Sunday, 19 February 2012

Time to Refocus

For a while now this blog has focussed on the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. It is one of the main organisations working to spread lies and misinformation about Israel intending to give the impression that a liberal, democratic country of refugees which has been under existential threat since its inception is actually the world's most evil group of people responsible for unspeakable and inexcusable crimes that are unmatched by any other country.

Fortunately for those who desire peace the campaign is suffering on three fronts. Firstly the extent to which it is infested with antisemitism and Holocaust denial has been exposed. Local branches have been forced to expel some important members because of their extremism and the national campaign released a statement claiming that Holocaust denial has "no place in the movement". This claim was rather undermined when 20% of the members refused to expel a Holocaust denier who told the AGM that the Holocaust was a myth.

The second problem facing the PSC is that it is now trying to claim that it is committed to the two-state solution. Up until recently the campaign refused to take any stand on the issue therefore being able to hide the fact that most of its members want to see Israel wiped off the map. But it has come under pressure to clarify its position and when forced to do so can only take a stand in favour of two states or lose any chance of becoming mainstream. Its members aren't happy about that.

Finally, the PSC's main campaigning tool is the boycott campaign and BDS is failing. It has failed to convince many Israel-haters let alone the wider public. Its targeting of Veolia is a sham as its members must know but won't admit. In the most recent blow, Norman Finkelstein blasted the entire campaign as a "cult".

So its fair to say that, as things stand, the PSC is likely to have a bad year. As will BDS. It's therefore time to move on and focus on something else. The PSC is still a horrid organisation whose members will gladly ignore the inconvenient fact that the Syrian regime has murdered more Arabs in the last year suppressing demands for democracy and freedom, than Israel has killed this century trying to protect its civilians from terrorism. It will still attempt to convince the world that Israel is especially evil. It will still campaign to get local councillors to break the law by illegally excluding Veolia from contracts. It will still lie about its commitment to two states and it will continue to attract and harbour antisemites and Holocaust deniers. And I will, hopefully, still be exposing as much of this as I can.

However, the Campaign is weak and need not be feared. It cannot be ignored but it doesn't warrant taking centre stage. In particular, it doesn't deserve to be on the front foot making arguments that others have to refute. It has nothing to offer that can lead to peace. No vision for the future. Only division and destruction.

Its time to refocus on the main obstacle to peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Jerusalem.

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