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John Passant

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March 2015



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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 Socialist Alternative against Zionist untruths, again

There was a protest at Sydney University a few days ago which Zionist media J-Wire initially described as a riot.  Now it appears they have watered that down to it being a violent protest at a Zionist meeting with an apologist for Israel and the destruction it has wreaked on the Palestinian people. Images of the protest seems to show it wasn’t a riot or violent. Here is a video of the first 3 minutes of the protest.

In the article J-Wire quoted ex-Labor Party Federal Minister Peter Baldwin as blaming Socialist Alternative for the ‘riot’.  Just one problem. Socialist Alternative was not there. Let me re-publish a press release from Omar Hassan, the President of the Socialist Alternative Sydney University Student Club:


This statement is from Socialist Alternative concerning false accusations made about our student club at University of Sydney.

 In an article on J-Wire on 15 March entitled “Sydney University: Violent protest under investigation”, you include the following untrue statement by former federal Labor MP Peter Baldwin: “The group primarily responsible for this outrage, a Trotskyist group calling itself the ‘Socialist Alternative’”.

No members of the Sydney University Socialist Alternative student club were present at this event. In fact, our club was hosting its own event at the same time in another building. Nor did we have any involvement in organising it.

Omar Hassan
President, Socialist Alternative Sydney University Student Club

Socialist Alternative members were at a club meeting called ‘Can men and women ever be equal?’ details of which are here. One member was at the protest against Zionist genocide. It would help if Socialist Alternative went further and also expressed support for the demonstrators and Jake Lynch and condemned the hysteria and kangaroo court atmosphere now developing against the protesters rather than just appearing to distance (and hence protect?) itself from the action and any consequences.

The J-Wire accusations seem to be part of a campaign of untruths against the pro-Palestinian left and Socialist Alternative in particular. Why single out Socialist Alternative? Because they are the biggest group of pro-Palestinian anti-Zionist socialists and revolutionaries in Australia. Of course we have to keep the word ‘biggest’ in perspective here given that they possibly have around 400 members in Australia.

There appears to be a pattern here. In 2014 Zionists accused Socialist Alternative at the Australian National University of anti-Semitic attacks on them. The student newspaper Woroni and the Fairfax paper The Canberra Times splashed this across their pages, with Woroni certain the attacks had happened. ‘Anti-semitism at the ANU’ its headline screamed. Initially they refused to publish my response but 2 months later published this article of mine called Freedom to organise at the ANU to which they also published a reply called Bombarded. Weary. Confused. My request in March 2014 for an investigation in accordance with the student media association rules has not yet been complied with although the current editor met with me recently to explain that steps were now being take to get that process under way.

The University appointed a pro-Vice-Chancellor to investigate these serious but spurious accusations. Although it is difficult to find any record of his decision, (unlike the accusations and the fact of Baker’s investigation) he dismissed the complaints, according to a report in Socialist Alternative’s Red Flag in August 2014. Nothing as far as I can tell in Woroni, nothing in the Canberra times and nothing in The Australian (which repeated the accusations and Minister Pyne’s untruths about the organisation.) Never let the truth get in the way of a good story eh?

Just as there was no validity to the accusations against Socialist Alternative at ANU there is no validity to J-Wire’s report about Socialist Alternative either.

Of course that in large part is irrelevant isn’t it? The accusations were for example listed by ECAJ in its anti-Semitic incidents report for the period 1 October 2013 to30 September 2014.

But that is the point isn’t it? Untruths to defeat a political enemy and smear their name are part and parcel of the tactics those who defend Israel and its long slow genocide of the Palestine people use consistently, and politicians, University management and the student and mainstream media fall in behind.

I guess these latest Zionist untruths are a backhanded compliment to Socialist Alternative because fake leftists and Labor apparatchiks like Peter Baldwin know in the long run such revolutionary groups are attracting young idealists who want to change the world and who see through the lies of Zionism. This is very different to the Labor Party which attracts at best a few young careerists and hacks or turns the few idealists the Party does attract into careerists and hacks in a short period of time.

The other target of the Zionists in this Sydney University protest appears to be the pro-Palestinian Associate Professor Jake Lynch, an articulate and passionate supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Given the untruths J-Wire has published about the involvement of Socialist Alternative, how can you believe anything else in the article? Jake’s response can in part be found in replies to Gerard Henderson published in The Australian.

A good article on the inaccurate reporting of the protest, called ‘Unbalanced and distorted media coverage doesn’t help sensitive matters of free speech and international conflict at Online Opinion by a colleague of Lynch’s can be found here.

We must campaign to defend Jake against the Zionists and their untruths and those in the mainstream media who support them. Exposing the lies of the Zionists is one small step in doing that.

It is not the first time the Zionists have tried to destroy Lynch for telling the truth about Zionism and its attempted genocide of the Palestinian people. In 2014 Shurat HaDin took Lynch to court to claim he was an anti-Semite. When the case has collapsed, Lynch explained the strategy of Israeli “lawfare” in Crikey.

As Omar Hassan in an article in Red Flag called Zionist students use lies, abuse to silence Palestinian solidarity activists wrote in August 2014:

There is evidence to indicate that this behaviour is a conscious strategy to undermine [Palestinian] solidarity activism on campuses.

Exactly, and the statement that Socialist Alternative was primarily responsible for this 11 March Sydney University ‘riot’, ‘violent protest’, (in other words peaceful demonstration by the protestors,) is just another untruth for that purpose and in this case is aimed not just at Socialist Alternative but at Jake Lynch, the most prominent advocate in Australia for BDS. The Zionists will use the protest itself to undermine Lynch and BDS and those who protest against Israeli genocide. We have to defend them all.

I was until December 2013 a member of Socialist Alternative, when I resigned over differences in direction, its abandonment of state capitalism as an expression of socialism from below and lack of democracy and debate in the group. Last week I joined the much smaller Solidarity where state capitalism/socialism from below and open and free discussion and debate abound and were among the key reasons for me becoming a member. Relations between the two groups are rather frosty.


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