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By Gilad Atzmon
Most solidarity activists in this country would agree that the PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign) is potentially an invaluable institution. Yet, the National Office, under its current leadership, has made some serious mistakes.
The PSC’s task is not easy. We all operate in a Zionised environment and we’re subject to constant pressure and abuse. Moreover, it’s not always clear what we should do for Palestine. It is obvious that Palestinian resistance is more than just single political perception or a vision of conflict resolution. Palestine is basically a dynamic discourse of negation with Palestinians themselves divided on different issues to do with their struggle and their fate. Consequently, Palestinian solidarity is also far from being a rigid or monolithic discourse. Furthermore, the enemy also is far from being any obviously singular identity or monolithic political discourse. The Jewish national project is a varied discourse, driven by many conflicting thoughts such as Zionism, Israeli patriotism, Israeli escapism, Jewishness, Jewish messianic militancy, pseudo-peaceful propaganda, pre-traumatic stress and so on. So it makes sense that Palestinian solidarity must encompass many voices reflecting the immense complexity of the conflict and its possible resolution.
Initially, the PSC was an attempt provide an umbrella for diverse intellectual and political thoughts, ideas and tactics. However, because of internal political struggles and a relentless internal Jewish campaign, its national office has become a policing operation, engaged mainly in restricting the discourse and stifling freedom of speech, thought and expression. The organisation that was founded to fight for the rights of the expelled Palestinians, has itself, started to expel and abuse its most notable and dedicated activists and thinkers.
I believe that the PSC should never attempt to dominate the discourse. Anyway, it lacks both the political power and the intellectual capacity to do so. It should instead facilitate a wide debate that would transform this solidarity movement into a mass movement.
Instead of suggesting what is ‘right’ and who is ‘kosher’, the PSC should come up with a single, short, incisive but inclusive statement.
“WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS”
Dominated by a Zionist power structure and ideology, with 80% of our leading party’s MPs being Conservative Friends of Israel (CFOI), our media editorials being controlled by BICOM, and our country having been involved in criminal wars to serve Israeli interests - we are indeed, all Palestinians. So, like Palestinians, we also need to be liberated.
Our solidarity with Palestine should start, right here at home. We could begin by exposing our local MP who is more than likely to be a CFOI, LFI or Lib Dem Friends of Israel member. It’s about time the British public grasped that we have far too many ‘Friends of Israel’ in our government but nowhere nearly enough friends of Britain.
We live in unique times. Yesterday’s ideologies and political institutions are crumbling. We are living in a post-ideological and post-political age. Thanks to the internet and the social networks, each one of us is an independent broadcasting outlet. Each one of us is capable of disseminating information at the speed of light - wider and faster than any institutional media corporation. People are now free to choose who they follow and what they believe. In sum, this technology offers us a unique opportunity to democratise the realm of thoughts, ideas and action. It’s a window of opportunity and we’d better make the most of it.
To some extent the PSC - just like the JC, the Guardian, the Trade Unions the parties - belongs to the old world, the world of stagnation and political power games. Perhaps this explains why the PSC leadership is so desperate for the approval of the JC, the Guardian and Parliament.
Instead, the PSC should communicate with the masses and proclaim far and wide that same, vital, humanist message:
WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS
But, as ever, there’s some good news. The old Red Commissar is dead and so are the ‘liberal’ newspapers, radio and TV. Politics, as we knew it has become a meaningless activity. McCarthyism, witch-hunting and other Talmudic forms of excommunication and general abuse, they also belong to the past. Change is in the air and the PSC National Office had better get used to it – and fast. If it doesn’t, it will, quite simply and unfortunately, disappear.
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