Palestine Solidarity Campaign
|In their own words||“PSC campaigns for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and for peace and justice for everyone living in the region.”|
- The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) is a leader and chief proponent of BDS and anti-Israel campaigns in the UK, which frequently invoke the “apartheid” libel.
Ties to Terror
- In 2015, the Cooperative Bank closed PSC’s bank account. According to the Jewish Chronicle, the Co-op “revealed it closed the PSC account because of fears that money could inadvertently be funneled to illegal groups in Gaza. Following advanced due diligence checks on the anti-Israel group’s account, the bank said it was not satisfied that it would not be used to aid prescribed activities in the Palestinian territories.”
- In response PSC launched a legal case against the Co-op on the grounds of discrimination and called on supporters to abandon their Co-op accounts and send a complaint letter to the CEO of the bank stating, “You have unilaterally chosen to close or deny accounts to at least 20 organisations working for Palestinian human rights, including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. In doing so have turned your back on the ethical principles that led so many to bank with you.”
- PSC supports the Deadly Exchange campaign led by Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) that aims to “end police exchange programs between the US and Israel.” JVP claims that American Jewish organizations and programs are to blame for police violence against minorities in America. The campaign also invoked antisemitic tropes.
- The initial “Deadly Exchange” video labeled AIPAC, ADL, Birthright and other Jewish organizations as being responsible for these exchanges, and urged viewers to “Hold accountable the Jewish institutions who run and fund the deadly exchange.”
- In September 2020, following the Trades Union Congress opposing Israeli annexation and identifying “Israel as a state practicing apartheid,” PSC Director Ben Jamal stated, “We welcome this motion which reaffirms the strong support across the UK trade union movement for the rights of Palestinians. By rightfully identifying that Israel is practicing a system of apartheid, the consequences become clear: There can be no normalised relations with any state practicing apartheid unless one is to become a reinforcing part of the system. We applaud the TUC for calling clearly for sanctions.”
- In December 2019, PSC participated in a campaign against the Jewish National Fund (JNF) as “JNF UK is complicit in the historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. They should not receive financial benefits from their charity status.”
- In November 2019, PSC 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 May 2019, PSC organized the “Not the Eurovision: Party for Palestine” to “highlight and protest human rights violations experienced by Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli state, arguing that Israel is deploying “artwashing” tactics by using the Eurovision Song Contest as a way to mask its regime of apartheid and occupation and put forward a “progressive” image to the rest of the world.”
- In November 2018, PSC held a conference titled “Justice in Palestine: Ending Apartheid, Achieving Freedom and Equality,” calling to “condemn Israeli apartheid, and commit to fight back through supporting the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions until Israel complies with international law.” The conference featured Jewish Voice for Peace and Al-Shabaka.
- In November 2018, to mark 101 years since the Balfour Declaration, PSC hosted a “lobby day” in Parliament as “It’s time for the British government to finally make some amends.”
- In October 2018, PSC released infographics that illustrate “the parallels between state policies in apartheid-era South Africa and those of contemporary Israel towards Palestinians.”
- In September 2018, PSC stated that it “regrets the Labour Party National Executive Committee’s (NEC) decision to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism despite many calls to reject it.” PSC alleged that the “IHRA document has been used to attempt to prevent Palestinians bringing into the public domain facts about their ongoing dispossession and the denial of their rights.”
- 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.
- On May 12-13, 2018, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, BADIL, and the Trade Union Friends of Palestine hosted the “Palestinian Freedom Conference: Overcoming the Ongoing Nakba” discussing how “In late 1947, colonial Zionist paramilitary forces began the process of ethnically cleansing more than 750,000 Palestinians…70 years later…in Palestine a process of ongoing ethnic cleansing via occupation, colonisation, apartheid, and cruel siege continues apace, with no intervention from the international community.”
- In May 2016, PSC, along with 28 other organizations- including Al Mezan, Badil, DCI-P and ICAHD, called upon the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide Adam Dieng to withdraw from a conference at Hebrew University in protest of Israeli discriminatory practices and because “Israeli acts and policies throughout the oPt are increasingly being viewed through lenses of population transfer and genocide linked to settler colonialism.”
- In February 2015, PSC launched a protest against a cookbook titled “Taste of Israel,” stating that this cookbook “contains tourist features on towns within Israel which… ignore their Palestinian heritage and the ethnic cleansing of their Palestinian inhabitants during the creation of Israel.” PSC called on supporters to write letters to the CEOs who produced the cookbook as “The booklet is a prime example of Israeli government propaganda, highlighting its efforts to distract the public abroad from its brutal military occupation of Palestinian land by replacing the image of an apartheid regime with that of a tourist-friendly, culture-loving country.”
- In August 2014, PSC was the primary organizer of demonstrations that specifically targeted Jewish-owned TESCO and Sainsbury’s Stores. In a blatant display of Jew-hatred, PSC-affiliated demonstrators destroyed kosher food items at the stores. In fear of further destruction of kosher food products and the possible targeting of Jewish customers, store managers subsequently removed all kosher food. The fact that Israeli products not displayed as specifically kosher were not targeted, suggests that protestors specifically targeted products associated with Jews.
- PSC maintains a database of universities and pension funds that invest “in companies complicit in Israeli violations of international law.” According to PSC, “Israel can only maintain its grave breaches of international law and Palestinian human rights because of products, equipment and services it receives from a range of companies and financial institutions.”
- In 2018-2019, PSC lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
- In February 2020, following the release of the blacklist, PSC sent letters to 10 universities “draw[ing[ attention to the fact that your institution is one of 10 UK universities who hold investments in or institutional links to companies included in the UN list…Holding investments in such companies poses grave risks to your institution’s reputation.”
- In August 2020, “following years of campaigning by students supported by Palestine Solidarity Campaign,” one of the 10 universities, University of Manchester “divest[ed] nearly £2m from companies complicit in Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people.” According to PSC, “This victory demonstrates that these campaigns can win and sever universities’ links with Israeli apartheid. We call on the University of Manchester to go further. They must to commit to divest from all companies complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses, and sign our apartheid-free pledge, so no complicit investments are made in the future.”
- In September 2020, PSC was part of a coalition that called on the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children not to accept donations from JCB alleging that “JCB equipment has been used repeatedly in Israel’s crimes against Palestinian children and communities. JCB were included on the United Nations Human Rights Office’s list of companies active in Israel’s illegal settlements.”
- In August 2020, following Israel signing a peace deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), PSC sent a letter to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab calling for “banning trade with illegal settlements; ending the UK-Israel arms exchange; and not providing diplomatic cover for Israel’s ongoing abuse of Palestinians.”
- In September 2019, PSC activists called call on HSBC to “#StopArmingIsrael.”
- On June 4, 2016, PSC held a National Day of Action against the company Hewlett Packard with the “objective of the Day of Action is to highlight HP’s deep participation in Israel’s brutal Occupation and its apartheid system and to encourage more and more people to sign the pledge not to buy HP products.”
- On September 9, 2015, PSC organized a protest against a visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to England. PSC sent a letter to David Cameron that “he should be imposing sanctions and an immediate arms embargo on Israel, not welcoming its war criminal leaders to the UK.”
- Together with the Campaign Against Arms Trade and War on Want, published a July 2015 report, “Arming Apartheid: UK complicity in Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people,” funded by the Lipman-Miliband Trust, claiming that “trading arms with Israel makes the UK complicit in Israel’s continuing violations of human rights and international law” and urging the UK “to implement an immediate two-way arms embargo to end all arms sales to and purchases from Israel.”
- In March 2015, PSC hosted an action summit titled “Palestine: The Tipping Point.” The summit was intended to “provide an empowering space for activists to plan around key issues and get involved in PSC’s campaigns, including BDS campaigns, media bias…and tackling the arms trade.” The summit included Omar Barghouti as a speaker.
- Created an infographic supporting BDS and “proudly refusing to do business with occupation, colonisation, and discrimination.”
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