The Guardian • Issue #2101


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2101
Quill and ink .

Brutal, not unavoidable

Dear Editor,

Rupert Murdoch’s Adelaide Advertiser pats itself on the back. It boasts on the front page that it “sets the agenda every day” in South Australia and that on Monday to Friday it reaches a total audience of 216,000.

I expect that not one of the thousands of wage-earners in that audience, missed the news item headed “Telstra to axe 2,800 jobs,” since it fits well in their permanent agenda item “jobs.”

Haven’t we all come to accept job cuts as an unsurprising occurrence? In our capitalist society based on production for profit,  that’s the way the cookie crumbles. A feeling of insecurity is now growing stronger and stronger in the life of every working person, including small business people.

It’s only natural that Telstra workers will feel anxiety, wondering who’ll be next. Most unfortunate, I reckon, will be those who will lose their job. Foremost in their thoughts will be the family, now with no or only one breadwinner? Asking if they will be able to find another job in their field, or at least another job somewhere where they can earn as much. Similarly worried, I expect, will be all communication workers. They’ll have questions for the union. The unions that cover Telstra will be worried too.

But there is more to shock them. In the same Advertiser. Terry McCrann, in his column in the business section didn’t pull his punches in an analysis headed “Telstra job cuts AI’s first wave.” He began with the  blunt assertion that the cuts were not only brutal, but also unavoidable, and that there will be more cuts “right across the workforce.”

I like reading McCrann’s analyses. He is not afraid of facing “certain reality.” He is good at describing it and indicating where it is heading in the short term but that is as far as he goes by way of any help to the working people since he cannot or does not want to see that a capitalist economy passed its use-by date long ago.

Marxists, both organised and the self-styled uncommitted know this. They also know that a revolutionary transformation of society and of the economy is needed to change the current shocking and brutal reality. Only the Marxists in a political party based on and guided by the teachings of Lenin are in a position to get the working class to understand that it needs to be a class working “for itself”, for its own ends, and to realise that it must take the lead in bringing an end to capitalism and replacing it with a socialist society and economy.

Bob Saltis


Radical Jews

Dear Comrade

I want to congratulate you on your coverage of the current genocide and ethnic cleansing being perpetrated against the Palestinians by the Israel Defence Force. In your 20 May edition, it was good to see William Briggs’ article “UN Votes for Palestine, genocide continues” exposing the hypocrisy of the US on the Palestinian question.

Since 7 October, I have noticed that Zionists and their supporters continue to use the excuse of the Hamas attack on that day to justify the ongoing war crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza. What needs to be explained to such people is that the genocide against the Palestinians began before the state of Israel was founded when the Zionist terrorist gangs began their slaughter and ethnic cleansing of peaceful Palestinian villages.

This process was increased at the end of WW2, but started well before then. Albert Einstein – probably the most prominent Jew of the 20th century – only visited Palestine once in 1923. He was so outraged at the way Palestinians were being treated by the Zionist settlers that in 1948, he wrote a letter to the New York Times as Israel was being formed and Menachem Begin – leader of the Freedom Party was visiting the US.

In a letter co-signed by many other influential Jews, Einstein wrote:

“Amongst the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the Freedom Party (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organisation, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organisation in Palestine.”

The letter described the fascist nature of many elements in the Israel state, exposed details of the massacre of 110 men, women and children in the Arab village of Deir Yassin, and warned Americans that they should not be supporting such actions.

If Einstein was alive today, he would not just be accusing Israel of being a genocidal, racist and apartheid regime, but a fascist one as well.

Einstein was a progressive and “righteous” Jew, a socialist, and a fighter for human rights all his life. There are many others in the world today who are appalled at the crimes of Zionist Israel against civilian Palestinians. They are leading many of the demonstrations against the ongoing genocide in many countries around the world – including Israel.

More information about the history of radical Jews and their opposition to Zionism can be found in the book The Radical Jewish Tradition – Revolutionaries, resistance fighters & firebrands by Donny Gluckstein and Janey Stone.

Another book that is useful in understanding the history of the ongoing genocide in Palestine is The Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine by Ilan Pappé – an Israeli Jew and professor of history at Essex University whom the late Australian journalist John Pilger described as “Israel’s bravest, most principled, most incisive historian.”

In solidarity

Andy Alcock

South Australia

Anti-semitism, Albanese, and morality

I agree with the Jewish Council of Australia when they state that “antisemitism, in all its forms, is always unacceptable and should have no place in our society” in a media release following the vandalism of the front fence of Mount Scopus Memorial College’s Burwood campus.

However, we should consider what is causing the current rise in antisemitism.

Daily reports since last October of deliberate death, injury, starvation and destruction in the Zionist genocide in Gaza have provoked strong reactions of grief and fury.

These powerful emotions are best directed at trying to change the Albanese government’s immoral support for the Israeli government, but that they can spill over into antisemitism is wrong but hardly surprising.

We have to work to get greater coverage to the voices of Jewish organisations and individuals who oppose Zionism and support the rights of the Palestinian people.

Dr Max Kaiser, Executive Officer of the Jewish Council of Australia is correct when he says that “it is never acceptable to target Jews or to blame Jewish people generally for the actions of the Israeli state.”

Dr Hannah Middleton

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