Socialist Worker

Letters—Support for Jeremy Corbyn and Chris Williamson from Palestine

Issue No. 2663

Chris Williamson speaking at Marxism Festival 2019

Chris Williamson speaking at Marxism Festival 2019 (Pic: Guy Smallman)


As Palestinians we see Jeremy Corbyn as our defender because we need someone brave, a prime minister that can say no to the US and to Israel.

Israel knows that very well, so it needs to stop him. Israel cannot bomb London—London is not Gaza.

Suppressed report reveals the horror of the Nakba
Suppressed report reveals the horror of the Nakba
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Assassination is not a possibility—he is not a Palestinian. But Israel can accuse him of antisemitism.

Israel is doing it and—I am sorry to say—is doing it openly and successfully.

Both the left and the right in Israel blame him.

There are four points to consider when looking at Chris Williamson MP’s suspension.

Firstly, Palestinians have a record of being against racism and against antisemitism.

Secondly, and most importantly, does the “accusing finger” point at Chris Williamson or at Corbyn?

The point is not just whether Williamson is antisemitic or not—and we don’t believe that he is—but that he is close to Corbyn.

Thirdly, the weakness of the British government ministers leads them to search for a victim in order to cover up their weakness compared to the strengthening of Corbyn.

Lastly, we must translate the reaction to Williamson’s speech as the search for anything that can stop Jeremy Corbyn. But for us Corbyn is a hope. He is the hope of the Palestinians, but he is also the hope of oppressed people and workers across the world.

Yousef Asfour

Palestine

He needs to be defended against the outrageous slurs from the media, the Tories and the Labour right.

I have to wonder why the Labour left have been so silent on this question.

Liz Osborne

East London


Winning in Hong Kong

Lam Chi Leung is correct about the strategic aims of the movement in Hong Kong (Socialist Worker, 10 July).

We can learn from how Hong Kong’s protests have forced chief executive Carrie Lam to retreat over the extradition bill.

The response of the main protest movement on 1 July to the storming of the Legislative Council by a minority of protesters was to declare that, “Between the eggs and the high wall, we will forever side with the eggs.”

This was embracing the young, and laying the blame on the government.

On 8 July there was another anti-extradition bill march to Kowloon to appeal to the tourists from the mainland.

After the main march had ended, groups of young protesters moved to Nathan Road, the heart of the shopping district in Hong Kong.

The police charged and made arrests.

But Carrie Lam was forced to reiterate that the bill is dead.

The return of Hong Kong to China in 1997 should be celebrated.

But the division in the minds of Hong Kongers and mainland Chinese is made real by the border agreed between the Chinese and British governments.

The movement has every chance of winning all its immediate demands if it continues to appeal to mainland Chinese and to target the business interests of the rich.

I think we can say, “No to the extradition bill. No to independence”.

Lawrence Wong

East London


Real action is needed now over racist pay gap

I was shocked by official figures last week that showed just how big the gap between the pay of white workers and others is.

The average pay of white British workers last year was £12.03 an hour.

This compares with £9.60 an hour for people of Bangladeshi origin and £10 an hour for those of Pakistani origin.

In many cases the “race gap” is not because people do different jobs.

British-born black African employees were paid 7.7 percent less than British-born white British with similar occupation and education characteristics.

Racism is disgustingly alive and well in the workplace.

The main response I have seen is that there need to be more pay audits in workplaces to reveal what’s going on.

We know the problem—we need action. And the trade unions should be leading it.

Rowshan Nemazee

West London


Special schools aren’t ‘social apartheid’

As the parent of a child with autism I feel compelled to respond to Nick Caitlin’s contribution (Letters, 10 July).

I agree with much of what he writes.

Trying to get your child an education, health and care plan, and the funding needed to meet their needs, can feel like an ongoing war between you and your local education department.

It can leave parents and carers bruised, battered and demoralised.

But, as someone who fought to get her daughter into a special school, I do not agree that such institutions are a form of “social apartheid”.

Nor do I think that bringing children into the mainstream environment is always the answer. We need both mainstream and special schools to be properly staffed and funded and to exist within easy travelling distance for all of our children.

Inclusion means providing schools that will allow our children to access as much of the curriculum as they are able on their own terms.

As my daughter, who crumbled in mainstream and blossomed in specialist provision, says, “Some people might be alright in mainstream schools, but some people aren’t.”

Rhiannon Cain

South London


Thanks for a great Marxism

Many thanks to all at the Socialist Workers Party for organising a fantastic Marxism festival this year.

Only 360 sleeps to the next one.

Dave Bridge

Liverpool


Voting for the few, not many

The current Conservative contest for prime minister is to be decided by 160,000 Tory members who are eligible to vote out of an electorate of around 47 million.

According to my maths this is 0.34 percent who are foisting a right winger on the disenfranchised 99.66 percent of the electorate.

If Labour was doing this there would be an outcry and accusations of a left wing coup.

Dave Taylor

Hampshire


Join bike ride for Palestine

The Big Ride for Palestine is an annual cycling event to raise awareness and support for the Palestinian people.

This year’s rides mark the fifth anniversary of Israel’s brutal bombardment of Gaza in July and August 2014.

They will also highlight the need to end the siege of Gaza.

There are three rides—London on 27 July, Manchester on 3 August and Birmingham on 7 September.

For more information and to register go to thebigride4palestine.com

Mike Barton

North London


We need more council houses

The Stop HDV campaign and friends had a robust presence outside Haringey civic centre in north London last week.

We lobbied the council’s cabinet over the proposed Red House development.

It would see the sale of council-owned land to a developer at a knock down price.

This proposal is for 46 council homes out of 88 dwellings in total.

But we need 100 percent council housing on council land.

Paul Burnham

North London


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