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John Passant

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September 2014



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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)



In defence of free speech; in defence of the Socialist Alternative club at Monash University against its banning by Zionists

This is an announcement on the Australasian Union of Jewish Students’ facebook page:

BREAKING: Following various complaints from AUJS, the Socialist Alternative club at Monash University has been deregistered, severely limiting their activity on campus.

We welcome this strong move against the spread of hate on campus.

Let’s get this straight. This has nothing to do with Socialist Alternative spreading hate. It is an attempt to shut down the voice of Socialist Alternative because it is a consistent supporter of Palestine and opponent of Zionism, the racist and genocidal philosophy of apartheid Israel.

In the last Gaza invasion, Israel killed over 2000 Palestinians, most of them civilians, including many many women and children. The support that Zionism world wide gives to the genocide of Palestinians, an active genocide which has been going on for over 66 years, shows you where the real hate is.

Socialist Alternative has been one of the staunchest and most active supporters of Palestine on campuses across Australia. That is one of the reasons the Zionists have moved against it at Monash University.

There is another reason. The Federal Education Minister Christoper Pyne has jumped on to the ‘Socialist Alternative anti-Semitism’ lie because Socialist Alternative is one of the main groups leading the opposition to his higher education attacks.

This banning of Socialist Alterntive at Monash Unbiveristy is about silencing Socialist Alternative because of its success in mobilising students against Pyne’s higher education cuts as well as its consistent support for Palestine.

The Zionists will reply with the lie that Jews were stopped from going to a Socialist Alternative meeting on Palestine on campus. This was a talk given by a Jewish student with a number of Jews in the audience participating in the discussion.

Daniel Taylor in Red Flag, the paper of Socialist Alternative, wrote an article called ‘Accusations of anti-Semitism against socialist students are lies’ on 13 August in response to this calumny:

The “lecture” at Monash University was a Socialist Alternative political meeting. Not only were Jews welcome and encouraged to attend, but the talk itself was given by a Jewish member of Socialist Alternative. Attendees were asked to sign a petition calling for an end to Israel’s illegal economic blockade of Gaza.

A small group of organised Zionists attempted to gain entry after refusing to sign the petition, and attempted to disrupt the meeting. They gave up after being told the meeting was for supporters of Palestine. There is nothing unusual in this. Socialist Alternative has in many previous instances barred disruptive right wingers who have attempted to disrupt and air racist opinions at our meetings. Even if you don’t agree with this policy, it has nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism. In this case, the meeting went ahead peacefully, with Jewish students both delivering the initial talk and contributing to the discussion afterwards.

Immediately afterwards, the Zionists who had attempted to disrupt the meeting began a social media campaign claiming that Jews had been banned from campus events. Socialist Alternative members immediately contacted them to clarify that Jews were welcome, but that the meeting was not for political defenders of Israeli occupation. No retraction was issued and their campaign continued, proving the utterly cynical use of allegations of anti-Semitism to smear and undermine progressive politics on campus.

Deregistering Socialist Alternative at Monash University is a gross denial of the right to organise and the right to free speech on that campus and a harbinger of increased attamepts to suppress the left across Australia. It is the logic of the long Zionist campaign to silence pro-Palestinian voices and is part of the systemic neoliberal drive to quash dissent on Australian campuses.

If you support Palestine, and if you support free speech, I call on you to support Socialist Alternative at Monash University and across Australia in defence of Palestine, in opposition to Pyne’s higher education armaggedon and to join the fight against political repression.

Sign this petition to call on Monash University to reverse their repression of dissident voices.

Allow free speech on campus, and overturn the decision to deregister the Socialist Alternative Club

The Monash student newspaper, Lots Wife, is reporting that ‘Clubs & Societies President Ben Zocco has … confirmed that an Extraordinary General Meeting will be held on Thursday, September 18. The sole item of business is the appeal of the Socialist Alternative club against their deregistration as an affiliated Monash Student Association club.

Readers who agree with this might also like to look at Minister Pyne’s claims of anti-Semitism by Socialist Alternative are lies; Zionists slander and attempt to suppress supporters of Palestine; Daniel Taylor’s other article in Red Flag, The anti-Semitism slander and Omar Hassan in Red Flag on Zionist students use lies, abuse to silence Palestine solidarity activists.

PS: You may well not be able to access Red Flag, the paper of Socialist Alternative. Co-ordinated Zionist denial of service attacks from thousands of sites across the globe mean it is often forced to shut down, another example of Zionism’s repression of pro-Palestinian voices. At the time of publication it was accessible.



Comment from Liz
Time September 4, 2014 at 6:11 pm

While I don’t give a poo about any of these types of student groups (AUJS, Socialist Alliance etc) since they ruin the harmonious vibe at Monash (and UNSW when I studied there) it in fact isn’t a lie at all that a particular set of people from the Socialist Alternative are repeatedly seen yelling out distasteful things that can’t be excused as merely “Israel-targeted”, which many of us have witnessed over the past two months in particular. It’s a shame the media doesn’t reveal the identity of these people since the guilty individuals I’ve seen have never been Middle Eastern and the public should know it’s rarely the Muslim-supporters showing aggression on Australian campuses. It appears there are elements in the Socialist movement that have been trying to undermine its image over the past few years by acting more aggressive in public and I don’t know if these people are genuinely aggressive or false usurpers.

Comment from John
Time September 4, 2014 at 7:26 pm

The problem Liz is that you present no evidence, just vague accusations. When the Zionists claimed anti-Semitic attacks by Socialist Alternative at the ANU the big wigs rolled out an investigation which after a lot of time found no evidence to support the accusations. Funny that. Of course the Canberra Times ran the accusations and the student newspaper convicted them so the mud stuck. Has the Canberra Times run a report about the lack of evidence? This is a concerted campaign of Zionists to lie to discredit Socialist Alternative and the pro-Palestinian position. I am very uncomfortable with silencing dissident voices for their politics not their alleged activity which can’t be substantiated by real evidence, as the ANU case makes clear.

Comment from paul walter
Time September 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm

I agree on the basis of previous behaviours exhibited by Zionists generally and on personal experience of their tactics online, that it is (far) more likely Zionists than Socialist are responsible for any “bad vibe” at this time.

Comment from Mufid
Time September 5, 2014 at 10:47 am

Are we becoming like the US where you can creticise God but can’t creticise Israel? People pateince with the anti-semetic bull shit is running thin. Can we put a similar branding apply to anyone who creticise ISIS for example can we call these people anti-Islam. The answer is no because creticising ISIS is creticsing a political entity and not a religion similarly if I creticise Israel I am not creticising Jewdasim. something to think about.

Comment from Claire
Time September 5, 2014 at 11:33 pm

I’m pretty far left and I have to admit the socialist message has been whitewashed to an extent by alternative movements infiltrating with conflicting ideologies. If anyone is silencing dissident voices I would say it’s the Socialist Alternative. They can be very intimidating if you disagree even slightly with a small aspect of their point of view and will then accuse you of being either brainwashed, paid-off or a right-wing troll. As a somewhat extreme agnostic-socialist I refuse to give support to either Israeli or Palestinian identity since that goes against the essence of my socialistic ideals. But even if I did care to march in solidarity why should I have to sell out my convictions and march with people yelling “God is great” or have some religious leader of some denomination (Christian, Jewish, Muslim etc) deliver some rallying speech as if it holds more worth than from an agnostic/atheist. It would appear in Australia that the left buys Islamist votes like the right buys white-supremacist votes and I’ve had enough of it. I personally haven’t witnessed the Socialist Alternative yell out anything anti-Semitic but I won’t say it’s impossible since I have no evidence. The closest I’ve heard is “from the river to the sea”, which was originally a call to exterminate Jews but was somehow adopted by some socialist movements (maybe because of its catchy tune?).

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