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

Site menu:

January 2011



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


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)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Overthrow Palestine’s Quislings

The Palestinian Authority is a Quisling government, serving the interests of the occupiers and their backers, the United States. In Introducing the Palestinian Files Al Jazeera claims its leaked files will show:

  • the Palestinian Authority’s willingness to concede illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, and to be “creative” about the status of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount;
  • the compromises the Palestinian Authority was prepared to make on refugees and the right of return;
  • details of the PA’s security cooperation with Israel;
  • and private exchanges between Palestinian and American negotiators in late 2009, when the Goldstone Report was being discussed at the United Nations.

Ahmed Qurei, the PA’s former prime minister, proposed ‘that Israel annexe all settlements in Jerusalem except Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa).’ In the same report, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat remarks that they are giving the Israelis ‘the biggest Yerushalaim in Jewish history, symbolic number of refugees return, demilitarised state… what more can I give?’

The right of return is central to the Palestinian cause. The Zionists drove them off their land (ethnically cleansed them in today’s language) in 1948, in 1967 and years in between and ever since. There can be no compromise on this. However for the PA evidently there can, completing and accepting Zionism’s ethnic cleansing.

Another Al Jazeera report indicates Erekat ‘was willing to concede control over the Haram al-Sharif, or Temple Mount, to the oversight of an international committee.’  The site is sacred for both Arabs and Jews. 

Muslims cannot countenance any negotiating away of their third most holy site. It would be like Christians conceding that Bethlehem should become a Disney theme park.  

The complete capitulation of the PLO to Zionism is no surprise to the revolutionary left. The decision by Arafat to recognise Israel’s right to exist and to negotiate a peace settlement with Zionism in 1993 was in reality the surrender by the PLO to US imperialism and its armed wing in the region. 

It was and is the way of  defeat for the Palestinians battling against the apartheid and genocide that is Israel.

The revelations have shocked the Palestinian and wider Arab masses. Many had illusions in the peace process and Fatah, imagining it would produce something tangible for the oppressed.

Israel offered nothing to the Quislings. 

Despite all the Palestinian leadership’s compromises, sell outs and capitulations, Palestinians are no closer to a state than when the PLO began the long road of surrender. This is because Zionism, with the active support of the US for its own imperial reasons,  is about driving the Palestinians off their land completely and it will not rest until it has achieved that goal, or been stopped.

The imperialist peace project is dead. The Palestinian Authority has no legitimacy. 

But there is reason for optimism in the region. Hezbollah, as one force willing to confront imperialism and Zionism, may form or be instrumental in forming the next Government of Lebanon.

Even more importantly there is the magnificent revolution in Tunisia, an uprising of the hungry and poor against the world neoliberal capitalist order and an inspiration and lesson not just to the masses in other Arab countries but to workers in the developed world facing their own savage neoliberal attacks.

Since the overthrow of the US backed dictatorship in Tunisia, there have been demonstrations and strikes across the region – for example in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan. These are rebellions against neoliberalism and for freedom.

There are now reports that in Tunisia workers have set up workplace and neighbourhood committees to defend the gains of the revolution.

If true then this is an incredibly important step in the deepening of the Tunisian revolution and its potential to go beyond the bounds of bourgeois democracy and pose the question of working class revolution.

The cowardice of the local bourgeoisie and its intimate ties to US imperialism mean that it fears democracy and its own people. To be successful the masses will have to overthrow not only the ancien regime in Tunisia and all the other bloodsuckers in the region but the very capitalist system which denies them bread and freedom.

The Palestinians can dare to hope.

The overthrow of their own corrupt Quislings, feeding off the ferment in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa,  can then deepen and broaden the fighting spirit of the masses in the region.

The road to Jerusalem runs through Tunis and Cairo. 

The road to food and freedom runs through the workplace and local committees defending the Tunisian revolution.



Comment from Andrew Elder
Time January 24, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Quislings of the Americans or Quislings of the Iranians: some choice.

Comment from Peter Patton
Time January 24, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Er, there is no such thing as a “right of return” for the Palestinians, and there never has been. So, it’s a bit rich that there dopey negotiators think they’ve been so obliging by compromising on it.

This latest fiasco once more proves what a farce this whole thing is. Given the insanity of even thinking of giving these n’er do wells their own State, we have to start to planning for what to do with them.

Clearly, Jordan must take back the West Bank ones who were its citizens.

But the real problem is the Gazans. Of course, no State can be created there, as it would violate Israel’s right to secure and stable borders. But who is going to take that Gaza rabble? Nobody on earth would want them. It’s a tragedy.

Comment from John
Time January 24, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Except a right of return is what the Palestinians want, and rightly so since the establishment of the State of Israel was an act of genocide against them and a right of return redresses that.

Comment from John
Time January 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Or perhaps instead of being ruled by Quislings an expression of the will of the Palestinian people under the yoke of no foreign power but governing themselves, a la Tunisia.

Comment from John
Time January 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm

The Israeli Deputy PM was right from his point of view to fear democracy in the region and specifically in Tunisia because it challenges the whole imperialist project in the region.

Comment from Dave Bath
Time January 24, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I think the greater significance of the leaks is what it says about the insincerity of various parties to broker a peace required for security in, and outside the region.

Imagine a nasty legal conflict such as a messy divorce affecting third parties (the kids).

Party A (Israel) and friend (USA) : We seek a peaceful solution for everybody’s wellbeing.

Party B : You can have the house, the car, custody apart from every second weekend, 50% of all my future income…

Friend to A : Hell, look at all B is willing to concede, now how about being a bit more conciliatory yourself, make a few concessions, or even just accept B’s… not accepting this will only make things worse… think of the children.

No… this isn’t happening.

There are lies and hypocrisy all around, but some are worse than others.

Comment from Walter
Time January 25, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Let’s get some facts established here. First, the original border proposal for Israel covered an area with a few hundred thousand Arabs and the same number of Jewish people. It wasn’t America who drove the UN declaration John – that is n historical fact that many in the administration opposed it – it was mainly the UK, France, what was left of the German invaded countries, Australia etc. You are doing a Windshuttle by claiming it was a US dominated process.

The Arab league declared war on an independant nation and – if you will take the time to read the minutes of the Arab league meeting – they proposed carving up Israel and specifically ruled out a Palestinian state!

The fact is, the Arabs league refused to recognise the very same borders they are now demanding the UN enforce. And you deny a people the right to land 1/16 the size of what the Arab League enjoy and a 1/3 the size of Tasmania.

For 19 years (’48-’67) the Muslim states of Egypt and Jordan suppressed Palestinain statehood. Do you think if the 1967 war hadn’t occured there would be a Palestinian state now? I doubt that.

Over 700,000 Jewish people were expelled from Arab nations post 1948. No right of return for them?

Another fact is that many Palestinians fled to what they thought were friendly states -Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, where they were refused citizenship and forced into camps.

Did you know John that NO Palestinan in a refugee camp has been granted citizenship by Jordan, Syria or Lebanon, yet there are almost 1.5 million Palestinaian Israeli citizens? Inconvenient truth.

Finally, your point about Christians never leaving Bethleham – they have! If you were to go there, you will find almost all the Christians have fled from Palestinian aggression and that there are only a handful left in the birthplace of Jesus.

There are two choices facing the Palestinaians – Fatah and engagement with peace, or Hamas and violent Sha’ria Law which sees trade unionists executed, women stonesd, mentally ill used as suicide bombers, no education for women, forced marriages … I know whose side I’m on.

Comment from John
Time January 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm

So it is OK if the UN sponsors genocide? And you are on the side of Fatah, which has little support other than that of the Israelis and US. That’s good old fashioned western democracy for you – we’ll let you choose but don’t choose the wrong side. And of course the side you support Walter is full of war criminals and mass murders like Netanyahu and Obama. Hundreds of civilians massacred in Operation cast lead.

I support the Palestinians. And when the Arab masses throw off the yoke of dictatorship across the region,as they have begun to do, you and the rest of the rotten group who apologise for genocide will cower in fear before this new creature – democracy.

Inconvenient truth? I am for the Arab masses overthrowing the Western backed (and other, by the way) dictatorships in the region like those in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and so on. Which side are you on Walter? The dictators or the masses?

Your historical understanding is limited and perverse. The fact that the dictatorships in the region persecute the Palestinians doesn’t deny the genocide beign committted against them. In fact,as I have said before, the PLo should ahve taken power in Jordan in 1970/71. They had the chance. They didn’t.

Palestinians fled the Israeli slaughter. Deir yassin was on their lips. And what about that great Zionist liberator Menachem Begin, war criminal? Read Ilan Pappe on the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Comment from Walter
Time January 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm

John, can you name ONE Arab country where the citizens have freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to vote for different political parties, freedom to study a full range of subjects, freedom of employment.

Just one middle east country will do.

And while I understand your perspective thru your website, I cannot understand your blindness to the fact trade unions are banned in almost every Muslim/Arab country.

Whose side am I on? The side that, while hardly free from fault, murder etc (which country isn’t?), is the only country with thriving labour unions, multiparty electorates, a strong feminist movement, freedom to attack through a free press, free to use the Internet and twitter without being jailed, free to walk down the street wearing clothing of your choice, free to listen to rock and roll and watch a crap Hollywood movie if that’s your bent.

John, Sha’ria Law prohibts games. How can you support a concept that would outlaw Rugby League!!! C’mon, your beloved Dragons would all be arrested if Hamas had its way ….

Comment from juanR
Time January 25, 2011 at 5:44 pm

Well, long live Julian Assagne. He may just have unleashed the most insidious and detrimental (for the haves) of virus: a mania amongst media, exstaffers and others in suitable positions for leaking official documents which confirms our worst fears and shows that the so called “looney left” is not so looney after all. How wonderful and poetic!

Comment from Calligula
Time January 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Hey Andrew –
It’s Quislings of the Norwegians –
Or the geopolitical scenario that supported such being repeated somehow again is what scares the Poms and Seppos and etc..
The whole idea of causing eternal grief to the rest of the world is by way of preventing that.
Doesn’t matter cost or damage or grief – so long as some sort of ‘intervention’ stops the cat crapping in its own back yard.

Comment from Calligula
Time January 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Again Andrew –
But never forget that Quisling, by his own lights was a patriot.
Remember that our? history made him a traitor.
I reckon there are quite a few in the world now gnashing their teeth trying to work out whether they are Arthur or Martha let alone where their allegiance might best lie.

Comment from John
Time January 25, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Walter, the lack of democracy in the region is a direct consequence of US imperialism. I support the Arab masses in their current and forthcoming revolutions against dictatorship. Which side are you on?

Comment from John
Time January 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Tunisia, Walter, Tunisia. And in Algeria until the people got it wrong and elected a moderate Islamist group. And in Palestine until the people got it wrong and elected Hamas. And in Iran – not Arab but in the region – in 1953 when the people got it wrong and so the CIA got it right and unelected Mossadeq.

By the way I am using irony when i say the people got it wrong. Certainly from the point of view of US imperialism that is the case and what we are seeing being played out across the region is that the US fears democracy in the region. I don’t. I welcome it.

Comment from Walter
Time January 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Sorry John, it was actually the British anf French who first carved up the Middle East and created artifial and subservient states. The USA has only been at it since WW2, so let’s lay blame where it belongs – our wonderful English and French empires.

But I keep asking the same question of all my friends who support the Gaza Palestinains – do you also, ipso facto, support the banning of trade unions, women’s rights, free elctions and so on.

One cannot sit on a fence and say oh well, it’s US imperialism, so I will forgive the loss of liberty, freedom and rights of workers.

I honestly cannot understand this position. If someone supports the oppressed and the rights of workers, free elections and what we loosly call ‘democracy’, then what will your position be should Hamas gain control and rule a single state of Palestine.

It’s a vicious circle. then there will be blogs about the oppression of the poor Palestinaians by the imperialist US backed rulers and we go back to square one.

But John, you haven’t answered my question: can you name ONE Arab country where the citizens have freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to vote for different political parties, freedom to study a full range of subjects, freedom of employment.

These states are independent. You can’t say that their oppression is because of the US, that’s a cop out. They are dictators with armies and secret police and security forces. Syria is not a US puppet state. Nor is Iran. Qatar bans gays and Kuwait won’t let women vote. Why?

Comment from John
Time January 25, 2011 at 9:28 pm

You are obsessed with the wrong questions. I have actually answered your questions. Time and time again. I can’t help it if you are so blinded by your own narrow world view you can’t see the answers. I understand full well the history of the Middle East in terms of imperialism and before that colonialism. No need to lecture me.

In fact it is the US today as empire which supports the suppression of freedom in the Middle East. I support Hamas in its anti-imperialist struggle. I would be opposed to it on the ground in Gaza in uilding working class organisation. So what? What is your point? That the Arab countries are inherently anti-democratic? Unlikely since the US has to arm regime after regime int eh region – especially Zionism – to suppress the popular will.

Victory to the Arab masses and their fight for freedom and democracy against their dictators. The victory of the Tunisian working class in the Middle East if it continues opens up the possibility of a new way – not Islamism, or reformism, or dictatorship – but working class democracy. A new world beckons.

But people like Walter stuck in a bipolar world of imperialism’s making cannot understand the possibilities developing, of a complete re-writing of history as the Arab masses enter onto the stage of history.

Come on Lawrence, lift your game.

Comment from John
Time January 25, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Syria is not a puppet sate; nor is Iran. But you can’t understand them today without understanding how they broke from the man master and in one sense still dance to its tune. The ruling elite there are defined – or at est that section currently monopolising power are defined – by their opposition to the US.

The US used to have a complaint dictator incharge of Iran. They want to return tot hat status quo.
Read the history of the Iranian revolution. There workers began to organise in workers councils to run society – again offering a glimpse of a new world. The weakness of the left, in particular its stalinism, squandered an historic opportunity and delivered the revolution to the mullahs.
So come on Walter, stop dodging the question. Do you support the ‘enlightened’ dictatorships in the Middle East or not.

Comment from John
Time January 25, 2011 at 9:35 pm

By the way Hamas did actually win the elections but the US kept Fatah in power.

Comment from Peter Patton
Time January 25, 2011 at 11:20 pm

“the lack of democracy in the region is a direct consequence of US imperialism.”

Did you really post that? And if so, were you being ironic?

Comment from John
Time January 26, 2011 at 4:53 am

Yes. No. Democracy in the region threatens the imperialist project of controlling the area so vital to US interests and to being able to control possible competitors like China. Who supports most of the dictators in the region? The US. Why? Because they are their dictators.

As Tunisia shows the Arab masses want democracy – their local rulers and US backers don’t.

Tunisia shows a new way forward for the Middle East, or at least gives us a glimpse of that.

Write a comment