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John Passant

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August 2011
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Zionists and fascists unite against Palestine protests

Zionists in Brisbane marched side by side with fascists on Saturday. The two groups have seemingly made an alliance over their support for Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

Around 60 pro-Palestine activists took to Brisbane’s popular Southbank café district to protests outside the Israeli-owned Max Brenner chocolate store. Max Brenner has proudly proclaimed its sponsorship of the notoriously brutal Golani and Givati brigades of the Israeli Defence Force, which have carried out massacres of Palestinians.

The first sight we were confronted with as we marched towards the Max Brenner store was a hundred-strong contingent of Zionist counter demonstrators with megaphone-wielding members of the Australian Patriotic Defence Movement (APDM), a fascist organisation, on the front line. This alliance of fascists and Israel supporters then proceeded to spew forth a tirade of abuse.

The next day, these self-same APDM fascists assembled for the second racist rally that they have called in as many weeks in Brisbane’s King George Square. The same people who dared to accuse us of being Nazis and “holocaust supporters” the day before were revealed as actual Nazis at a demonstration where they claimed Muslims are ruining our “Australian way of life” and called for the burqa to be banned, spouting racist filth for hours, whilst proudly displaying the Israeli flag.

Contemptibly, the Zionist counter-rally on Saturday was given the full backing of the state, with the police giving them free rein to assemble. Meanwhile, the cops actively prevented our demonstration, for which they had issued a permit, from approaching the store and corralled us in a tiny space around the back of the venue.

The behaviour of the Brisbane police is entirely consistent with the actions of the Australian state which backs Israel to the hilt. The state has tried to silence the pro-Palestine campaign not only through lies, and accusations of anti-Semitism but also repression, as seen in the recent arrests of 19 activists at a demonstration against Max Brenner in Melbourne.

The rally took place at the end of a week of rabid campaigning by the media, the Labor Party and Liberal Nationals politicians in the Queensland senate. They have attempted to paint Palestine supporters as anti-Jewish and to discredit the campaign against Max Brenner by likening it to blockades of Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany.

On Saturday and Sunday, the real fascists were out on the streets and it was clear whose side they’re on – and who is supporting them.

The confidence the Zionists feel to defend an apartheid state is the confidence of those who know the establishment is on their side. Yet the fact that the Zionists have been compelled to organise a large mobilisation to defend Max Brenner and Israel also demonstrates their fear that the BDS campaign is bringing attention to the plight of Palestinians. They know that the thin veil of respectability that Israel and the companies that support it shield themselves in is being pulled away.

We must take heart from this and redouble our efforts in Brisbane to build a strong pro-Palestine campaign.

This article, by Rebecca Barrigos & Reeshan Yameen, first appeared in Socialist Alternative. As they noted there about a photo of the anti-BDS protesters, the same person on the megaphone on the left (at the anti-Palestine rally alongside Zionists) is also pictured the following day at an Australian Patriotic Defence League rally. He was one of a number of APDL members who attended and spoke at both protests. None among the anti-BDS protesters objected to the presence of these fascists in their ranks.



Comment from Leonore Thompson
Time August 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Mr Passant, I have trawled through your website and I level the following accusation: that you have no understanding of apartheid any have never been to either South Africa or Israel and have no idea what you are talking about.

I am a white person of no religious affiliation but have worked in both countries for health/aid organisations.

For apartheid to exist in Israel there would have to be a situation that closely resembled things in South Africa under the apartheid regime. Unfortunately for those who believe this, a weekend in any part of Israel would be enough to show how ridiculous the claim is.

The most obvious focus for apartheid would be the country’s 20% Arab population. Under Israeli law, Arab Israelis have exactly the same rights as Jews or anyone else;
Muslims have the same rights as Jews or Christians; Baha’is, severely persecuted in Iran, flourish in Israel, where they have their world centre; Ahmadi Muslims, severely persecuted in Pakistan and elsewhere, are kept safe by Israel; the holy places of all religions are protected under a specific Israeli law.

Arabs form 20% of the university population (an exact echo of their percentage in the general population). In Iran, the Baha’is (the largest religious minority) are forbidden to study in any university or to run their own universities: why aren’t you boycotting Iran?

Arabs in Israel can go anywhere they want, unlike blacks in apartheid South Africa. They use public transport, they eat in restaurants, they go to swimming pools, they use libraries, they go to cinemas alongside Jews – something no blacks could do in South Africa.

Israeli hospitals not only treat Jews and Arabs, they also treat Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank. On the same wards, in the same operating theatres.

In Israel, women have the same rights as men: there is no gender apartheid. Gay men and women face no restrictions, and Palestinian gays often escape into Israel, knowing they may be killed at home.
It seems bizarre to me that socialist activists call for a boycott of Israel and say
nothing about countries like Iran, where gay men are hanged or stoned to death. That illustrates a mindset that beggars belief.

Intelligent academics thinking it’s better to be silent about regimes that kill gay people, but good to condemn the only country in the Middle East that rescues and protects gay people. Is that supposed to be a sick joke?

I do not object to well documented criticism of Israel. I do object when supposedly
intelligent people single the Jewish state out above states that are horrific in their treatment of their populations. We are seeing the biggest upheaval in the Middle East since the 7th and 8th centuries, and it’s clear that Arabs and Iranians are rebelling against terrifying regimes that fight back by killing their own citizens.
Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs alike, do not rebel (though they are free to protest). Yet
you mount no demonstrations and call for no boycotts against Libya, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iran. You prefer to make false accusations against one of the world’s freest countries, the only country in the Middle East that has taken in Darfur refugees, the only country in the Middle East that gives refuge to gay men and women, the only country in the Middle East that protects the Baha’is…. Need I go on?

The imbalance is perceptible, and it sheds no credit on anyone who supports a boycott.

Comment from Wendy
Time August 31, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Don’t forget to paint a star of david on the shop window – helps identify ‘them’ come kristallnacht.

Comment from John
Time August 31, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I do actually call and participate in demonstrations for freedom in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia etc. Where were you ;Leonore when i was out the front of the Libyan Embassy, the Egyptian Embassy etc. Funny that. Nowhere to be seen. My comrades are one of the major groups in the Egyptian Workers Democratic Party. So you are spreading lies Leonore when you say I do not support those uprisings. In fact it is Zionism which fears the Arab spring, As to apartheid, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and the Council of South African unions have all described Israel as an apartheid regime. But i guess they wouldn’t know anything about apartheid would they Leonore, unlike you? Ignorant, and a liar. Sums you up Leonore, and sums up supporters of Israel apartheid.

Oh, and by the way, Leonore, the fascists are joining the Zionist anti-BDS demonstration in Sydney. It shows you the bankruptcy of Zionism that it welcomes anti-Semites and fascists into its ranks to repress a peaceful Palestinian movement for freedom.

Israel is the only country to exclude 5 million Palestinians from their homeland. If it is a democracy, it is like South Africa was, a democracy for the oppressor, not the oppressed.

Comment from Ross
Time August 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm

John you have to stop telling home truths because you are upsetting Leonore Thompson and Wendy.

Let the Palistinians rot beneath the iron grip of the ZionoNazi jackboots since they don’t count.They are an inferior race just like the Jews were in Nazi Germany and deserve to be exterminated.

Comment from Wendy
Time August 31, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Ross, I hope you contract that disease that makes your bowels fall out.

Comment from Ross
Time August 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Yep Wendy does not like the truth either.Hate fills her heart and the lies justify the hate.

Comment from Wendy
Time August 31, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Yes sir ee. Remember Ross, 9/11 was a hoax to destroy Tower 8, NATO invaded Libya cause Gaddafi was going to take over Africa, and there’s a world wide conspiracy to take your brain and examine it for traces of grey matter

Comment from Ross
Time August 31, 2011 at 11:04 pm

No Wendy it was WTC 7 not 8 that revealled the lies.You see Wendy, it was an impossibility for a 47 storey building to come down in 6.5 seconds as a mormal gravitional collapse.

For 3 sec it came down at absolute free fall.This means that the building had less integrity than a house of cards.No modern buildings before 911 or since have suffered this malaise.

No plane impacted WTC 7,only a few scattered fires existed.Larry Silverstein said that the building was too compromised and we needed to “pull it” Larry was later to deny this statment because he didn’t realise that to wire a building for controlled demo takes weeks.

WTC 7 was supposed to come down midst the dust and rubble of the Twin Towers.Something went wrong.

Weeks before 911 Larry Silverstein bought the leases for the towers and insured each separately against terrorism.He already owned the lease on WTC 7.

Larry knew what was about to happen like the 5 dancing MOSSAD agents who were arrested by the FBI filming the events of 911 and later released.

When interviewed on Israeli TV ,the MOSSAD agents admitted to being there and said,” Our purpose was to document the event.” This can be evidenced on youtube.

How did they know and why did they celebrate so?

Comment from Comrade Vissarionovich
Time September 1, 2011 at 1:18 am

Internationalist Trotskyites allied against an axis of Zionists/fascists, whom we are also led to believe are sympathizers of Adolph Hitler. It would indeed seem that interesting times make for interesting alliances!!

That aside, reading the website of the APDM (I’ll acknowledge that I haven’t before heard of their orgainzation) they seem more like a less genteel, Australian Version of the BNP, chock full of the sort of Nationalistic fodder that seems to be attractive to suburbian working class bogan & rural types (And if Ross is reading, they also indicate that they’d like to move back to a gold/silver backed currency. YAY!!)
I myself find their material to be gauche and personally wouldn’t associate with the group, but again, I certainly can’t imagine them attempting an Anschluss with New Zealand anytime soon, or something.
That aside, the claim that Australian patriot groups, however insulting their views may be to the sensibilites of Urban cosmopolitan types, are all rampant crypto Nazis, seems to be another eminent example of the usual ‘point-and-splutter’ type of rhetoric thats flung out by the far left, and that I highlighted in my last post.

Comment from Wendy
Time September 1, 2011 at 8:48 am

I’ve just shared your post Ross with my pals at work and they laughed so hard I reckoned there was pants wetting going on. Mossad, conspiracy, things you’ve read … riddle me this you Mensa Club member; is this just stuff you’ve read or were you there?

See, Like John P, all the folks do is recycle what other people have said. You were in Oz when this happend, right? Like 20,000 miles away, not in NYC? So you didn’t see it, did you, you saw it on YouTube, like Funniest Home Videos and America’s Got Talent.

Let me cut to the chase sunshine: experts 1000 – Fruit Loop nutters 0.

What’s your address Ross, I need to send you my old paperback of Chariots of the Gods. LOL

Comment from Leonore Thompson
Time September 1, 2011 at 11:45 am

Dear Mr Passant
For some reason I expected a more articulate and worthwhile response to my thoughful and rational input to your commentary.

Unlike you, I lived and worked in South Africa( and Israel, Jordan, Ethiopia and Kenya for a large NGO). I don’t need to quote someone on reality – and I have met Bishop Tutu in his church in Cape Town and seen his work – to understand how the evil regime of apartheid operated.

Apartheid in SA and Zimbabwe was unique. No other country on earth legislated such a racial divide. In Israel the Arab population is not barred from education, transport, entertainment, marriage, secular and religious activities, parliamentary representation or even teaching in their own language.

That is not to say repression does not occur – of course it does – but it so more apartheid than the racist attitudes I encounter in Australia or the southern states of America.

As an academic, I expected (god knows why) that you woudl engage on this issue with rigour and research. Calling me a liar and quoting Bishop Tutu is quite beneath the level one expects in a discourse on the most heinous of all regimes in post Second World War governance.

BTW, you may be interested in the totality of Tutu’s commentary on the middle-east as opposed to selective quotations and statements. You do this great man a disservice with your selectivity.

Comment from John
Time September 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm

What rubbish Wendy. The only fascists are those who commit genocide against Palestinians.The Zionists who in Australia march with fascists against us. I have had enough of your trolling. You are banned.

Comment from John
Time September 1, 2011 at 12:44 pm

So you come on to my site, call me foolish, accuse me of not supporting the struggles of the Arab masses, and then when I hurl a few barbs back at you go all ‘academic’ on me. Oh dear Leonore. Maybe if you stop calling me foolish, don’t lie about my positions, don’t accuse me of not supporting the struggles of the Arab masses (a struggle Zionism fears, as does US imperialism) then I might treat your views more genteelly. On top of your abuse of me, you then offer nothing new but merely repeat the lies of Zionism. I had expected more of a clever apologist for Zionism.

Comment from John
Time September 1, 2011 at 12:46 pm

I have told Ross before not to raise his delusional consipracy theories about 9/11 on my site. I ask again that he not do so.

Comment from John
Time September 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

The BNP is a fascist organisation.

Comment from John
Time September 1, 2011 at 12:59 pm

Two points. Palestinians in Israel are second class citizens. Spending on them for a range of basics is much less than on Jewish Israelis. Secondly 5 million Palestinians cannot return to their homeland. Zionism is an exclusivist doctrine like apartheid was. Apartheid had a limited democracy – for the oppressor. Israel has a limited democracy, for the oppressor which for historical reasons – the genocide of 1948 didn’t drive all Palestinians out – pays lip service to democracy for Palestinians in Israel. As I wrote in an earlier post, unlike South Africa which depended for its existence on a low wage economy , i.e. the labour of black workers, the difference is that Israel depends for its economic existence not on Palestinian workers but on US workers. It would collapse tomorrow without the economic and military support of the US. That means the solution lies elsewhere – the road to Jerusalem runs through Cairo which is why the Egyptian revolution is a key to the liberation of Palestine. The need for a second revolution in Egypt is clear to some there now, but whether they can gain a foothold in postglacial life remains to be seen. Certainly the anger many Egyptians feel about Israeli treatment of Palestinians, and the failure of the first stage of the revolution to deliver food and freedom, justice and jobs, makes for a volatile and unstable societal mix.

Comment from Leonore Thompson
Time September 1, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Thank you for your response Mr Passant.

My intent was not to label your views foolish or lies; however I wanted to discuss the uniqueness of apartheid as it was practiced in Southern Africa.

As I brought to the front, I was not defending Israel or any other nation, nor denigrating the Palestinian people. I provided aid to West Bank residents between July 2006 and February 2007 and was witness to the border checks, the impositions and army tactics.

That said, these were not solely applied to Arab people, but all people passing between the checkpoints, regardless of religion. They were offensive and degrading, but not unique to one group.

I take on board your points about US aid, and you correctly highlight that in Southern Africa black oppression was a critical aspect of apartheid. I would ask you to note that Palestinian Authority receives over $3.2 billion in foreign aid per annum, a not inconsiderable amount considering the population base. I can also report that residents of the West Bank have the highest standard of education and living of any Arab nation-state, bar Saudi Arabia (although one suspects their UN data is not accurate).

Permit me to reiterate my point, albeit one of definition. Apartheid by its meaning excludes a section of the population from participating in the civil, political, racial and governance of a country. In Israel, there is repression and oppression, as there is in every African and middle-eastern nation. Arab people can vote, be elected to parliament, marry across the religious lines, own property and businesses, practice their religious beliefs, travel and so on.

Under apartheid, these were denied to all people based on skin colour. The confusion here (and no criticism intended) is to relate oppression/suppression of nationalistic aims with a governance system based on colour or nationality (Jews are not a ‘race’ any more than muslims are, so there is no religious issue here). By definition, a state cannot be apartheid if all citizens can access the political, social and economic infrastructure.

Comment from MarianK
Time September 1, 2011 at 7:22 pm

John, Your website, your rules. And, before I continue, please let me say that I admire the work you do.

However, I agree with Ross, and his arguments are not ‘delusional’. They are backed up by a growing body of scientific evidence.

It’s physically impossible for two 110-storey buildings to collapse into their imprint in 8.5 seconds. No building has ever done this. Also, there was no reason for WTC 7 to be ‘pulled’, as it sustained no damage other than a few upper-storey fires from flying debris.

If you really want your socialist alternative future, please acknowledge that the impediment to this is not capitalist bogies who want to screw the working class – but rather the gullibility of the working class itself.

Comment from Ross
Time September 1, 2011 at 8:36 pm

John Please don’t ban Wendy ,she is great bimbo fodder.I want Wendy to grow another brain cell so she won’t feel so lonely.

I know the truth about 911 pisses you off but you are one of the few who will allow an alternate view on this subject.The truth scares the crap out of most people.

Alan hart who is a good friend of John Pilger admitted last yr that he knew in 2001 that 911 was a false flag event.To admit the truth these days makes you a lunatic fringe dweller.

I will debate anyone at any time on the crimes of 911,since the forensic science unlike climate science,has few variables and is irrefutable.

We are headed towards a Global totalitarian state.A few powerful elites who control and create most of our Western money have decided to create a New World Order of Global Govt that will not be elected by us.They will have the power like Hitler to decide who will live and who wil die.

The Third Reich did not not die,it just changes venues.

With the advancement of computers and robotics,humans are no longer needed in production.Environmentalism is being used to justify a global fascist state.

Comment from John
Time September 1, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Two things. 9/11 conspiracies are completely without foundation. Second Wendy is too good a fool to ban. I agree. But comments about Kristallnacht when the Zionists are marching with fascists is beyond the pale. (And yes, I know where the phrase comes from.) The comment on its own is an insult to all those who fought and all those who died at the hands of fascism. But typical of Zionists who use any fake historical analogy to hide the reality of their oppression of Palestinians.