Bigotry & justifications for terror as ‘progressive’ politics: Air Flotilla 2’s York PSC contingent

Along with the members from Greater Manchester, three members of the York branch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign will also be taking part in the ‘Air Flotilla 2’ (or ‘Welcome to Palestine’) publicity stunt scheduled for Sunday, April 15th.

“Terry Gallogly, Mary Watson and Carol Pearman will be among visitors flying into Israel as part of the Welcome to Palestine campaign.”

Carol Pearman (left) and Terry Gallogly (centre)

Ms. Pearman appears to consider herself something of an expert on Israeli security needs:

“The Israeli government tries to make out that anyone wanting to visit Palestinian friends is a security risk, but that’s nonsense,” said Carol Pearman, 69, of Hull Road.

“We just want to visit friends who are kept like prisoners under this illegal occupation. Even prisoners are allowed visitors.”

Ms. Watson, however, somewhat spoils the ‘kept like prisoners’ meme by admitting:

“We have visited Palestine before”

York PSC is rather infamous for its extremism. Before it was removed following complaints, the FAQ section of its website included the following: (emphasis added)

1. Do we condemn the suicide bombers?

Yes, we condemn  ALL violence on all sides, but PSC seeks to understand causes and means of prevention. For example, Palestinians  do not have  the sophisticated weaponry of the occupying forces. Suicide bombing is their only weapon, it is a last resort of a desperate people who see no alternative way of defending their homeland. Extreme injustice breeds extreme responses.

2. Does PSC recognise the State of Israel?

Yes we recognize A State of Israel  with the borders that existed before the 1967 six day war. The continuous extension of those borders by war and occupation have been condemned by numerous UN Security council resolutions (beginning with number 242 in November 1967).  Individuals can comment on the right or otherwise of the land grab which created the state of Israel in the first place and its biblical justification,  but we must emphasize that PSC, like Arafat, accepts the inevitable presence of the Israelis and that pushing them all in to the Mediterranean is now not an option.


York PSC members prior to their departure on a 'Viva Palestina' convoy in 2009.
Carol Pearman in the centre.

Predictably, Ms. Pearman is keen to add her signature to campaigns against nefarious Zionist activities such as exhibiting Israeli scientific achievements in British museums. She also appears to have some business interests in the Middle East.

Terry Gallogly is a familiar name to many. Besides being Secretary (and former Chair) of the York PSC and a member of the Green Party, he is also an organizer of the ‘Stop the JNF’ campaign and accuses the JNF of attempting to “greenwash its ethnic cleansing”.

Gallogly also campaigned for a boycott by British unions of the Histadrut – Israel’s main labour union – describing it as “this appalling apparatus of the Zionist structure”. As a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s national executive committee, he was involved in 2007 in bringing a member of Neturei Karta to give a lecture entitled “Anti-Zionism is not Anti-Semitism” at British universities during ‘Palestine Awareness Week’.

Gallogly’s main claim to fame, however, is his 2010 attempt to rig an online poll conducted by the Jewish Chronicle in order to create the impression that British Jews are racists. 

Amazingly, the MP for York Central, Hugh Bayley, is backing Gallogly et al in this attempt to interfere with the right of another country to exercise control over its own borders. That may or may not be connected to Gallogly’s additional activity as regional coordinator for a lobbying group known as Coordin8.

Members of several other PSC branches in the north of England are planning to accompany the ‘Air Flotilla 2’ delegates to Manchester airport, already in ‘spontaneous demonstration’ mode. 

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