Friday, June 24, 2005


Martin Smith of SWP - Statement on Machover's position

We have now an official statement by Martin Smith of the Socialist Workers Party, which he wishes diffused in this and other venues.

----- Original Message -----
From: "martin smith" (email address)
To: Gilad Atzmon (email address)
Sent: Friday, June 24, 2005 10:15 AM
Subject: Statement on Moshe Machover

> Hi Gilad
>> I am writing to confirm the following.

>> 1. I never recieved any correspondance from Moshe Machover regarding the picket of Bookmarks or Marxism 2005.

>> 2. Secondly I can confirm that over the phone he told me that he had "no intention of supporting the picket of the bookshop".

>> Martin Smith>

Additionally, I myself had twice written to Mr Machover, requesting for him to clarify his position since there had been contradictions in the positions regarding his support of the picket and of the pulling of Atzmon from Marxism 2005.

The first letter:

Dear Mr Machover,
I have been carefully following the events surrounding the decision of a group of activists under the banner of "Jews Against Zionism" to demand the SWP pull Gilad Atzmon from appearing at the Marxism 2005 event in July and in determining the need to hold a picket against his appearance at Bookmarks.

During this time, I have gathered a series of conflicting reports on your view of this question, and I think it is only fair and correct to ask you yourself to state what your position is, rather than find statements attributed to you in internet and third person accounts. You will find a copy of one of them here:
I have compiled the discrepancies here:

I would appreciate your reply and will gladly publish on my blog any statement you wish to make, as well as to Just Peace UK, where this matter had blown up in the first place. I do believe that the public deserves to know your stand and that it be consistent, especially since there has been great divergence in what your stand precisely is.

Mary Rizzo

His response:

Dear "Mary Rizzo",
As you have already gone ahead and published in your website, and circulated by email, all sorts of "divergent" and mutually inconsistent rumours about my position, and have done so without first checking the facts with me, you have shown thereby that you are interested in gossip and scandal-mongering rather than in careful responsible factual reporting.
I do not think that after this you are now in a position to demand -- on behalf of "the public", no less! -- that I have any communication with you or contribute to your website.
M Machover

A second letter I had written to him:

Dear Mr. Machover,

In my many years of correspondence with persons, I have never before seen my name included in inverted quotation marks in the salutation. This is indeed very strange. Of course, I realise it is merely a modus to demonstrate disrespect and scorn, yet, in the unlikely case it is because you don't believe that I am indeed Mary Rizzo, I can assure you, it is the name I have always used and have never gone by any other, and I am the author of this email.

I can understand that you believe that the information, garnered from letters that were published on websites and other first person sources who claim a certain position do sound like rumours, although they do bear your name or were referred by the supposed recipient of such a letter. Yet, it is precisely the existence of versions which are at the antipodes of one another that was the reason why I had requested, and not "demanded" a direct response from yourself, so that the various versions which are in existence could in some way be verified by the person in question himself, and all "rumour" or divergences could be put to rest.

I had made an inquiry as to what your position was, and a letter was publicly diffused by Roland Rance, making the claim that you were the author and that you had sent it to the SWP. I was under the impression that the SWP had received no such letter and this had been confirmed for me. Therefore, since I do believe in public accountability, I find nothing peculiar in seeking to establish the true version, and the matter of requesting this information from you should be viewed as an opportunity for you to set the matter straight in a public forum, where the "rumours" could cease and you could clearly state if you had supported this picket or if you had not supported this picket, as well as the participation of Mr Atzmon in the convention in July. I think there is nothing so complicated in providing an answer to that question. Those who follow your activity are also entitled to know how and if you have stated your position.

You must realise that there are people following this case with interest, and not only on my blog, as it is indeed highly peculiar that some anti-Zionist have called upon a political party that they are not even affiliated with to pull another anti-Zionist from their platforms for speaking. It is also of interest that that they have acquired the support of you in this initiative, yet a different position of yours was communicated to Smith. It is natural that people are interested in knowing what your position is, and providing you with the opportunity to clearly state it was an invitation, and not a demand.

I make note that you have rudely refused to accept this invitation.

Mary Rizzo

His response:

Dear Madam,
I think I have made it clear that the right time to ask me for the facts about my position was before publishing and circulating unverified rumours and second-hand gossip.
Now that you have already circulated that material, I have no intention of lending you undeserved credibility by contributing to you blog.
I have no wish to have any further communication with you.
M Machover

I leave everyone to draw their own conclusions on this matter.



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