestinians. If Arabs are required to be rational enough, to allow innocent Jews to live in peace, then zio – thugs require those same Arabs to be more reasonable, to have a higher morality, than the aggressive invaders.
Why should a state that depends on racist motivated murder in order to exist, be allowed to defend itself, or anything?
While John appears to accept that Jews ought not to be murdered en masse, he also appears to think that the genocidal wishes of Arabs to Jews is understandable and that Jews really can't complain too much if Arabs want to murder them all.

And what of Jews outside Israel? In a comment after this report on anti-Semitic attacks in Manchester, John (using the email address above) lays the blame on Zionists for making people think that all Jews are Zionists and therefore legitimate targets for attacks.
This does not detract from the fact that racist thuggery, no matter who it's from isn't some thing we can afford to tolerate. But while innocent Jews suffer racism, some of it is a consequence of zionists being so succesful at convincing people that to be Jewish, is to be zionist, and therefore associating Jews with modern state practitioners of genocidal ethnic "cleansing", and with their supporters who behave like brownshirts on the streets of Manchester. That the provocation comes from someone other than innocent Jews, does not detract from the fact, that it sometimes comes from someone labelled as racists, by racist zionists. And even sometimes from someone who has been confused into believing such lies as zionists tell themselves.
Does John think that the only Jews who shouldn't be attacked are those who want a Jew-free Middle East?

Monday, 5 December 2011

PSC is Powerless

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) is in crisis. In recent months, branch after branch has been found to be tainted by antisemitism. The PSC's response has been to quietly encourage certain members to step down but this has been met with vocal opposition. One crucial question is what can the PSC do to rid its branches of those who would deny the Holocaust or who believe in anti-Jewish myths?

Based on my understanding of the structure of the PSC, the answer is not very much at all.

There are three key documents. The first is the Articles of Association of the PSC, the second is the PSC constitution and the third is the constitution of local branches (examples can be found here, here and here).

Local branches are almost entirely independent of the PSC according to 11(b) of the Articles. Their members are to be encouraged to become members of the PSC (see section 3 of the branch constitutions) but need not be. The PSC constitution does try and ensure that at least the officers of local branches are member of the PSC but it doesn't appear to be entirely successful. The relevant clause is 5.3(b) which says that branch constitutions must include:
A requirement for elected officers to be members of PSC.
However, the constitution of the York branch, for one, doesn't appear to contain any such requirement. How many other branches are in breach of this?

So what control does the PSC actually have over a rogue branch? The only thing they can do is disaffiliate, according to 4.5 of the constitution and 3(h) of the Articles. And the only thing that comes from disaffiliation is that branches cannot use the PSC name or logo.

The PSC is powerless, in effect, to control its branches. Disaffiliation is such a major step that it would surely only be used in extreme circumstances. And even if it is used, the local branch retains all the money it previously raised while using the PSC name and its members are still members.

It would appear that even if the PSC did decide to get serious about tackling antisemitism and Holocaust denial in its branches it really can't do anything without effectively closing itself down and restarting. It may be time for those who are genuinely opposed to racism to start considering that option.