This is a cross post by Anthony Cooper from Just Thinking
The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) continues to have problems with antisemitism and Holocaust denial. At their recent AGM the delegates confirmed the expulsion of Francis Clark-Lowes, a former national chair and member of the Brighton branch, for Holocaust denial.
His problems started last April when he emailed the Brighton PSC mailing list declaring that he was
proud to call himself a ‘holocaust denier’
and then later that
I do not believe that millions of Jews and others were gassed in an industrial process of extermination
Those comments resulted in him being expelled by his local branch. Tony Greensteinclaims that “not one voice was raised in his defence in Brighton PSC”. Tony then reported his comments to the Executive in May who expelled him from the national PSC as well. He appealed at the AGM but lost.
Unfortunately for the PSC, rather than show the organisation as being strongly against such overt antisemitism, the opposite is true. Problems started immediately when itemerged that 20% of the delegates refused to vote against Clark-Lowes, despite him calling the Holocaust a myth in his appeal speech.
A couple of days after the AGM, Francis Clark-Lowes posted a response to Mr Greenstein in which he contradicted Tony’s claim of unanimity inside the Brighton branch. Francis wrote:
Greenstein states that ‘not one voice was raised in his defence in Brighton PSC.’ He must know this to be untrue. One voice was raised forcefully in defence of my right to free speech at the meeting where my expulsion was discussed, and several other branch members contacted me later to declare their support.
It now turns out that several members of the Brighton branch have started a reading group to “study” the antisemitic ideas of Gilad Atzmon, contained in his book The Wandering Who. Among those involved are Brenda Brown, a former chair of the branch, and Penny and Jim Porter. Every month, these members of the PSC will join the expelled Francis Clark-Lowes to discuss the antisemitic text.
The PSC claims that
Any expression of racism or intolerance, or attempts to deny or minimise the Holocaust have no place in our movement.
So long as its members are happy to join Holocaust deniers to study racist books, the PSC shouldn’t expect reasonable people to take their words seriously.