ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

November 2012
« Oct   Dec »



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)



Saturday’s socialist speak out

There is a ceasefire. It doesn’t, won’t and can’t address the fundamental issue – the fact that the logic and practice of Zionism and the state of Israel is the genocide of the Palestinian people.

The settlements, the concentration camp that is Gaza, the militarisation of the country, its massive weaponry, its incursions into and invasion of neighbouring countries, are all in the end driving by the logic of its expansionism and the need to drive the Palestinians off their land. Add in the desire of the US to have an attack dog in the most strategically important region on the globe for the US to both protect its interests and to destabilise the whole area and you have a powerful state armed to the teeth with an ideology of genocide. This means there can be no peace.

Peace can be found, not in agreements between the oppressor and the oppressed that leave the oppressor in control, but in the overthrow of the oppressor. That is not going to happen with a few rockets into Israel from Gaza. It is not going to happen with bits of paper about a ceasefire or even peace in our time.

As Matthijs Krul said in a post I published on the logic of Israel as a settler state, and drawing inspiration for the first stage of the Arab Spring, a revolution which has just begun and has many miles and roads to travel yet:

A single Palestine on the basis of secularism, democracy, and socialism would be transformed from a cornerstone of the capitalist-imperialist world order into a cornerstone of an emancipatory one. The prerequisite for this possibility is the defeat of Israel as a Zionist entity, the defeat of its inherent settler logic (and Zionism is historically just one example of settlerist ideology), and thereby the dissolution of its current social formation into one that is not irredeemably anti-emancipatory. There can be no ‘Zionist left’, no ‘liberal Zionism’, and so forth, for such propositions are incompatible with the practical logic of the settler state. The concept of Israel must die so that a Palestine may live for Jews and Arabs, Druze and Bedouin alike.

Pipe dream? Maybe. But look at the Arab Spring. Developments in Egypt, the mass of the people overthrowing Mubarak, the fracturing of the oppositon along variegated class lines, the demonstrations for Palestine, the demands being made on Morsi about support for Israel and opening the borders, the strikes, all point to a possible deepening of the revolution in Egypt. It is very early days yet but let us hope that one day we may be able to say that the road to Jerusalem did indeed run through Cairo.

In Australia, Julia Gillard continues to be dogged by questions about her past as a solicitor and sitting up a union fund for her then boyfriend. I had thought initially this was a beat up form News Ltd but now the ABC and Fairfax have joined in. I am still inclined to the view it is an attempt by Murdoch to undermine possible growing support for Labor and Gillard.

That growing support however appears to have stabilised at around 34% of the vote for Labor. That is much better than its previous low not so long ago of 26%, but still apparently a long way from government. The latest two party preferred vote gives the Coalition a 53% to 47% lead over Labor.

One of the reasons Labor is behind is its ‘me too’ policies. It is not surprising that on economics both Labor and the Opposition have near identical policies, with massive and manufactured debates over slight differences.

The history of Labor and its very nature is to adopt the dominant economic ideology of the time, in this case neoliberalism. This economic infestation has consequences for Labor’s social policy, and one fo the most obvious examples of this is in refugee policy.

Labor’s solution of sending asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island was bankrupt policy and is now being shown to be bankrupt practice.

The brave concentration camp detainees on Nauru have ended their hunger strike, but not before Amnesty International condemned the facilities and treatment at the detention centre.

Correction. The hunger strikes have resumed. In news just in from the Refugee Action Coalition NSW:

Nauru asylum seekers have renewed their hunger strike protest after rejecting the Nauru Foreign Minister’s proposal to begin initial interviews for the asylum seekers. More than 40 people in the last two days have joined the hunger strike from all the nationalities represented on Nauru –Iranian, Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghan and Sri Lankan.

Treating refugees badly is the whole point from the Australian government point of view; the badder the better in fact.

The failure of Nauru and Manus Island to stop the boats means the next step in this disgraceful saga is Labor out-Howarding Howard in its treatment of asylum seekers with the adoption of 5 year bridging visas with no rights to work, and relying on the community alone for support.

None of this will stop the boats because people are fleeing genocide, murder, rape, torture and war.  And it won’t make Labor more electable to those who want the ‘real thing’ – a Liberal Government – in power to ‘tun back the boats’. Why have a carbon copy when you can have the original?

All the time of course, while some workers are working themselves up in a lather over asylum seekers, the bosses and government are keeping them less well paid, working longer hours and more stressed.

That is, if they have a job.

Unemployment looks as if it is rising as the global economy refuses to burst into life despite all the trashing of the economy – yes, strange logic isn’t it? – in Europe and the US. China’s slow down is beginning to ring alarm bells here in Australia and the debate about the Asian Century and our role in it is one wider aspect of the search of the 1% in Australia for a secure and profitable place at the table of the global band of hostile brothers and robber barons.

Queensland is the mainland Australian state with the highest unemployment. Campbell Newman’s cutting and burning has worked a treat hasn’t it?

To have your say on these or other matters or to see what others are saying, hit the comments button under the heading. Like all posts on this blog, comments close after 7 days.



Comment from Gary
Time November 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm

Another good article John.

Yes indeed, “the concept of Israel must die”, and obviously the 5 million jews who live there must go. Back to Europe on a right of return, or to Obama’s Zionist funded USA, or maybe just a final solution for the Palestinians that will once and for all end their oppression? Maybe there’s a desert island they can all live on?

Of course peace cannot be found. It never can. Peace has never worked. I can’t think of a single modern conflict involving oppression where negotiation and peace has worked.

As you say, the oppressors must be defeated and to me, Iran has the answer.

Egypt is showing the way. It’s newfound freedoms for the masses from the overthrow of repression is a model for all of the middle-east. We can learn a lot from how Egyptians used might and power to get rid of that evil dictator and bring democracy and end capitalism in their country.

I was slow to see and understand this John. But I’ve been reading a lot and seeing things on the internet and I now conclude that only one side can win, and tragically, I agree, the Jews need to be gotten rid of. They caused this anyway.

Comment from John
Time November 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Perhaps if you read the article instead of pontificating about your own views and imposing what you think I am arguing on me I might respect something you say. But since you are full of lies about my views and misrepresent me, please keep posting on my blog so other readers can understand the paucity of conservative and pro-Zionist thought.

Comment from Kay
Time November 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm

No doubt you condemned the Holocaust. But now you are calling for the destruction of Israel. You are always calling for some ‘revolution’ or another – which is all well and good when you are in the comfortable safety of Canberra – but it is entirely different for those who would have to put their lives and liberty on the line.

As for the refugees – a recent report showed that the biggest increase in boat people are Sri Lankan economic migrants, the majority of whom do not belong to the Tamil minority that lost the civil war three years ago. In contrast, Afghani and Pakistani arrivals have slowed, and the number of Iranian and Iraqi arrivals has remained steady. So your claim that “people are fleeing genocide, murder, rape, torture and war” certainly often applies to illegal immigrants, but at the moment that description is not appropriate to those who are currently overwhelming the detention system. They are not seeking refugee status and are being sent home to Sri Lanka – as they should be. I just wonder what happened to those Sri Lankan illegal immigrants who seized a ship some time ago off the Sri Lankan coast, killed/threw overboard some crew members and ordered the captain, under duress, to take them to Australia. Hopefully they have been returned to Sri Lanka for trial.

Comment from Gary
Time November 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

John, I am not pro-Zionist. I used to think they were right but as I posted a week back, my niece is over there on a Christian mission and has been telling me many things I didn’t know before.

I have changed my views, so yes, while I may have argued before that I though the firing of rockets into civilian targets was wrong, zand that Hamas killed unionists and Fatah members and traitiors, I know longer think this is to be condemned outright.

I cannot for the life of me work out how my changing my views misrepresents you, but I have changed how I see the situation and if agreeing that the oppressors must be stopped at all costs is not your view, then I have really missed the whole shebang, haven’t I?.

My niece sent me some historical material and while I recognise that the Protocols of Zion is disturbing, to me it also has some truths in it. The murders, the rapes, the use of banking systems, the ownership of American politics – these are facts I wasn’t fully aware of until recently.

What I postulated was rather honest and direct. In war, one side has to win. Israel cannot win and therefore I am saying lets end this once and for all and do so quickly and directly.

I know many disagree, but the US ended the Pacific war in a week – the alternative was a long, drawn out campaign that military historians say would have claimed thousands more lives. I’m not saying the atomic bomb was right, but it saved a worse outcome.

That’s all I’m saying about the middle-east John; that Iran could end this conflict and that should be considered. Why not? Why not discuss a solution that removes the oppressors once and for all?

Comment from John
Time November 26, 2012 at 7:14 am

Because that too is genocide. The Protocols of Zion are anti-semitic busllhit and your posting this rubbish here indicates a troll. I will not be publishing any anti-semitic nonsense.