My report on hard-core antisemitism inside the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) has just been released. It was commissioned and published by Jewish Human Rights Watch. One-hundred and sixty pages of rabid anti-Jewish hatred. Stripping away all of the pretence about sympathy for Palestinians, the report exposes frightening levels of raw and truly sickening antisemitism. A hatred that is openly prowling the streets of Scotland. Only two weeks ago, I was in Aberdeen myself and witnessed an activist, who shares posts about Holocaust denial, trying to persuade people to boycott a Jewish business.
For as long as these antisemites wrap themselves up in the Palestinian flag, too many people are willing to turn a blind eye. Only against Jews is this type of racism openly tolerated. It is flourishing in schools, colleges, universities, unions and in city councils. In fact, so rampant is the disease now, in some settings you can be ostracised if you do not partake in the frenzy yourself. Bashing Jews has becomes a trendy position for the ignorant social justice warrior. ‘Palestinianism’ is a viral ‘ponzi scheme’ and as it spreads, it carries antisemitism in the undergrowth.
It is never easy returning to the real world after embedding myself inside the minds of those that hate Jews. Such research darkens the soul. As worthy and as necessary as I know the journey to be, I cannot help but be tainted by it. It isn’t just about peering into the mind of Nazis. To make it work, you need to engage with them, mix with them, laugh with them.
This is me in Aberdeen recently. I went up to ‘engage’ when the SPSC came to promote the boycott of a Jewish owned business, Jericho Cosmetics.
In the image on the left, I am talking to Gavin Turpie. Here are some of his Facebook posts:
You can read more about Gavin in the Aberdeen section in the full report. In the centre image, where I hold the Palestinian flag, I am standing next to George Blair. These are some of his Facebook posts:
The woman in the green jacket is Fiona Napier, head of Aberdeen SPSC. It is her septic SPSC branch that places antisemites onto the streets of Aberdeen. As she stands alongside those who openly share antisemitic imagery, she doesn’t believe antisemitism exists in her group.
Endless hate inside the SPSC
The report uncovered endless hatred of Jews, in every city the SPSC operates in. At every SPSC stall, at every SPSC demonstration, at every event, antisemitism was significantly present. Not an antisemitism that can be explained away as a criticism of Israel, but hard core antisemitic tropes.
These are just samples and cannot do justice to the volume of SPSC activists who were found to have shared hard core antisemitic material. The comprehensive report captures them all. In Perth, Dunfermline, Fife, Inverness. Everywhere the SPSC set up a stall, or demonstrated, people who shared hard core antisemitic posts were significantly represented. Over one-hundred and sixty pages, of Jews controlling the media, owning the banks, being behind ISIS, 9/11, 7/11 and plenty of Holocaust denial.
Significant representation & Jews providing cover
The report sought to quantify antisemitic tendency and sheds light on concentration levels of antisemitic ideology in anti-Israel activism. One of the case studies looked at the Jackie Walker event in Glasgow. Using a sample of thirty-two activists, the study found that 44% of those present had shared numerous hard core antisemitic posts. This level of Jew hate found at an event set up to deny the problem of antisemitism.
Whether deliberate or not, people like Jackie Walker are currently expending large amounts of energy providing antisemites with a defence. You cannot deny such significant representation and pretend it is only a ‘fringe’. These people are the core activists at the SPSC. But it is not just Jackie Walker giving cover to Jew hate. Here is Max Blumenthal with two of the activists picked up in the report:
In February I published a report on antisemitism in the England & Wales PSC. Following the publication I was hounded, threatened and stalked. Yet those few Jews who sit in the camp criticising Israel, did not read the report and acknowledge the hate. They attacked me instead. Jonathan Ofir wrote a piece in Mondoweiss attacking someone who had uncovered antisemitism. That article was then gleefully headlined by the Jewish led group ‘Free Speech in Israel’ (my response). There is nothing in any of these reports that has anything to do with Israel. It focuses on classic antisemitic tropes. Why on earth are Jewish people, even if they are a small minority, giving cover to people who share posts about Holocaust denial? Is the ’cause’ so infected with Jew hate, that a level of 40-50% is tolerable because as activists, there is not enough power to start the engine if they actually clean the group of racism?
Test for Scotland
The results for the second case study are even more frightening. Last August, outside a peace festival set up to celebrate Israeli diversity and culture, the SPSC gathered to protest. About one-hundred and twenty demonstrators. Over sixty activists were identified. More than 50% of them had shared numerous hard core antisemitic posts.
In the small crowd, there were at least ten who spread material denying the Holocaust.
The findings of the report were almost self-evident.
*The inevitable conclusion is that antisemitic tendency is a primary driver of anti-Israel activism*
Following on from this:
*There is a strong probability that those who are introduced to anti-Israel material by SPSC activists on the streets are being influenced by people who adhere to an antisemitic mindset*
*Much of this activity seeks to spread antisemitic thought*
Support the Shalom Festival, oppose the racists
Because of the success of the International Shalom Festival at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, it has expanded this year to cover three days. Once more the SPSC have called a protest. Only now we know what drives the protest. We know what will turn up. A group of thugs, many of whom share horrific antisemitic images. Last year, ten people in the SPSC protest were found to share Holocaust denial material. Ten!
This is a test for Scotland. Are antisemitic thugs really going to be allowed to protest the festival in Edinburgh? People should buy tickets to the event, to go and enjoy the festival. Just as people should seek out the Jericho stall in the Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen to buy products. If the police won’t stop the anti Jewish intimidation, we can provide our support and anti-racist groups should be out in force to oppose the Jew hate.
And if you walk past any of these protestors, wrapping their Jew hate up in a warm Palestinian flag, remember exactly what you read in the report. These people are conflating their racism with sympathy for Palestinians.
The Sunday Times ran an article on the report. The official SPSC response, came from Sofiah MacLeod, chairwoman of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. She said it is “not inclined to take seriously the so-called research”. ‘Not inclined’ to take it seriously that 40-50% of the SPSC activists share antisemitic material. We need to make them take it seriously. It isn’t the 1930’s. Is it?
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42 thoughts on “The hard-core antisemitism of the Scottish PSC (SPSC)”
Thank you for your efforts David. It will be interesting to see which of your traditional contributors appear here to remark, not on the content of your report but upon you and your motivations for producing it. This appears to be the tactic of choice from our opponents now; sidestep the issue, or, better still avoid it altogether and make the story about the reaction to it.
Well, of course the SPSC can’t take this research “seriously” as they would lose half their supporters and leave the other half discredited not only by association but by their inability to answer the following question: “if you care so much about Palestinian rights, why do you protest only when Israel can be involved but have nothing to say when they are murdered in Syria, expelled by Kuwait, subject to legal apartheid in Lebanon and subject to an almost 60 year old Arab League resolution prohibiting their becoming citizens of any of its member states save Jordan?”
Oh dearie me David. Commissioned by Jewish Human Rights Watch. The slope you are on is so slippery you are going to end up writing a report commissioned by Sussex Friends of Israel. What is interesting though is the mainstreaming of the nut job sans culottes of the the Israel lobby in the last couple of years.
I mean anyone who thinks the crazy behind JHRW would invest good money in commissioning a dispassionate objective report on these issues, doubtless thinks their are fairies at the bottom of their garden.
I don’t think you understand the way it works. It doesn’t matter who commissions the project. The question is has anybody edited, directed or influenced the work whatsoever. That has nothing to do with the organisation that commissions, that is about the integrity of the one doing the research. As always, I am absolutely straight in the way I conduct my research. The work is 100% mine. JHRW did nothing but ask me when it would be finished, and hand my work over to another company, without comment, for layout.
On a subject such as this, it is like shooting ducks in a barrel. The picture had to be drawn, the research undertaken, but in reality, the only question was over the final percentage figure. Whether it would be 35, 40, 45, 50 or 55%. It was waiting to be done. And this is the result.
” The only question………” I rest my case.
Half a dozen paid responses already. I suppose that the hammering that the Qatari Riyal’s taken since the Arab boycott means lots more hilarious one liners are needed to make quota. Keep at it son.
That isan extremely interesting piece of moderating David
I mean, someone more energetic than me might be tempted to write a piece. ” What David Collier doesn’t want you to know about his funders”.
can I delete this nonsense?
You really have hit a nerve David. The old booby is flying all over the place this morning; responding to his own posts, aiming wildly at anything other than the piece itself, demeaning posters and every Jewish agency in his Filofax. His paymasters must have given him some real grief to put a shift in. Love it.
what? Are you referring to the lawyer post. If you haven’t learnt already, WP identifies spam. You post a short piece of text with several links, it gets placed in a queue by the spam identifier. Nowt to do with me. Come now Stephen. Two years and no trust? Still, such occurrences allow you to build conspiracies I suppose. No, there was no moderation (even though I consider it built on empty accusations, is inherently antisemitic and is wildly off topic). Your post was made live without correction.
Nope Stephen, still missing it. Many trials, tests and areas of research have a pre-determined ‘win’. The ‘only’ question in such research is the level. For example, not as bad as feared, bad, awful or outrageous. The research has to be made to scientifically confirm the hypothesis. Hard science often works that way too. The discovery of far-off planets is usually a pre-determined win, based on mathematical calculations and scientific observations. They are pretty certain the planet is there before they engage in the final quantification (calculating the exact orbit, how large, mass etc). Just like here. I made a perfectly legitimate comment.
But anyway if Festenstein doesn’t mend his ways he is going to end up with Denison on the list of crooked struck off, Israel lobbying Manchester ex solicitors.
Strange how many of the Zionist sans culottes have criminal minds. What percentage would you say David ? That being the only question.
Oh Stephen are you now talking about a lawyer for the group that commissioned the report. How about checking out the pets of the neighbours of the cousins of the people who work for JHRW. We can call this the ‘umpteenth distance of separation deflection’ or UDSD for short. Not interested. ‘The report is the thing’!
Handy acronym David. I’m told that the Paid Intervention Lackey League Of Qatar’s Kingdom (P.I.L.L.O.Q.K) has it’s annual award ceremony at Kinloss Shul next month. Should we be nominating?
David Festenstein is not a pet of the neighbours of the cousins of the people that work for JHRW, he is Da Man. He is sailing very close to the the wind and is in danger of joining the Chair of North West Friends of Israel in the struck off bin.
Also if you have classified the post we are discussing as antisemitic, the only surprise is that your ” research” has not established that the the percentage of antisemites in SPSC is 99.9999999% recurring
Not sure what any of that has to do with my report. Because of the level of the research, the internal & external validity, and the clear evidence it provides in support of its central arguments, I would imagine the report is currently being circulated amongst some of our elected officials. You keep going on about things that are completely irrelevant to the research.
The antisemitism as defined by the research was clear. It set a very high bar. As an article in the Sunday Times pointed out, you had to ‘work at it’ to be included in the report. As yours was only a single post, and the antisemitism was ‘implied’ rather than explicit, it would not even have counted as one of the three necessary antisemitic posts for inclusion.
What do you hope/expect our elected officials to do David ?
Stephen, I would hope that our elected officials will stop flirting with antisemitic sewage. Simply distancing themselves and making noises about how antisemitism should be purged and the SPSC is riddled with it would suffice. At least that would keep thugs like this at an arms length from public buildings.
That is more or less what I thought.
And there it is. Straight from the paid media response playbook as predicted. Total avoidance of the issue and complete focus on the reaction. Next will follow some disparaging remarks to demean the respondent’s and the emphasis of the thread is comprehensively skewed. Classic.
David this isn’t research. It.s a highly prejudiced collecting of anecdotes, riddled with guilt by association, pre determination, and a ” methodology” that makes Campaign Against Anisemitism look good.
Hi there Ian.
It makes the CST look good as well and you really have to work hard to do that.
clearly the report has hit home. I cannot remember the last time you multi-posted like this. Thank you for the confirmation.
nonsense. Every time the SPSC set up a stall, over 40% of those present share various hard-core antisemitic posts. Nowt wrong with the method at all. How else could you possibly do it?
Bellamy reminds me of the fairground ‘whack a mole ‘ game. He repeatedly takes one for the team but no one seems to notice or care.
Except you Harv.
I’m trying to help you through your malaise.
Gee thanks Harv
Paid media response by the book and almost all Jewish agencies invoked with the possible exception of the extremist old dears at Meals on Wheels and the zio-Nazis at The Blind Society. Naturally no mention of the report itself. That’s hardly the point is it?
When research of this value and importance is presented it vital to keep a focus on the subject matter. Bear in mind that the paid media responders will come here expressly and tactically to shift the emphasis away from arguments that they do not want to have and in any event cannot win.
Ian it is true that I am m not much interested in the subject matter. I am much more interested in the pre determined conclusions, the purpose, the use to which it is put and its part in the game that is being played out.
Out of interest, where do JHRW get their funding from? They don’t seem to be a registered charity.
Always intrigued about how Jewish communal organisations support themselves!
Oh Gabriel, I have missed you.
I don’t really bother with things like that. As a way of deflection it ranks up there with ‘look who he is standing next to in the photo’. When I go to events, I see my stalkers eyeing opportunities of taking a shot as I walk pass someone they consider unsavoury. The research (which you have ignored) was the key here. It was natural after my February PSC report that SPSC would be on my radar. A group was willing to assist financially thus allowing my independent research to take place.
Tell you what. Speak to Hannah for me. If Yachad are willing to help finance any of my research, I’d be more than willing to talk to her. I am a two-state guy, who is in favour of territorial compromise (for peace) and accepts Israel has done some shitty stuff. I believe my work helps fight for truth and thus raises the prospects for peace. What’s not to like?
But you *do* bother with things like that: in August you published a series of posts impugning City University’s “‘independent’ research” (the sarcastic quote-marks around the word ‘independent’ were yours) on the basis that it was funded by Yachad. You also said, “The actions of Yachad will seem large because it is well funded. The research they conduct is a good example of this.”
All I asked was that we are also allowed to assess your report in light of its funding, and to assess whether JHRW is actually popular or just well funded by one major source. You refused to answer the question, which is a shame.
(Also as for deflection, bringing up Yachad in answer to a question that was nothing to do with Yachad was deflection par excellence.)
Gabriel. My my, you are in a silly mood this morning. As you would probably be aware, regarding the Yachad survey, I have attacked the research itself, Yachad’s interpretations of the findings and the influence the political leaning of the academics would have had on the survey structure & outcome. Given all those things together, I think my criticisms are well founded. Attacking core elements of a survey isn’t the same as simply using deflection as a method. On a related note, I saw Hannah at the Sussex conference. After her appearance I congratulated her and wrote a positive piece on her contribution. I tell you what I told her, ‘I am not the ‘enemy’ you think I am’. You don’t have to have such an ‘anti-David reflex’.
It always breaks my heart when opportunities for potentially important studies are wasted. Take Tom Suarez and his disgraceful book ‘State of Terror’. Five years this man spent in the archives. Five. He did it all just to write an academically nonsensical book that promotes hatred of Israel. Five years of research wasted. Similarly with the Yachad survey, why oh why did it have to have that left wing slant? Such a waste.
But what you are doing here is entirely side-stepping the research merely to question the funding. How on earth am I meant to know about the financial position of the JHRW group. I mean really? I present 165 pages of hard core antisemitism in Scotland, and you ask me about the bank account of a group I am not part of. Is this really the best you have?
I don’t know what “is this the best you have” means. All I did was ask a (perfectly reasonable) question. If you don’t know the answer, I’m surprised that someone with such an inquiring mind never thought to ask, but if you really don’t know, that’s fine. It’s a shame you couldn’t just say “I don’t know” without the belittling accompaniments though.
Gabriel, that’s a fair point. Perhaps my ‘anti-Gabriel’ reflex is as influential as your ‘anti-David’ one.
In answer to your ‘perfectly reasonable’ question, I honestly do not know. In my defense, I find the ‘follow the money’ strategy off-putting. Far too often (IMHO once is too often) I am sitting with those who draw up huge conspiratorial tales of how groups (in this case on the left) are all part of some huge money chain that leads back to sinister men in dark rooms handing over envelopes addressed to the destruction of Israel. As you are probably aware Yachad is often a target for this kind of senseless chatter. I find it a repulsive discussion, and tend to believe the truth is far less dramatic. So when people begin to question funding (as they often do) I tend to switch off. You will note that throughout my entire blog history, it is not a subject I waste much time on at all. Others tend to focus exclusively on it. Just a turn-off for me.
So when JHRW agreed to assist with the research, I jumped at it. I no more thought to investigate their finances, than I have ever had the inclination to investigate Yachad’s. We have creatures such as Asa Winstanley, the academic crew in Bath, and Hilary Aked, with their fixation on Jewish money, for that type of quasi-research. I see no reason to join their ranks. So, no, I have no clue.
On the subject of antisemitism (the focus of the blog). What are your thoughts?
what bad stuff has Israel done ?
You attacks David on t he Yachad survey, which was very inteeresting and Tom Suarez’s very thoroughly researched book on Israel’s terrorist origins suggest you are not really interested in uncovering anti-Semitism.
If your findings were correct and I haven’t done more than read th is summary then the obvious question would be why. What makes a few people involved in Palestine solidarity adopt holocaust denial rhetoric? The answer would seem to be to me that if you justify the virulent and obscene racism of Israel, a racism that manifests itself in the demolition of schools and peoples’ homes because they don’t have permits that non-Jews never receive, by reference to the Holocaust then you are instrumentalising the genocide of the millions of Jews who died in the holocaust.
When you say that Palestinian dispossession and the racist violence they experience are justified by the Holocaust then u invite people to question that holocaust. That is what accounts for most holocaust denial the world over. The sad reality is that holocaust denial has spread far further than a small coterie of neo-Nazi nuts to people who may be conspiracy theorists of one sort or another but are not fascists or racists. Israel and Zionism’s manipulative use of the Holocaust has been a direct cause of holocaust denial and I would go far as to suggest that Zionism welcomes the phenomenon.
Having said that I of course condemn holocaust denial unreservedly but I do it knowing what the source of the problem is.
I would also be more impressed if you condemned the link-up between fascists and neo-Nazis and Zionist activists. You will probably be aware of my latest blog post on the association between Jonathan Hoffman and Paul Besser of Britain First. They were both demonstrating together outside the Palestine Expo 2017 festival that you were asked to leave. Do you condemn this and the joint demonstration with the EDL that Hoffman and Harvey Garfield engaged in at the Ahava protest? Or the link up with Steve Bannon and the White Supremacist Right in the USA or Netanyahu’s refusal to condemn outright either the neo-Nazis at Charlottsville 4 3 days or indeed Trump’s support for t he alt-Right? To say nothing of his embrace of Viktor Orban and his anti-Semitic campaign against George Soros to say nothing of his rehabilitationof Admiral Horthy, the pro-Nazi ruler of Hungary who presided over the murder of nearly 1/2 m Hungarian Jews who were transported to Auschwitz.
When I hear you condemn Zionistt collaboration with neo-Nazis today then I will take your strictures about alleged anti-Semitism in Scottish PSC more seriously.
EXCLUSIVE – Lifting the lid on Collaboration between the Far Right and Zionist Activists
Zionist Demonstration Outside Palestine Expo 2017 included neo Nazi group Britain First’s Intelligence Chief Paul Besser and Jonathan Hoffman
Not even a half apology for your role in having me evicted from a cultural event at a public building? You can take issue with my opinions as often and as much as you please, but it seems like many who reside in the far left, your demand for rights and liberties is never extended to those you politically oppose. One of the fundamental flaws of the ideologies you seem to support. Shameful behaviour.
Onto your comments. The Yachad survey was interesting. I agree. I have also used some of the data. I criticised the paradigm in which it was created. Not that it renders it useless, but that such a slant should be acknowledged. And I criticised the way Yachad misinterpreted or misused some of the findings. That’s all. But yes, some good stuff in there.
A friendly piece of advice. Stop talking up Suarez. I saw you recently wrote a review on the Suarez book. I can already tell you it is the most badly researched piece of work I have ever read (as a side note I have an autographed copy). I saw you mention in your blog that ‘we’ don’t have an answer. You are wrong. It is a piece of junk that is not supported at all by the very material it uses as it source. Just stay tuned.
You ask what makes a few people involved in Palestine solidarity adopt holocaust denial rhetoric? (Or I imagine global anti-Jewish conspiracy theory). I do not accept that line of thinking any more than I accept people asking what makes racists hate black people. You know in Dec 1947, there was a meeting of Arab leaders. They were talking about their response to the partition, and about how they would fight. They also began to discuss sending the assistance that led to the ALA infiltrating into the Mandate lands as early as January 1948. What they also said was this: (from report to British Ambassador to Egypt – file in National Archives FO 371/68365):
“”They believe they could count on much solid support, not only from the Moslem world in general but from Arab sympathisers, and anti-Jews in many countries”
The connection between anti-Israel and anti-Jew was recognised by the enemies of Israel from the beginning. They saw the alignment in 1947 and it is unsurprising that these groups still rely on that alignment today. It is depressing to see that you still seek to raise it as a political weapon as if it has merit. It doesn’t. Antisemitism existed before Zionism. It annihilated anti-Zionist (Bundist) communities who had believed that the Zionists were wrong. The Zionists weren’t wrong. Zionism was tragically far too accurate in its underlying assumptions. It is sick to blame Jews for antisemitism. Which is what you are doing.
I don’t say “Palestinian dispossession and the racist violence they experience are justified by the Holocaust”. Please do not put words into my mouth or try ridiculous straw man arguments. If you want to have a discussion, discuss, but talk to me, not the monster you imagine in your head. I do however, reject much of your description of Israel, I find it simplistic, inaccurate and propagandistic. Empty derogatory terms with little basis in reality.
What exactly do you want from me? You use photos of people standing together in a demonstration and then expect me to condemn everyone there? You know, I have that too. People take images of me when I go to events, trying to capture me in a photo standing nearby someone which can then be used to discredit me. If you have comments of people aligning them politically with neo-Nazis, then I will happily condemn those people. I have no time for those who cannot see the enemies of the Jews are on the far right as well as the far left. But guilt by association is really not my thing. I do not care if someone has been lucky with a camera angle. Nor will I be persuaded by empty talk of “if you don’t condemn” then you yourself are guilty. I neither have to be on the right, nor a Netanyahu supporter to be a Zionist. But in a conciliatory gesture and to make you happy, I absolutely condemn (and find absurd) any pro-Israeli who collaborates with neo-Nazis today. I (obviously) hate neo-Nazi thought. You can see plenty of it in the SPSC report. And the PSC report I produced in February. There is some of it going to every anti-Israel event I researched. So lets not pretend that it is a pro-Zionist, rather than an anti-Zionist ideology. Logically, it is more likely to be anti than pro. Nazi ideology was built to attract fringe material from both extreme sides of the spectrum. It stinks and nobody should have anytime for it.
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