Sunday, 8 January 2012

Did the PSC Lie to Caroline Lucas MP?

In June last year Caroline Lucas MP released the following statement to the Jewish Chronicle:
It has been brought to my attention that the PSC logo appears to reflect 1917, pre-creation of Israel, borders and as such could be open to interpretation by some as implying non-recognition of Israel's right to exist. I am following this up with the director of the PSC since I am quite sure that PSC does indeed recognise Israel's right to exist, and it is unhelpful and damaging if any other impression is given.
I did not see any update to this so emailed Ms Lucas in October and was told that she had given a follow-up statement to the JC:
After raising the issue directly with PSC, I am satisfied with the assurances I have received that the organisation does indeed recognise Israel’s right to exist – as I had expected – and that it remains committed to a two state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
According to an article in the Morning Star also from June, the PSC was criticised at a TUC meeting for not supporting the two-state solution and Hugh Lanning (Chair of the PSC) responded.
He stressed the need for two states based on the 1967 borders - a demand recently backed by US President Barack Obama but consistently rejected by Israel.
However, in November Lauren Booth launched an attack on the PSC in which she quoted Sammi Ibrahem as saying:
I feel they (the PSC) have no right to represent the Palestinians’ he says, ‘Their policies are pro the ‘two state’ solution.
Obviously concerned by this, a member of the Bristol branch emailed the head office for clarification and received a reply from Betty Hunter, the President of the PSC. In her email she said:
We do not take a position on the 2 state/ one state solution as that decision must be for all Palestinians. 
One possibility is that there is a real split in the PSC between those who support Israel's right to exist and therefore support the two-state solution; and those who aren't fussed and think it's up to the Palestinians (not the Israelis) to decide whether Israel can continue to exist or not. If this is true then it would be difficult to claim that the organisation is committed to a two-state solution.

Another, more worrying possibility, is that the PSC doesn't, in fact, take any stance on the issue as their President affirms. However, in order to gain support from trade union officials and Members of Parliament, they are willing to lie and tell them that they are fully committed to a two-state solution.

So did they lie to Caroline Lucas MP? Or is the PSC lying to its members?

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