Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/901/22770
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 (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'.
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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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 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
The Socialist 11 May 2016 |
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