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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. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (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
(0)

Sick kids and paying upfront

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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. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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Saturday’s socialist speak out

So why doesn’t Obama order air strikes on Tel Aviv to stop the Israeli genocide in Gaza?

Dear Benjamin, Stop bombing Gaza, Love Obama

An answer of sorts: It was not in the interests of the US to attack an ally who performs a valuable destabilising function in the Middle East and occasionally acts as its attack dog. It is, so the realists in Washington think, in US interests to attack ISIS under cover of humanitarian aid.

Leunig

I am opposed to humanitarian aid as cover for imperialism. The fact Obama has done nothing to stop the genocide in Gaza while pretending to do something about Syria shows that US imperialism acts in its own interests.

What can we do to stop the genocide against Christians in Iraq and elsewhere?

Build an effective anti-war movement at home that stops our ‘leaders’ joining the invasion of [fill in country here] Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam …

Understand that the rise of ISIL has its roots in the decision of US imperialism to invade Iraq and its impetus in the defeat of the Arab revolutions and the rise of reaction. The problem is imperialism.

Build Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions in Australia against Israel. Israel is the armed wing of US imperialism in the region and a defeat for it is a defeat for the United States and its stranglehold on the Middle East.

Support the Arab revolutions against, in the main, US backed dictators. The triumph of reaction in Egypt, supported by the Americans, has made possible the genocide going on right now in Gaza.

Welcome those to our shores fleeing genocide.

Ultimately this all means building a working class movement to overthrow capitalism.

The EU, until yesterday, sold $15 bn worth of dairy products to Russia annually. Now that Russian imperialism has retaliated to Western imperialism with its own sanctions, guess where the EU will look for markets? Yep,  Asia. At best their turn to Asia will drive down already falling prices for Australian and other dairy products. At worst it will close markets for Australian dairy products. Another win for the geniuses at ‘Team Australia’.

Speaking of ‘Team Australia’ (surely the movie can’t be too far away?) what government needs a Science Minister when you’ve got Eric ‘breast cancer’ Abetz, George ‘metadata’ Brandis and Tony ‘climate change is crap” Abbott?

Meanwhile back in genocide central this image of the Israeli buffer zone shows the further dispossession of the Palestinian people, ie genocide.

According to the report with this image:

44 % of Gaza has been taken by the Israelis; they call it a ‘buffer zone’, and they have expelled the people from that region into the remainder of Gaza. The population of [one of] the most densely populated place on earth has been crammed into an even smaller space.

Here is a link to a report by Fairfax Middle East correspondent Ruth Pollard on the destruction Israel has unleashed.

And here is #gazaunderattack with a video of the destruction. As they write:

Day one of ceasefire:

I woke up extremely exhausted, I had nothing in my mind but one idea, to go out, see what’s left of Gaza. I called a friend of mine, we met, started to check on some of the neighborhood where massacres took place, It was catastrophic,disastrous, I was shocked, mesmerized, traumatized.

Demolished houses, complete neighborhoods.

I am just speechless, I shall let you watch what I had recorded, this place is as far as i can get, I would be risking my life if i went any further ..

#GazaUnderAttack

Opinion writer Mike Carlton resigned from was effectively sacked by the Sydney Morning Herald for writing an article pointing out the creeping fascism (Israeli writers’ words, not his) of Zionism and its state and majority population. His case wasn’t helped by a drawn image of an old Israeli man cheering the bombing of Gaza, an image which stereotyped the old man with a big hook nose and clearly invited accusations of anti-Semitism.

He snapped after 2 weeks of Zionist trolls and told them to fuck off, among other things. This provided a convenient excuse for Fairfax management to manoeuvre to get rid of him. The lesson? Don’t criticise Israel. It was a victory for the Zionists and their many ruling class supporters.

Perhaps a better image might have been an actual photograph of Israeli citizens cheering the destruction of Gaza, one like this one for example:

Back in Australia unemployment jumped from 6% to 6.4% as more people looked for work. Team Abbott had no solutions except to blame Labor.

And have senior minister Eric Abetz go on prime-time TV and claim studies from as far back as the 1950s showed a link between bartion and breast cancer. There is no evidence for this but the festival of hate Abetz is going to attend later this month, and for which another senior Minister Kevin Andrews is the global ambassador, is promoting this, as well as bashing gays and women.

The trouble Abetz got into shows that the 1950s social agenda of the white picket fence, family of happily married couple and kids, no gays or abortions, rampant racism and open discrimination is not cutting much ice with voters.

Either were proposals to amend the racial discrimination Act to allow bigots their right to be bigoted, according to Attorney General George Brandis. Abbott made the captain’s call to dump the proposed amendments to get everyone onside with Team Australia and imprisoning people for visiting Iraq or Syria (but not, of course, Israel).

George Brandis, is introducing even more draconian data laws to spy on citizens. He made a complete fool of himself on national TV trying to explain metadata.

The situation was so desperate that Abbott had to send out the one adult in his Cabinet, leadership rival Malcolm Turnbull, to calm the horses and explain what metadata was and what Brandis’s new security laws were actually about.

I thought Sir Humphrey Appleby did a pretty good job explaining meta to the world, at least compared to Brandis.

‘That’s not true,’ I replied, before Humphrey could screw things up further. I explained that the chemical in Seveso was dioxin, whereas this is metadioxin.

‘But,’ she asserted, ‘that must be virtually the same thing.’

I assured her that it was merely a similar name.

‘But,’ she insisted, ‘it’s the same name, with “meta” stuck on the front.’

‘Ah yes,’ I agreed, ‘but that makes all the difference.’

‘Why?’ she asked. ‘What does meta mean?’

Of course, I hadn’t the slightest idea. So I was forced to ask Humphrey.

‘Simple, Minister,’ he explained. ‘It means “with” or “after”, or sometimes “beyond” – it’s from the Greek, you know.’

Then he went on to explain that metadioxin means ‘with’ or ‘after’ dioxin, depending on whether it’s with the accusative or the genitive: with the accusative it’s ‘beyond’ or ‘after’, with the genitive it’s ‘with’ – as in Latin, where the ablative is used for words needing a sense of with to precede them.

Bernard added – speaking for the first time in the whole meeting – that of course there is no ablative in Greek, as I would doubtless recall.

I told him I recalled no such thing, and later today he wrote me a little memo, explaining all the above Greek and Latin grammar.

However, I hoped these explanations would satisfy Joan Littler. And that, like me, she would be unwilling to reveal the limits of her education. No such luck.

‘I still don’t understand,’ she said disarmingly.

Humphrey tried snobbery. ‘Oh dear,’ he sighed, ‘I should have thought that was perfectly clear.’ It never works.

Her eyes flashed. ‘What I insist on knowing,’ she stated, ‘is what is the actual difference between dioxin and metadioxin.’

I didn’t know, of course. Humphrey sailed into the rescue. ‘It’s very simple,’ he replied grandly. ‘Metadioxin is an inert compound of dioxin.’

I hoped that that would be that. But no.

She looked at me for help. I, of course, was unable to give her any. So I looked at Humphrey.

Um, Humphrey,’ I said, bluffing madly, ‘I think I follow that but, er, could you, er, just explain that a little more clearly?’

He stared at me, coldly. ‘In what sense, Minister?’

I didn’t know where to start. I was going to have to think of the right question again. But Joan said: ‘What does inert mean?’

Sir Humphrey stared at her, silently. And in that glorious moment I suddenly realised that he had no idea what he was talking about either.

‘Well,’ he said eventually, ‘inert means that . . . it’s not . . . ert.’

We all stared at each other in silence.

‘Ah,’ said Joan Littler.

‘Ah,’ I said.

‘Wouldn’t ‘ert a fly,’ muttered Bernard. At least, I think that’s what he said, but when I asked him to repeat it he refused and fell silent.

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

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Comments

Comment from Kay
Time August 9, 2014 at 8:03 am

“What can we do to stop the genocide against Christians in Iraq? Build an effective anti-war movement at home that stops our ‘leaders’ joining the invasion of…… Build Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions in Australia against Israel.” A terrific solution, may I say! They’d all be dead by the time your solution produced any results! I’m sure these poor Iraqis would appreciate your solution!

And typical of socialists. A humanitarian crisis occurs, the rest of the world sits on its hands, the US responds by dropping food and water, and trying to keep ISIS’s murderous thugs at bay by patrolling the perimeter around the Christians and Kurds, both groups having been threatened with genocide by ISIS, and the socialists shout “American imperialism”! You choose to ignore the fact that the US is also sending humanitarian aid to Gaza:

http://news.yahoo.com/us-send-47m-humanitarian-aid-gaza-strip-205105077–politics.html

Is that “American imperialism”, too?

And may I suggest that Israel is only responding to Hamas’s attacks on Israel. It is hardly Israel’s fault if Hamas has made no effort at all to protect the citizens of Gaza – they have done quite the contrary. It is left to the UN and volunteer organisations to mount any attempt to protect the citizens, and help those affected by Israel’s missiles. And it is amazing how few Hamas fighters are being killed – they have places to shelter in. Israel has protected its citizens with its ‘Iron Dome’, and does everything it can to intercept suicide bombers. The fact that Israel has suffered far fewer casualties is due to Israel’s own efforts, in spite of Hamas’ constant attempts to kill Israelis.

It appears the US is trying all it can to stop the bloodshed:

http://news.yahoo.com/un-us-press-gaza-truce-efforts-death-toll-111110177.html

Comment from Interested Bystander
Time August 9, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Let me understand this John.

You will sit by and let 50,000 Christians be massacred because you oppose using foreign aid and intervention when it comes with the strings of US imperialism?

But you suggest bombing Tel Aviv, home to hundreds of thousands of Arabs, Bahai and Christian because what, a few thousand people die in a war prosecuted by a banned terrorist organisation?

You say nothing when Hamas broke the truce; or that Hamas’ leader has admitted to having$4.3 million in European banks and his children attend private schools in Europe while Palestinians are denied higher education?

You saying nothing when the UN reveals that cement and building supplies provided by Israel were used to make tunnels for terrorist attacks – not build infrastructure for their people?

Why should 50,000 innocent people be left to die because people like you have bizarre ideological opposition to everything American?

Not everything the US does is bad; or what Arab militants do is good. The real world isn’t black & white, it only appears like that from the safety of the suburbs.

Comment from frombosnia
Time August 9, 2014 at 12:38 pm

As a socialist I am against American imperialism or any other one. Yes, American imperialism created the present mess in Middle East and the bombing of Isis’s forces is a part of protecting American interest (imperialism) but I am supporting bombing Isis’s forced to a submission in any pretext if that means saving a few lives of Christians or Muslims civilians, as I supported NATO bombing of Serbian army (which should be recognized as national-Nazi Serbian army and should be bombed 4 years earlier) positions around Sarajevo or through Bosnia as I also was aware of American and other NATO countries involvement in a destruction of Yugoslavia. Isis’s forces or any other army force involved in a deliberately killing of civilians should be stopped by actions of UN and some special UN forces ( which obviously will never exist) and now we have American, NATO ( why not Chinese or Russian, why they not send few plains ??) and if they do sometimes right they should be supported.

Comment from John
Time August 9, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Let me understand this Interested bystander. You will sit by as the genocide of Palestinians continues.

My plea was not to bomb Tel Aviv but to point out the selective humanitarianism involved.

I am not sitting by letting 50000 Christians die. I worked hard to build an anti-Iraq War movement here in Australia to stop the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq and prevent just these kind of disasters. US involvement doesn’t prevent them; it worsens them. Western intervention is always done for reasons that have nothing to do with humanitarianism.

Comment from Interested Bystander
Time August 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm

John, I agree in part. But first, let me point out that it was France and England who carved up the middle east long before America came along and fucked it up.

Here’s my dilemma. The US was wrong to invade Iraq, I totally agree; but who would have saved the 200,000 Kurds from Saddam? My view is the Arab League should be there to defend Arabs, Kurds etc, but they are too busy waging sectarian warfare.

You pick sides John and make out US is bad, Hamas and their ilk are good. Reality is different. You stand up for a people who execute gays; who ban the right to collective unionism; who deny women the right to higher education and to run for parliament; who have no judicial system and no right to a fair trial; who use UN relief funds to buy weapons and kill civilians.

I don’t understand this.

Israel isn’t right, but you support an extreme banned terrorist organisation who would shoot you on sight for the views you hold.

Try going to Gaza and publicly advocating for same sex marriage, free press, free elections, unionism, freedom to practice other religions … or a negotiated peace with Israel. All are punishable by death under Hamas.

You may also want to revisit your genocide claims. Turns out over 700 Palestinians have died from their own rockets and/or assassination. 30 civilians protesting against firing rockets from their neighbourhood were murdered during the ceasefire.

I see no condemnation of summary execution without trial.

Comment from John
Time August 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm

In a battle between the oppressed and the oppressor I support the oppressed. As the article on Hamas I posted yesterday explains I support the Palestinians in their battle against their oppressors, the Israelis. I don’t suport ISIS. I just don’t think US bombing them is the answer to beating this group of reactionaries.

Your view of genocide is pretty narrow and hence incorrect. The 1900 palestinian deaths, mostly women and children, are part of a 66 year campaign of genocide conducted by Israel, a dispossession of Palestinians from their land. The 3 km buffer, the dead, the blockade, the destruction of basic infrastructure, are all part of that project of genocide, of driving Palestinians from Palestine. The current invasion is but the latest iteration, the latest step, the latest example of that genocide.

Comment from Interested Bystander
Time August 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm

John, you are obviously a smart and educated man with views many admire and agree with, so it is rather upsetting that in describing this conflict, you keep using a specific term – genocide – that has set definitions and consequences.

You are equating the premeditated and systematic extermination of millions of people with a regional conflict that has claimed few lives.

Let me be clear here – forcing people from their land is not genocide. An invasion is not genocide. Bombing houses and infrastructure is not genocide.

Why do you ignore this?

There were 700,000 Palestinians 60 years ago, there are now more than 2 million.

Your argument is that Israel, a nuclear armed country with a standing army of hundreds of thousands, with a navy, air force and elite units has, in 60 years, managed to kill about 5,000 people in a genocide?

If that is your position, then the 25,000 Israeli’s who have died in five wars started by the Arabs … that must be the apocalypse!

More Israeli’s have died in war since 1948 than Palestinians. Ipso facto, the Arabs are committing genocide against the Jewish state.

I am using your logic … five wars, threats to exterminate, trying to drive the Israeli’s from their ancestral and spiritual homeland, the use of terror, suicide bombs, the slaughter of teenagers, the murders of families.

This isn’t a defence of Israel or its war. But you bandy about these terms without even referencing the UN definition or even recognising that no country, bar the extremist Arab ones, have ever labelled Israel’s actions genocide.

I ask that you read this week’s news about Pol Pots men who were found guilty of crimes against humanity and respond by telling your readers why you categorise the 2 million deliberately exterminated by Pol Pot with a few thousand killed in a localised war.

Comment from Kay
Time August 9, 2014 at 5:34 pm

John

Interested Bystander has made some excellent points.

Both of us have questioned your “solution” to the thousands of Iraqi Christians currently dying of thirst and starvation after having been driven out of their homes by ISIS. It sounds like you have no solution that saves their lives! Only the US is doing that! And yet you condemn the US! Appalling!

It hardly helps these people for you to just keep repeating over and over again your simplistic socialist mantra – which cannot be applied to these complex situations. Who are “the oppressed” – who are “the oppressors”? The Middle East situation is far too complex for these simplistic labels!

We all know that neither Israel nor the US are above reproach in the way they have conducted themselves over time, but may I suggest the Arabs are even worse. Fanatical Islam is a curse on today’s world.

Comment from John
Time August 9, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Interested bystander says: ‘Let me be clear here – forcing people from their land is not genocide. An invasion is not genocide. Bombing houses and infrastructure is not genocide.’ This assertion of yours is clearly untrue. These are clearly genocide. I suggest you read the relevant UN conventions, or even the Bringing them Home Report here in Australia which described the stolen generations as genocide.

for the third time I refer you to the article I posted called why what is happening in Palestine is genocide. https://enpassant.com.au/2014/07/18/why-what-is-happening-in-palestine-is-genocide/

here is a quote:

Lemkin states:

“Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation… It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves. The objectives of such a plan would be disintegration of the political and social institutions, of culture, language, national feelings, religion, and the economic existence of national groups, and the destruction of the personal security, liberty, health, dignity, and even the lives of the individuals belonging to such groups.”

Further

But more than that, the legal meaning of genocide and Lemkin’s definition specifically say that physical killings don’t have to occur. So in the case of the Aborigines, the very policy of assimilation was genocidal. Assimilation was about eliminating the race by “peaceful” means.

Genocide is defined in Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical,racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to
members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

What is happening right now in Gaza clearly fits that definition and what has been happening to the Palestinians since the rise of Zionism and then the establishment of the genocidal state of Israel is genocide under that definition. If your mind cannot accept the UN definition because your politics drive you to deny the genocide Israel is carrying out, then there is little point in discussing the issue further.

Comment from John
Time August 9, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Why is the situation of Iraqi Christians any different to the 1.3 million trapped in Gaza, the millions trapped in Sri Lanka, etc etc about which our rulers do nothing. In fact what this highlights is our powerlessness and their abuse of humanitarianism to continue the brutal system that is capitalism and their own State’s positions within it. Capitalism is brutal. We can’t solve the problems till we get rid of capitalism.

When a modern US backed army is killing thousands and destroying their ability to live then it is pretty clear who are the oppressed and who are the oppressors. When viewed in the historical context of the long slow Israeli genocide of Palestinians it is even clearer.

Comment from Interested Bystander
Time August 9, 2014 at 9:34 pm

North Queensland Cowboys 64, Wests Tigers 6.

Is that genocide? They destroyed them.

Honestly John, you’re a smart man. You’re an academic. Israel could wipe out Palestine this evening.

Kay is right; you offer only bland ideology about the fate of tens of thousands and yet lead boycotts and condemnation over a regional skirmish that has a death toll that’s not much different to Australia’s road toll.

Comment from John
Time August 9, 2014 at 9:38 pm

interested Bystander, I’d say it is not much different to Australia’s genocide of Aboriginal people. View it as a process. But I guess your denial of inconvenient facts like the UN convention defining genocide as including driving a people from their land is driven by the outcome you seek rather than the reality.

To compare a football game to the murder of 2000 Palestinians, the destruction of the infrastructure in Gaza and the creation of a forced uninhabited 3km swathe through their territory is beneath contempt.

Comment from Kay
Time August 10, 2014 at 7:16 am

John

“Why is the situation of Iraqi Christians any different to the 1.3 million trapped in Gaza, the millions trapped in Sri Lanka, etc etc about which our rulers do nothing.” This is untrue. The US has given very generous humanitarian aid to Gaza – just as it is dropping food and water to the fleeing Christians. In fact, the US appears to be the only country that is really trying to help with both issues by providing humanitarian aid and trying to push for a ceasefire and a political solution. All the socialists do is yell and scream in protest marches – not much help really when compared with the US effort.

Hamas is not going to give up until the blockade of Gaza has ended. Then it will be free to import all sorts of weapons and really attack Israel in accordance with its Charter. Israel would be suicidal to agree to that. Interested Bystander has made some good points about how Hamas looks after itself at the expense of the Palestinians.

Comment from John
Time August 10, 2014 at 8:24 am

Kay, the US supplies Israel with billions in military and other aid to oppress the Palestinians and then gives a pittance to help Gazans survive. The best humanitarian aid it could give to Palestine would be to stop funding the terrorist state that is Israel.

Comment from Kay
Time August 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Well, I guess that is where we disagree. I see Israel as a small nation surrounded by militant larger nations, most of which are committed to Israel’s destruction as a nation. And, to make things worse, these surrounding nations are dominated by a religion that does not tolerate other religions at all, not even other Muslim sects – as can be seen all around the Muslim world. No wonder Israel takes its defense capabilities so seriously!

If Hamas had more arms at their disposal, they would be far more murderous than they are at present. Israel could completely take over Gaza if it wanted to, but clearly it only wants to keep Hamas at bay. It is interesting that most of the press allowed to broadcast from Gaza do not show footage of missile launchers next to schools, and between houses. This footage exists, and can be seen in the occasional TV report, but it has to be smuggled out of Gaza lest Hamas twigs to it.

Comment from Interested Bystander
Time August 10, 2014 at 2:24 pm

John
I appreciate your views and also the forum to allow an exchange, but here’s my problem with your position:

If you always support the oppressed, then don’t you end up in a cycle whereby sooner or later you are opposed to the very people/group you once supported.

As a tireless anti-apartheid activist you have done a lot here in Australia to bring attention to the SA and Rhodesian abominations.

Yet, having thrown out the evil, racist dictatorships and opposed the white government, we now have corrupt governments, and in Zimbabwe’s case, a cruel dictatorship.

The cycle is this – overthrow Ian Smith’s oppressive dictatorship because you support the oppressed; then overthrow Mugabe’s oppressive dictatorship because the once oppressed are now the oppressors.

Egypt is a more current example. Mubarak was the oppressor, so I assume you supported the oppressed in Egypt and the Arab Spring movement that removed him? But the Muslim Brotherhood was just as bad, so I am also assuming you would have supported their removal as they oppressed millions of Egyptians with their hard-line fundamentalist repressions.

Now Egypt has another military dictatorship which I guess needs to be removed too.

So my question is this. I understand your views on Israel and that you see them as oppressors. But it’s one thing to oppose an oppressive regime, but it’s another thing to support an ‘oppressed’ people who, if given licence and power, would do worse than is being done to them!

Hamas have said, as recently as this week, that they want to wipe Israel out and kill all the Jews.

If Hamas was to win this war and retake the land called Israel; and in doing so they imprisoned, murdered and oppressed the Jews and restrict their rights of movement, speech, religious practice, collective unionism, sexual identity and women’s rights … would you support them as oppressed people?

This is a critical and a most fundamental question John as it goes to claims about anti-Semitism and the current conflict.

If the situations are reversed, as they would be if Sharia law was imposed on the Jewish people (and we’re seeing in Iraq with 50,000 Christians facing death), would you stand up and rally for the oppressed Jews, or think the Palestinians would be justified?

I look forward to continuing this discourse.

Comment from Kay
Time August 11, 2014 at 5:23 am

Interested Bystander

I very much appreciate your contributions to this blog. Always polite, always logical, always informed, but always challenging. In my view, such exchanges of view are the essence of intelligent debate, and should be encouraged. I hope you continue to contribute over time.

Your comment re the dilemma of the “oppressed” subsequently becoming the “oppressor” is one that I have raised before, and is an issue that continues to puzzle me. I wonder whether this constant pro-“oppressed” stance is politically motivated by a very small socialist party hoping to gain supporters from those who feel victimised at any one time – in other words, primarily a recruiting tactic?

Comment from Kay
Time August 11, 2014 at 5:50 am

John

No doubt you (and especially Chris) will be pleased to hear that I am heading off this week to spend over 6 weeks in Canada and Alaska. So one annoying blogger less for a while!

Comment from John
Time August 11, 2014 at 6:43 am

Not at all. Enjoy your holiday ortrip.

Comment from John
Time August 11, 2014 at 6:52 am

Those who half make a revolution dig their own graves. I think Mandela realised this in the last few years of his life. Some elements in Egypt are learning that. The resistance of Palestinians including Hamas, is a national liberation stuggle, not a socialist one. However the success of the resistance weakens Israel and US imperialism in the region. The liberation of Palestine won’t come through Hamas or Fatah ruling all the state of Palestine, Jews included.

It won’t happen for a start. The Palestinians do not have the firepower to defeat the might of the Israeli military.

That liberation will come through thoroughgoing revolutions, ie workers’ and peasants’ revolutions in the region that liberate all, including Jews.

The resistance of Palestinians including Hamas, is a national liberation stuggle, not a socialist one. However the success of the resistance weakens Israel and US imperialism in the region.