Who is behind the PSC?
Founded in 1982, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) states that its purpose is to promote “peace and justice for the Palestinian people”. It claims a membership of around four and a half thousand members. The PSC is operated by an executive committee of twenty persons which maintains forty regional groups across England and Wales, and has independent groups in both Scotland and Ireland.
The Palestinian issue has long been an obsession of both the far-Left and far-Right. Inevitably, some collaboration between the two has occurred. The International Marxist Group claims it was the principal actor in the formation of the PSC. Additionally, activists from the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) were involved in the early stages of the PSC, and in the 1990s, the SWP had become a leading component of the organisation.
Former IMG and Socialist Action (SA) activists increased their presence with in the PSC in the late 1990s. Two members of the current PSC Executive, Betty Hunter and Bernard Regan, were IMG members. In addition, two of the four PSC employees have been active within the SA’s ranks.
The PSC engages in a great deal of political lobbying, and regularly appeals to both British and EU politicians. It manages a group of MPs who coordinate their activities and raise relevant issues in Parliament – working to bring those putatively responsible for “war crimes” to justice, lobbying government to ban the import of settlement goods, and demanding an end to Britain’s arms trade with Israel. The PSC also calls upon the EU to suspend its Association Agreements with Israel.
As mentioned, the PSC is not just present on the far-Left, but it has worked with individuals and groups that we believe to espouse fascist ideologies; including far-Right activist Paul Eisen, and groups such as the British Muslim Initiative and Friends of Al-Aqsa. Additionally, leading members of the PSC have been linked to political parties such as the Syrian pro-Nazi SSNP.
The Scottish PSC is less careful than its English counterpart to hide its true colours. One example among many is an article published by its chair, Nick Napier, after the terrorist attack on the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem in March 2008, in which critics argue that Napier vindicated the murder of the students and suggested Jews steal Palestinian organs – an invocation of the ancient European blood libel.
On the left: Martin Linton MP, who referred to the ‘long tentacles‘ of Zionism controlling the electoral system – a conspiracy theory also propagated by the Nazis. Right: Baroness Tonge, who called for an enquiry into ridiculous claims that Israeli Jews helping after the earthquake in Haiti were stealing organs from Haitian children – another invocation of the ancient anti-Jewish blood libel.