A month-long investigation by Campaign Against Antisemitism has exposed extensive antisemitic bigotry amongst supporters of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK (PSC). As it publishes its findings, Campaign Against Antisemitism has 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.
For an entire month, our Online Monitoring Unit recorded antisemitic comments on PSC’s Facebook page and the response of PSC’s moderators. After reviewing and categorising nearly 3,000 comments by PSC supporters using the International Definition of Antisemitism used by the British government, the College of Policing and many other organisations and states, we found that:
- Over 7% of all comments and replies on PSC posts were antisemitic and included anti-Jewish conspiracy myths, Holocaust denial, Holocaust inversion and religious and general hate speech against Jews.
- There was very little counter-speech by PSC supporters. Hate speech against Jews was more likely to attract likes and supportive comment than condemnation from PSC supporters.
- PSC permits hate speech against Jews, but does not permit it against other groups. We tested PSC’s moderation policy by posting hate speech against a non-existent people from a comic strip (the “Bangalla People”). The ‘hate speech’ we posted was almost identical to anti-Jewish sentiment which PSC allowed to be published. Within six hours, PSC removed the “Bangallaphobic” content and banned the account which posted it.
- Some PSC Patrons were complicit in posting hate speech under the International Definition of Antisemitism.
- Fifteen of PSC’s affiliated trade unions and all students’ unions have policies against ethnic and/or religious hate and discrimination. Affiliation to PSC is not compatible with these policies.
These findings are shocking given PSC’s public claim that it was established “in opposition to racism, including anti-Jewish prejudice”.
Our research shows that PSC has the means to block antisemitic hate speech on its Facebook page, if it wished to. It is profoundly disappointing that leading British trade unions and students’ unions, with strong anti- discrimination stances, allow themselves to be affiliated to an organisation that proliferates hate.
Our report includes sample disaffiliation motions for trade union and students’ union members to use.
PSC’s Facebook presence is a cesspool of antisemitism which proliferates and normalises hatred of Jews. We challenge the patrons, trade unions and students’ unions that endorse PSC to act on their commitment to fight racism by ending their association with PSC until it unequivocally endorses and enforces the International Definition of Antisemitism used by the British Government.