31 October 2019
I called one of the organisers of a conference in Chester last night (Wednesday 6pm) to tell him I was withdrawing from the event after Gilad Atzmon was added late to the list of speakers.
On Monday, I had posted on Facebook the images I intended to use for my presentation, intending to flesh out some points before Saturday. My post here.
SPSC's principled hostility to Atzmon's effusions is long-standing. While he joins in the perennial Zionist effort to conflate opposition to the racist ideology of Zionism with hostility to Jews, we align with the political positions of the Palestinian-led BDS campaign that has explicitly condemned Atzmon's efforts as racist.
We oppose the system of Jewish supremacy in Palestine, as some of us also opposed the system of White Supremacy in South Africa and Alabama. We are no more opposed to the Jewish population in Israel - who benefit from that system of ethnic supremacy - than other anti-apartheid activists were opposed to the white population in South Africa - who benefited from that system of racial Supremacy.
For the avoidance of doubt, our struggle is against the system of ethnic supremacy, not a population.
Any species of racism is incompatible with the struggle against a structurally racist state and all its crimes.
Two articles on our website make clear our long term position that all efforts to conflate antisemitism with anti-Zionism are music to the ears of those currently fighting the BDS campaign. You can read them here and here.
Atzmon denies Israel is a settler-colonial project, or an apartheid state, and attacks cultural BDS. When we add his endless attacks on the left ("working class politics") and anti-zionist Jews, we observe a consistent set of propositions that defenders of Israel's crimes hasten to agree with.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign has a coherent critique of Israel's behaviours and an analysis of Israeli settler colonialism that frames our opposition to Jewish supremacy in Palestine within a wider commitment to universal human rights and opposition to all forms of racism, including Zionism.
We understand, however, that the barbarity of Israeli ethnic cleansing leads some people to see Israeli savagery as unique, ignoring its similarities with the genocidal history of European powers in much of North and South America, the Caribbean and Australia.
Some fall for the bogus claim of the Zionist State that its mass murder is supported by virtually all Jews. We, however, distinguish between those who are driven by a desire for justice for the Palestinians and absorb anti-Semitic notions, and those who are primarily driven by hostility to Jews and for whom Palestine is an issue to exploit to further their goals. We work to educate the former and fight the latter.
With other members of SPSC, I have spent more than five of the last ten years representing Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign in Scottish courts, seeing off ridiculous but sinister charges of anti-semitism arising out of BDS campaigning. It is possibly a record.
Along the way we have learned how desperate the pro-Israel gang are to falsely pin the label of antisemite on supporters of Palestinian freedom from their racist state.
We need to educate people about the antisemitic core of political Zionism, the better to defeat the project and secure justice for the Palestinian people.
The likes of Atzmon are toxic for a movement against Israeli apartheid, colonisation, and dispossession of Palestinians.
Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign