UK pro-Palestinian group accused of hypocrisy

Group had lashed out at ads that showed West Bank, Gaza, Golan as part of Israel; but its logo depicts all of Israel as Palestinian.

By JONNY PAUL, JERUSALEM POSY CORRESPONDENT, LONDON
June 16, 2009 22:24
2 minute read.
UK pro-Palestinian group accused of hypocrisy

psc 88. (photo credit: )

 
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A new movement working to unite trade unions and nongovernmental organizations to counter boycott calls of Israel and support a two-state solution has accused a British pro-Palestinian group of hypocrisy after it fought to halt an Israeli tourism campaign. Trade Unions Linking Israel and Palestine (TULIP) has called it "blatant hypocrisy" after the fringe group Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) campaigned to remove Israeli tourism advertisements in London underground stations that used a map which did not sufficiently demarcate the Green Line. After the poster campaign was halted, PSC's Sarah Colborne said on the group's Web site: "PSC welcomes the removal of these adverts, which had a map showing Israel as including the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights - which are all illegally occupied by Israel. These adverts wiped Palestine off the map. It was particularly grotesque to use this map in an advert for tourism, given that under the Israeli blockade of Gaza, even humanitarian aid staff are denied entry." In response, TULIP made reference to the PSC's logo, which consists of a map of the entire State of Israel with no 1949 demarcation lines, saying: "Do you see two states? A green line? Or do you see the very same map that the PSC denounced because it didn't recognize the existence of Palestine? In this case, the country it's not recognizing is Israel. What blatant hypocrisy!" TULIP spokesman Eric Lee said: "You would think that the leaders of the PSC would have the sense not to raise the question of the Israeli map - which they claim erases Palestine - when it is identical to their own logo - which erases Israel. Instead they have hailed the decision to change those ads as a big victory for them. It's not just hypocrisy, it's stupid on their part." Responding to the accusation, PSC's trade union officer, Bernard Regan, said: "If TULIP can send me a map of Israel then I will comment." A map that clearly showed the 1949 armistice line, which also labeled the West Bank and Gaza as Palestine, was sent to Regan, but he declined to comment further. However, Betty Hunter, PSC's general secretary, said that the PSC will continue to use a map of historic Palestine. "Until there are meaningful negotiations in which the Palestinians are able to exercise their right to self-determination, we will use the map of historic Palestine," Hunter said. TULIP was set up in April and is led by trade unionists from three continents. Its mission statement calls for trade unionists around the world to join forces "in support of genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace with justice, based on a two-state solution with secure and recognized borders." The organization has now called on trade unions affiliated with the PSC to question their affiliation. "TULIP aims to raise issues like this to the 19 unions in the UK which are affiliated to the PSC and to ask them how they can be part of an organization that is so clearly at odds with the idea of a two-state solution. I hope that some unions will rethink their affiliation as a result of our efforts," Lee said.

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