Letters

Submitted by AWL on 5 September, 2019 - 10:39

I was catching up on a backlog of reading material, and I was genuinely shocked to read in Sean Matgamna’s piece The Willsman Affair (Solidarity 509) that the Morning Star daily newspaper “actively foments antisemitism”.

This is a completely disgraceful comment and, as any reader or the Star will know fine well, is completely untrue. Sean should ether provide some examples of “antisemitism” in the Star, “actively fomented” or otherwise, or withdraw that comment completely.

Even Jim Denham, who seems to have a weekly column dedicated to sarcastic sniping at the Star, admits in Solidarity 503 that a Star’s editorial position on the subject included the words: “What appears to be undeniable is that no action has yet been taken against some individual party members whose comments about Jews or Israel are reprehensible, whether born of ignorance, prejudice or both.” (9.4.2019).

It is perfectly possible to hold the view that the antisemitism campaign whipped up by the right wing in the Labour Party and the Jewish Labour Movement is wholly exaggerated and aimed primarily at getting rid of Jeremy Corbyn as leader and fully accept there may be some antisemites in the Labour Party who if unwilling or unable to reflect and change should be removed.

There have been a number of excellent articles in Solidarity which have carefully and sensitively explained how opposition or even hostility to the actions of the State of Israel or to the State itself can either lead into antisemitism or be genuinely perceived as such.

Sean’s comment falls well below that standard. It is nasty, sectarian, offensive and untrue.

Andrew Northall, Kettering

Johnson’s move really a coup?

I’m a little uncomfortable with calling Johnson’s move a coup.

The Austria 1933 reference on our Workers’ Liberty leaflet makes it pretty clear we are talking about more than just a vernacular use of the word to describe a bit of a stitch-up.

We are very critical of people who call right wingers fascists or Israel apartheid, and I think we are right to insist on precise language in such matters. I don’t think Johnson is planning to permanently shut down parliament or bring about a dictatorship.

Presumably he is trying to scare and bully parliament into accepting a slightly polished version of May’s deal. Or failing that, crash out of the EU, never mind the consequences, and try to get a Tory landslide for Boris.

We should focus more on the principles: opposition to nationalism; freedom of movement; against borders; for working class unity and struggle.

Matt Dunn, Brighton

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