National PSC on Holocaust Denial

PSC campaigns officer Ben Soffa has written that:

PSC AGM overwhelmingly endorsed statement that Holocaust denial / minimisation have no place in PSC

This was in response to the motion passed at a PSC AGM endorsing the executive’s statement about Holocaust denial – that Holocaust denial has no place in the Palestine Soldiarity movement. The statement read:

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign exists to build a mass solidarity movement on Palestine. It is founded on principles of justice, human rights, and opposition to all forms of racism. Any expression of racism or intolerance, or attempts to deny or minimise the Holocaust have no place in our movement. Such sentiments are abhorrent in their own right and can only detract from the building of a strong movement in support of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.

Despite the PSC agreeing to this motion, Anthony Cooper observes that:

“the AGM was asked to vote on whether this Holocaust denier should be expelled from the self-proclaimed anti-racist campaign. 1 in 5 of those present couldn’t bring themselves to vote yes. [...] Words are cheap and in this case meaningless. When 20% of your organisation won’t vote to expel a man who denied the Holocaust to their faces, you don’t have much credibility claiming that such denial “has no place” in your movement.”

Here the PSC expressed clear opposition to the appeal of former PSC National Chair Francis Clark-Lowes, against his expulsion from the organisation, by a 5:1 majority.

Ben Soffa will claim that, by upholding PSC opposition to Clark-Lowes, the PSC has proven its anti-racist credentials. In reality, the outfit continues to send out the message, that it will only follow others on anti-racism, rather than taking an active lead.

This is how PSC founder Tony Greenstein relates Clark-Lowes’ expulsion:

The first item on the agenda was a closed session at which the appeal of Frances Clarke Lowes against his expulsion was to be heard. Last April, Francis declared on the Brighton & Hove PSC Discussion List that he was proud to be a holocaust denier. For his pains he was expelled from Brighton PSC and not one voice was raised in his defence in Brighton PSC. I reported his statement to the Executive and sometime in May he was also expelled from national PSC. Francis however had the right of appeal to the national conference and chose to exercise that right.

So Clarke-Lowes was expelled from national PSC only following his expulsion from Brighton PSC. This was because only Brighton PSC was sufficiently motivated to consider Holocaust denial to be serious grounds for expulsion.

Now compare the case of Clarke-Lowes to that of Gill Kaffash. Regarding the Holocaust, Kaffash told Iranian news agency IRNA in December 2005:

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. Therefore banning opposition to the theses termed as `invariable reality` is irrational.

Kaffash was previously secretary of Camden PSC. She was asked to resign as Camden PSC chair. However, Kaffash remains a member of the national PSC.

As a member she was able to submit a motion to be voted upon at the PSC AGM, in which she wanted a definition of racism where racism only counts as such if it leads to violence, prejudice or discrimination.

Why has Kaffash not been expelled from the PSC, as Clarke-Lowes has been? She may have been reported to the national PSC, she may not have. Either way, nothing has happened.

It has been 6 years since her comments questioning the Holocaust, and 4 years since she was listed as a supporter of the Holocaust denier, Paul Eisen.

So far no action has been forthcoming from the national PSC.


Fatal error: Allowed memory size of 67108864 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 48 bytes) in /home/content/25/6309025/html/psc/wp-includes/cache.php on line 570