Dear JTA member,
Tomorrow, Wednesday 28th November, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) will be holding their annual lobby of Parliament. According to their website and the NUT’s Facebook site, the NUT is officially supporting the lobby day.
Naturally members of JTA, the Jewish community and the wider public, including members of the NUT, hold a variety of different views on the situation facing Israelis and Palestinians. I personally favour the position of organisations like the New Israel Fund and Yachad, the Pro Israel, Pro Peace organisation. – both of which, in my view, take a nuanced approach to the conflict, acknowledging its complexity. It seems to me that there is an appropriate way of expressing those views and, often, it appears that the PSC regularly strays outside the realms of appropriate debate. Examples include the posting of racist cartoons by local branches, Holocaust denial by local branch chairs and a member of the Scottish PSC being found guilty of racially aggravated assault on a Jewish student who was displaying an Israeli flag.
In this context, and in the interests of inclusion and educated debate, surely it is not appropriate for the NUT to be openly supporting the PSC in its lobby of Parliament, without fully and publically recognising the complexity of the situation?
If you agree, I urge you to write to Secretary General Christine Blower C.Blower@nut.org.uk and Equality Officer Samidha Garg S.Garg@nut.org.uk to express your concerns. I will be writing to explain that as a Jewish member of the NUT, this sort of blanket support for one group only leaves me feeling disappointed and isolated from many members of my union. If you were a member of NUT but you left because of your feelings about NUT’s policies on the conflict it would be very helpful if you could say this too. If you are not a member of NUT but you want to make your concerns know, please also write. Every personal email you write will raise awareness to NUT of our concerns.
It would be really helpful if you could copy in the firstname.lastname@example.org and send us copies of any replies you get.
For more information, please see this document Summary of PSC extremism November 2012 which lists some examples of PSC extremism over the last two years.
Mrs Flora R H Richards