The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) is the coordinating body of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRCs) in the West bank that was established to “consolidate the work of the PRCs and popularize their experiences across the West Bank.” According to a report co-authored by PSCC and Birzeit University, PRCs are independent village-based groups “which coordinate unarmed resistance activities against Israel’s colonization.”
PRCs should not be confused with the terrorist organization Popular Resistance Committees.
|In their own words||“Popular committees present a unique form of community based organizing and resistance in the tradition of the first Palestinian Intifada. These diverse, non-partisan committees lead community resistance to Israeli occupation in various forms, such as marches, strikes, demonstrations, direct actions and legal campaigns, as well as supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions.”|
- The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) does not reveal any financial data, donor information, or sources of funding, reflecting a complete lack of transparency and accountability.
- In 2020, PSCC was granted €7,000 from the Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) for “food production assistance activities in rural communities in the West Bank.”
- In 2017-2019, PSCC received £192,865 from the British Council for “Protecting Bedouin Cultural Heritage in the occupied Palestinian territories.”
- Has previously received funding from France (French Consulate in Jerusalem), Germany (BMZ), Spain (AECID), the United Nations Development Program, as well as from various European Union funding mechanisms, including the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI), European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), and the Partnership for Peace Programme (PfP).
- In 2015, PSCC and Comet-ME received €75,000 from the French Consulate in Jerusalem, via the Social Fund for Development (FSD), for a project in Hebron assisting vulnerable families with basic infrastructure installation.
- In 2013, PSCC, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), and NOVA, a radical Spanish political NGO, received a joint grant of €355,130 from the EU’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) for a project titled “Addressing fear: strengthening the nonviolent alternative.”
- Following NGO Monitor publications and communication with the EU regarding violence at PSCC demonstrations (see below), the subsequent PfP Call for Proposals of 2014 warned that “All actions should assess whether they may directly or indirectly lead to violence, even if they have been established for non-violent purposes” (emphasis added).
- Moreover, funding to CWP and the PSCC was discontinued in the consecutive funding cycle.
- Since 2013, PSCC, alongside the Center for Freedom and Justice, Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), and Youth Against Settlements (YAS), have participated in a project run by the German NGO KURVE Wustrow in the West Bank titled “Strengthening Nonviolent Initiatives,” as part of a German federal government program, Civil Peace Service (CPS), funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
- PSCC does not have a functioning website. However, an entry on the Mondoweiss website states that PSCC “present[s] a unique form of community based organizing and resistance in the tradition of the first Palestinian Intifada.”
- PSCC uses apartheid rhetoric when referring to Israel. It refers to the anti-terror separation barrier as the “Apartheid Wall” and to highway 443 as the “Apartheid Road.”
- In November 2019, the PSCC signed a letter to Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda, calling to open “an official, full-scale investigation into the ‘situation in Palestine’” and the “possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed” as the “absence of an official investigation…has fuelled the already existing culture of impunity.”
- In March 2020, PSCC signed a call to “coordinate Israeli Apartheid Week,” as “Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) has been organized annually for many years in order to raise public awareness of Israel’s system of apartheid. Conscientious people and organizations worldwide have used the IAW as an opportunity for calling on governments and business enterprises to stop supporting and profiting from Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights, and to isolate Israeli apartheid in the same way apartheid in South Africa was isolated.”
- In January 2020, following the European Union introducing a new clause in grant contracts with NGOs that prohibits grantees from working with and funding organizations and individuals designated on the EU’s terror lists, PSCC General Director Munther Amira stated that “signing the financing terms for European Union projects is treachery.” Amira claimed that “a boycott must be imposed on every institution that signs the document under the title of dignity more expensive than money.”
- In January 2020, PSCC was a signatory on a letter to the Austrian Parliament regarding the resolution (141/A(E))“Condemnation of Antisemitism and the BDS Movement,” calling for the Austrian government to “respect our right and the right of Austrian citizens to carry out and support BDS campaigns for Palestinian freedom.” The letter also referred to IHRA as a “fraudulent definition of antisemitism that conflates peaceful protest against Israel’s war crimes and human rights abuses with antisemitism.”
- The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by nearly 30 countries and counting, represents the international consensus definition of antisemitism, as well as how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. An example of the latter includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
- In October 2019, PSCC held a conference on “mobilizing popular energies and activating popular resistance against colonialism and apartheid.”
- In 2014, PSCC signed on a call to open the Rafah crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt asking that “we bring an end to the Egyptian government’s complicity in Israel’s genocide of the people of Gaza.”
- Despite its proclaimed nonviolent agenda, NGO Monitor research has uncovered evidence of violent PSCC activities.
- PSCC calls for resistance to the Israeli occupation through “marches, strikes, demonstrations, direct actions and legal campaigns.”
- While PSCC has been granted money in order to strengthen “the non-violent alternative,” PSCC has organized protests that have turned violent. Footage of PSCC protests in Hebron, Kfer Qaddum, Nilin, Nabi Saleh, and Beituniya shows protestors hurling rocks, throwing sharp objects, trying to destroy the security barrier, and arson.
- Simultaneous to these violent protests, PSCC received funding from Spain for projects titled “Promotion of peace building strategies and protection of Human Right Defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory” and “Addressing fear: Strengthening the nonviolent alternative in the Palestinian Territory. Establishment of a Conflict Early Warning Response System.”
- PSCC’s Twitter activity (December 2015 and onward) repeatedly employs “martyr” rhetoric and boasts photos of demonstrators hurling rocks. An invitation to an event tweeted by PSCC on December 20, 2015 features the hand of a demonstrator full of rocks. (See below for screenshots.)
- PSCC regularly promotes Palestinian BDS campaigns and activities on its website and is a member of the BDS National Committee.
- In September 2020, PSCC called for the UN General Assembly to “Launch international investigations into Israel’s apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole, as well as associated State and individual criminal responsibility,” to “Ban arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel,” and “Prohibit all trade with illegal Israeli settlements and ensure that companies refrain from and terminate business activities with Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.”
- In May 2020, PSCC was a signatory on a statement calling for “Immediate targeted sanctions to stop Israel’s annexation and apartheid.” The statement further called for “A ban on arms trade and military-security cooperation with Israel,” “Suspension of trade and cooperation agreements with Israel,” and “Investigation and prosecution of individuals and corporate actors responsible for war crimes/crimes against humanity in the context of Israel’s regime of illegal occupation and apartheid.”
- In May 2019, PSCC was a signatory on a statement calling on the German Bundestag to revoke its joint resolution defining BDS campaigns against Israel as antisemitic.
- In December 2018, following the announcement that Brazil would move its embassy to Jerusalem, PSCC signed a statement calling for “a comprehensive military embargo against the state of Israel, in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in defense of rights and struggles in Brazil.”
- In 2016, organized a BDS demonstration by the “Apartheid Wall,” stating that “the Palestinian youths will continue their struggle against the occupation whether through BDS or any form of popular resistance, and will continue despite Israeli aggression which includes intensified killing, executions, demolitions and kidnappings to thwart the resistance.”
- In 2015 posted a video through the organization “Make Apartheid History,” titled “AIDA Refugee Camp,” about a graffiti project in Aida refugee camp, and presented “graffiti that coincided with the Israeli products boycott campaign that called on refugee camps to boycott the Israeli occupation products.”
- On July 19, 2015, posted on its twitter a letter written by residents of the Palestinian village of Sussiya who called on the European Union to “suspend the Europe’s trade agreements with Israel as well as end trade with companies operating in settlements on occupied territories until Israel fulfills its obligations under international law.”
- In 2014, PSCC launched the “’Melh Al-Ard’ Campaign by Reviving Ein Hijleh Village in the Jordan Valley,” calling “upon our friends and international solidarity groups to stand with the demands of the Palestinian people and boycott all Israeli companies including Israeli factories and companies that work in the Jordan Valley and profit from Palestinian natural resources.”
- In response to a violent demonstration organized by Munther Amira in Bethlehem in December 2016, he told Israeli media outlet Ynet: “we are here to protest and say that the occupation and terror are two sides of the same coin. We want to tell the world that Palestinians are facing organized terror. We will continue to cope in order to fight against the Nazi occupation” (NGO Monitor translation from the original Hebrew).
- Manal Tamimi, former board member for PSCC, has endorsed terrorism and violence several times on her Twitter account. In August 2015, Tamimi tweeted,
- In September 2015, on Yom Kippur (a fast day and the holiest day of the year in the Jewish calendar), Tamimi tweeted:
- In November 2015, Tamimi tweeted a highly disturbing cartoon, utilizing classical antsemitic imagery.
Partners with Open Shuhada Street (OSS), an organization that similarly promotes BDS campaigns against Israel, as well as Coalition of Women for Peace, Youth Against Settlements, KURVE Wustrow, and NOVA, a radical Spanish political NGO .