On 22 May, the Morning Star, newspaper of the rump-Stalinist Communist Party of Britain, printed a review of Colin Shindler's book Israel and the European left. The review included an attack in passing on the AWL, resulting in an exchange of letters. Not much comment is required: the attacks on us are clearly attempts to hide the real dividing lines on the left through political smear-tactics.
"Groups like the Alliance for Workers Liberty seem more concerned about defending poor little Israel," writes Steve Andrew (M Star May 22). This is straightforward political libel.
The AWL supports the Palestinians in their struggle against the Israeli occupation. We are and always have been completely clear on that - as even a cursory glance at our website will show.
Nor is our support "lip service." During the 2009 Israeli assault on Gaza, for instance, our students played a leading role in organising several protest occupations.
The same year we brought a young Israeli woman jailed for refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories over to tour Britain.
And at the end of 2010 we organised a solidarity delegation of young trade unionists and students to Israel and the West Bank, joining protests against the Israeli government on both sides of the Green Line.
We have a disagreement with those on the left who think the Israeli people have no right to self-determination and that Israel should be forced to dissolve itself - if necessary by external military force.
If Steve Andrew shares that view, he should state it honestly and attack our real position - not pretend we are supporters of the Israeli government.
Alliance for Workers Liberty
Sacha Ismail (We support the Palestinians as much as anyone, M Star May 29) is putting up a smokescreen by claiming to support the Palestinians but accusing some on the left of believing the Israelis don't have the right to self determination.
Ismail attempts to hide the real attitude of the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL), which anyone who sees them in action will recognise as supporting zionism.
Palestine supporters take the position that the zionist state of Israel must be dismantled, quite rightly given that zionism is a racist and elitist ideology.
Israelis have determined their lives and what they see as their future at the expense of the Palestinians.
They maintain that position by murdering and ethnically cleansing a whole people.
Occupation can only be maintained by force and therefore will attract resistance. Resistance that is legal under international law.
The actions of the AWL expose their true positions when they picket and leaflet in opposition to a Palestine Solidarity Campaign fringe meeting at NUT conference, as they did in Manchester about four years ago.
And when they attended a session at a conference of the Convention of the Left in which I presented a discussion paper on the need to talk to Hamas, they said I was lying.
I hope no-one is fooled by them saying they support Palestine and the Israelis - they want to confuse people and win them over on their policies.
There is no equality between the oppressor and the oppressed.
Sacha's reply to Linda Clair, printed 17 June. The full, unedited letter was as follows:
Given that her previous letters to the Morning Star include comparisons of the Israeli government to the Nazis and a protest against mentioning Israel's national bird (!), I'm not surprised Linda Clair's reply to me on Israel-Palestine (1 June) was so - I'm looking for a polite word - incoherent.
After some very general statements about occupation and oppression which she seems to think, wrongly, the AWL would object to, Linda claims we "picketed" a PCS meeting (we leafleted it) and that we accused her of lying about Hamas. Since she doesn't specify what the accusation involved, all I can say is that we regard Hamas as an utterly reactionary - anti-working class, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-semitic and anti-Israeli chauvinist - force. Why doesn't Linda stop dodging and say what she thinks?
Linda goes on to demonstrate with perfect clarity what is wrong with so much of "left-wing" opinion on Israel by singling out Zionism as racist - why more than other nationalist ideologies? - and treating all Israelis as an undifferentiated bloc, as if there no political or class struggles in Israel.
But perhaps most nonsensical is the claim that I was "putting up a smokescreen" by "accusing some on the left of believing Israelis don't have the right to self-determination" - an accusation she immediately goes on to prove by arguing that "Palestine supporters take the position" that Israel must be "dismantled".
I'd urge Star readers to revisit my original letter - Linda has amply confirmed my point.
Alliance for Workers' Liberty