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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 May 2016

The letter the Guardian wouldn't print

John Mann's Israel hypocrisy

Huge protests have taken place internationally against the Israeli assault on Gaza, photo Paul Mattsson

Huge protests have taken place internationally against the Israeli assault on Gaza, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

In response to John Mann's outrageous attacks on the left as anti-Semitic, Socialist Party executive committee member Clive Heemskerk wrote to the Guardian. The Guardian declined to print his letter. Hardly a surprise, given its editorial opposition to Corbyn's anti-austerity message. The Socialist publishes the full letter below.

That the serious issue of anti-Semitism is being used as a proxy charge against Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party is confirmed for me by the high profile role of John Mann MP.

As a Militant supporter in the early 1980s, I sat on the national committee of the National Organisation of Labour Students (NOLS) alongside Mann.

He was a leading figure in an anti-Militant organisation known as Clause Four and, for two years, the chair of NOLS (1983-84).

Within NOLS, Militant was falsely attacked by the Clause Four group for 'not supporting the Palestinians' because we stood for the right of two states - Israel and Palestine - to exist side by side, which we argued would be possible on a socialist basis.

The Clause Four-led NOLS, on the other hand, argued that the national rights of Israelis must be subsumed into a single, capitalist state - a 'secular, democratic state in the whole of Palestine'.

Ferocious

I remember being ferociously attacked in NOLS meetings for refusing to give the demanded 'unconditional support' to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Militant instead criticised the PLO as being unable to make an internationalist class appeal to Israeli workers, essential to defeat the Israeli ruling class, not least because at that time the PLO refused to recognise the right of Israel to exist.

John Mann's apostasy on Israel-Palestine is not surprising. I assume he has also thrown out the 'Tony Benn for Deputy' badge that NOLS produced for the 1981 Labour Party deputy leadership contest.

But nobody should have any doubt that Jeremy Corbyn is his and his fellow Blairites' real target. The left, inside and outside the Labour Party, needs to fight back hard.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 11 May 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories retreat: now drive them out!

No to the bosses' EU, yes to international solidarity

Teachers force Tory academies u-turn

TUSC announces '20-city tour': the socialist case against the EU

Independent inquiry into Orgreave now!

Blair played matchmaker between Saudi oil barons and Chinese dictators

What we saw

Them & Us


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

John Mann's Israel hypocrisy

Council estate exhibition shows the full picture

Film review: Eddie the Eagle

The Socialist postbag


Elections 2016

Elections showed anger and fragmentation

TUSC election campaigns show opposition to cuts

Over 1,700 votes for TUSC in Warrington

Scotland: SNP wins but new openings for socialist alternative emerge

Wales: no change and all change

Northern Ireland elections: positive moves against sectarian politics

Over 1,800 votes for TUSC candidate in Bristol

Third anti-cuts councillor elected in Southampton

TUSC increases vote in Coventry by 25%

Fourth place for TUSC in Liverpool


Workplace news and analysis

Blacklisted workers win millions in legal victory

Government blinks first in junior doctors' dispute

Trade Union Bill becomes law

Prison officers walk out over health and safety

Potential new steel bosses refuse to take on pensions

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Let kids be kids: children 'strike' against Sats tests

What way forward for Tamil rights?

Save Paignton Hospital campaign launched

May Day demo says: no cuts to childrens' centres!

Support for junior doctors at campaign stalls


International socialist news and analysis

Greek general strike: more needed to defeat austerity

How to trump Donald


 

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Related links:

Israel:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: George Floyd's Life Mattered - Mass anti-racist movement erupts

triangleIsrael/Palestine: Trump 'peace plan' promises further conflict

triangleInterview: protests over killing in Israel

trianglePalestinian solidarity demo

triangle'Traitors': Cold War cloak and daggers as capitalist powers spy on allies

Print:

triangleBook: The Making of a Liverpool Militant by Tony Mulhearn

triangleWarrington Socialist Party: The battle of Winwick Quay

triangleNew Socialist Party press

triangleObituary: John Sharpe: 1953-2016

Militant:

triangleMick Cotter

triangleHelp us continue to fight for workers and socialism

triangleCouldn't pay, wouldn't pay, didn't pay: the battle to defeat the poll tax

Labour:

triangleSocialism Today special issue: Lessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleBlairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

Palestine:

triangleTrade unionists and socialists opposed council adoption of IHRA definition of antisemitism

PLO:

triangleAntisemitism smears against Corbyn are battering ram of the right

Labour Party:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

Clause four:

triangleFight for a democratic, socialist Labour Party

Students:

triangleSchools... no going back until it's safe

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