Monday, March 12, 2007
If these are the enemies, who needs friends?
A report sent by a member of the PSC present at the meeting: (The motions were voted down by an astounding absolute majority - 95%)
We know that on Saturday March 10th at the PSC AGM, two motions were proposed by Tony Greenstein, Roland Rance, Les Levidow and Sue Blackwell. These motions defined for the PSC the nature of anti-Semitism as seen by the proposers. It also called on the PSC to distance itself from any persons or bodies defined by the proposers as being 'anti-Semitic'. Particularly singled out was Deir Yassin Remembered. The proposers had previously publicised the motions in the Guardian and in the Jewish Chronicle.
We know that on arriving at the venue, the proposers of the motion began to distribute a leaflet promoting the two motions.
We know that both motions were defeated and an alternative amendment from the EC was adopted. We know the atmosphere in the hall was electric and that the motions were thrown out overwhelmingly and probably unanimously. We also know that Betty Hunter, the General Secretary of the PSC made an eloquent but impassioned and intensely angry speech against the proposals and the means by which they had been promoted and that her rage was fully reflected amongst the PSC membership in the body of the hall..
This much we know.
But we also know this: That early on in the meeting Carol Regan the PSC Chair, announced from the chair that PSC had no formal links with DYR and granted them no facilities. We also know that on hearing this, Tony Greenstein withdrew those parts of his motion.
If they had contented themselves with a simple resolution, calling for non-cooperation with Deir Yassin Remembered, they might have stood a chance. But with their two long-winded resolutions, attempting to impose a Jewish Socialist 'weltanchaung' on the Palestine Solidarity movement, the Greenstein/Rance onslaught stood no chance of success.
With J.A.Z. and J.S. activists popping up on all sides, coupled with the intervention of their Christian Passionara from Birmingham, it began to look more like a Zionist takeover of PSC than a simple call for the excommunication of Paul Eisen, the Jewish humanist who dared compare the slaughter by the Irgun of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children at Givat Shaul in 1948, with what happened in eastern Europe in the darkest days of the 3rd Reich. All it needed was Betty Hunter's empassioned and moving denunciation of Rance's public attack on the PSC in the Jewish media, for the latter to be compelled to offer an abject apology and to ensure an almost unanimous rejection of the two ill-conceived resolutions.
What does this all mean? Let the debate begin.
Open letter from Gilad Atzmon
This is an open letter of thanks to those among the Palestinian Solidarity campaigners who attended the PSC AGM last Saturday. Those who openly, actively and overwhelmingly rejected the motions and the pressure and lobbying tactics performed by its proposers.
The situation in Palestine is worsening by the day, the Israeli ethnic cleansing policies and mass starvation tactics are reaching a new level of atrocity. It is time we all join forces. From now on, solidarity with Palestine must be ethically orientated rather than politically guided.
The Palestinian people are not an instrument in some political exercise or other. They are the subject of 6 decades of oppression and humiliation at the hands of the Jewish State. This must be changed immediately.
Commentary by Mary Rizzo
Peacepalestine has been the venue for much of the debate regarding this issue, picking up and higlighting where the mainstream media and the ethnically Jewish activists (both Zionist and anti-Zionist - united in their attacks and smears) have left off. Surprisingly, given the absolute failure of the attempt to pass two minority motions, evidenced by numbers that speak louder than words, it has been an extensive aggressive and overblown campaign where those who proposed the motions, those who simply wanted to further insult and injure the DYR, Eisen, Atzmon, myself and others, were convinced of the success of their lobbying.
What we are left with is actually the fact that the opinions held by a handful (literally) of members in an activist group of "Internationals" for Palestine is nothing more than the opinion expressed of a table of friends at a pub. They have every right to express their dissent, just as the members have every right to believe that their motions were instrumental, damaging, useless and wrong. After more than a month of noisy campaigning, convinced that the majority of activists shared their opinions, and basically using intense pressure tactics to hammer the point home, when faced with the music, that only those proposing the motions and Mick Napier were in favour of the prejudicial motions, there is the deafening sound of silence. Where is the Page on the PSC that was promoted all over the place? Yes, the one actually attempting to associate Atzmon with the BNP, the one that smeared Eisen and myself, who have been simply stating that the DYR is an international organisation that is focussed on Palestinians and their just cause? Where is the mention of it on JPUK or JSF, or anyplace that made this the issue of the month? Probably all of them are back at the pub ordering the next round.