A letter has been widely shared on social media, signed by a 90 year old Jewish doctor in Sunderland called Dr Sam Glatt and addressed to John Mann MP:
Dear Mr Mann, 18/10/2016
It is with a sense of deep distaste personally, and an even deeper concern for the future of our freedom of speech, generally, that I have viewed your recent antics. In my opinion, your behaviour appears both narcissistic and attention-seeking, in the extreme. Whether it is at a level at which one could view it as pathological, I am not sufficiently qualified to say, but it is my view that ‘the man on the Clapham omnibus’ may, reasonably, harbour suspicions.
Your ambush of Ken Livingstone, with pre-arranged media presence is a case in point. Any less reasonable man may have told you to ‘clear off’. Instead he tried, in a calm manner, to point out the historical evidence to support what he had said. His words fell on (your) deaf ears, for you, of course, had decided already that he ‘would float if you threw him in the river’ (the test applied, historically, vis a vis witchcraft). Cynical observers too, may, possibly, take the view that you are attempting, on behalf of others, to airbrush history, in the name of anti-Semitism.
Are you not aware of the potential of historical resonance here? Let’s, for the sake of argument, turn history on its head and assume that the Nazis had won WW2. You can imagine, can you not, that they would want to stamp out any reference to the ‘Final Solution’? After all, political opponents in actual historical fact had already gone to the extermination camps, along with the mentally ill, those with learning difficulty, Roma and the Jewish community. So, one might imagine that the Nazis might encourage the denunciation of those who would wish to speak the truth, as ‘Jew lovers’ and make them targets for ‘neutralisation’. Do you take my point? Thankfully, such a situation never came about, thanks to the sacrifice of over 400,000 people, including my own brother, (and many more from other nations) who gave their lives to preserve our freedom of speech.
Let me now refer to matters In connection with Jackie Walker, the former vice-chair of Momentum and with whom we share membership of the Labour Party. I do not wish to refer to the specifics of the matter as her appeal against suspension from the Party is pending, (although the issue of the circumstances of her ‘entrapment’ and ‘denunciation’, are deeply worrying to me). However, your comments that all Labour members who supported her “should be expelled from the Party,” which were reported in the media, absolutely appalled me. The implied ‘guilt by association’ is akin to the ‘fellow traveller’ accusations made during the McCarthyite era in the USA. Shame on you.
There seems to be a desire, on your part, to conflate (i.e. run together as if they represent the same meaning), the words and concepts of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. Or perhaps you are just confused? I never have been. To me anti-Zionism represents political opposition to a style of social and political expression stemming from a particular religious interpretation of Judaism. Anti-Semitism, on the other hand, refers to a dislike of Jews, which is rooted in the same xenophobic soil as other forms of racism. When this is openly displayed, we, in Britain have anti-discrimination laws, including those relating to hate speech. Now…the application of and efficacy of our legislation is a matter open for debate and is something you can, potentially, influence as an MP. Why then, at this present time, are you focusing your attention on the Labour Party?
That brings me to the issue of the political motivation for your actions. It has been suggested that your prime motivation, given your position on the right-wing of the Labour Party, is to attempt to undermine the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and all that he stands for. I was a committed and experienced member of the Socialist Medical/Health Association (affiliated) since 1946 and have been a member of the Labour Party since 1972, or thereabouts. As such, I find it difficult not to agree with such a conclusion, in the current circumstances.
No doubt your fairly regular visits to Israel (as a consequence of your documented links with organisations and individuals there) must be enjoyable for you on a personal level, but would not, surely, be sufficient incentive, in of themselves? No…. my view is that, to use military terms, you represent a sniper with a long range rifle, ‘softening up’ the enemy, causing confusion in the opposing ranks, picking off individuals and making people afraid of putting their head above the barricades. You are, however, in my view, waiting for your ‘General’ a.k.a. Tony Blair to come and rally the troops for a counter-offensive. I admire your loyalty to him, but would point out that he doesn’t have an awfully good record militarily. That poor record had quite a lot to do with the allies he chose, or was coerced by (in that regard it was interesting to see Mr Blairs’ presence, almost as if he were still a head of state, at the recent funeral of Shimon Peres, in Israel).
So there we have it….I have concern about the nature of your personal behaviour: I am a Corbyn supporter, and have great sympathy with the situation of Ken Livingstone and Jackie Walker, to whom I offer my solidarity: I am also not afraid to look to history for lessons and I view your actions as being ‘McCarthyite’ in nature: I refuse to conflate Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and I see through your cloak of justification and heap scorn upon your underlying political motivation…… So, please feel free to denounce me, though, I suspect, that you lack the moral and political courage to do so.
Throughout my 90 years, I have always held to a belief in the essential goodness of people. That belief has been severely tested in recent times, as I have witnessed your machinations and those of the Labour PLP. Today, the mere demands of day to day living tax me greatly, but with all the energy I can muster, at the age of 90 years, I offer you, Sir, unfortunately, not fraternal wishes, but my heartfelt derision.
Dr Sam Glatt MCRS LRCP MB ChB British, Socialist Jew. John Mann MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA Cc Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, email@example.com Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker
The letter was quickly endorsed by many anti-Israel activists, including Tony Greenstein and Michael Rosen.
John Mann called Dr Glatt to check that he did indeed send it.
Mann suggested he was the victim of identity theft …..
Here is Mr Mann’s report on Facebook
It seemed that:
- The identity of a 90-year old Jew was used in order to add credibility to an attack on John Mann;
- Moreover the writer of the letter dishonestly suggested that Dr Glatt wrote a deranged rant stating that Mann’s entirely correct criticism of Ken Livingstone was comparable to the Nazis suppressing reports of the Holocaust.
Update: Tony Greenstein then claimed that ‘Zionists’ pressured Dr Glatt into denying authorship of the letter.
Greenstein has now published a hand-written letter by Dr Glatt, suggesting that the first letter was a “joint effort” with Graham Martin.
So “Zionists” did not force Dr Glatt into denying authorship of the letter! ….
Although the saga may still be ongoing, the truth appears to be that a 90 year old Jew was cynically inveigled into signing the original letter, in the knowledge that this would generate more adverse publicity against John Mann than if the letter had simply been signed by Graham Martin.
How low can the Corbynite Israel haters stoop?