Report: Antisemitic Organization ‘Strategically Targets’ UK Universities
A popular UK blogger told The Algemeiner that branches of a national anti-Israel organization rife with “hard-core antisemitism” have strategically opened up “wherever there is a large university.”
David Collier — who covers antisemitism in Britain at Beyond the Great Divide, released Wednesday the findings of his two-year investigation into the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which defines itself as a human rights group — said, “It seems as if university connections are part of the PSC” game plan.
He identified branches near Oxford, Cambridge, Canterbury, Exeter, York, Manchester, Sheffield and other schools.
“Remember that, because students have a quick turnover, maintaining campus activism might be a logistical problem,” he said. “I would argue that they clearly see it as important and effective way of sustaining campus activism to place a PSC branch nearby.”
PSC Durham, for example, is described in Collier’s report as “a satellite that uses both the university” and other nearby PSC branches for “logistical survival.”
Collier said that his research uncovered a “surprising frequency of hard-core antisemitism,” including claims that Zionists or Jews control media, government agencies and terror organizations; conspiracy theories about Jews orchestrating attacks like Kristallnacht, 9/11 and the Paris Bataclan massacre; and charges that Jewish texts advocate child abuse.
“I knew that such antisemitism was there in the PSC, but thought I would have to look for it,” he said. “Instead, I was inundated.”
Collier capped his research at 17 PSC branches, because, he said, “I already knew what I would find if I kept looking.”
The phenomenon “is simply too large to suggest it’s a fringe or unrelated to the cause,” he said. “If these people were in gestapo uniforms, we would not let them near our students and we wouldn’t allow them to protest outside our shops. We need to change the lens through which we view these activists. This isn’t about the Palestinians, nor about a humanitarian cause. Over 40% are rabid antisemites. We need to treat them accordingly.”
The PSC has come under fire from multiple sources in recent years, including Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW), which calls the group the “engine of antisemitism in the UK.”
A JHRW spokesman told The Algemeiner, “The UK needs to wake up and see what’s happening to its Jewish citizens, to see what the PSC is really all about: intimidation and harassment of Jews. I believe we will look back on this period in shame.”
The JHRW spokesperson added that the group had identified the PSC as a “main source behind Israeli Apartheid Weeks on campus,” which, as The Algemeiner reported, are currently underway at universities across the UK.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism released its own study on the PSC earlier this year, which found that the PSC permits hate speech against Jews, while enforcing guidelines against bigotry when other groups are targeted. In a statement, the CAA “called on patrons, affiliated trade unions and students’ unions to end their association with PSC until it agrees to adopt and enforce the International Definition of Antisemitism.”
The PSC did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.