Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein trav­els across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, the United States, Britain, Greece, and Australia to witness the reality of disaster capitalism. He discovers how companies such as G4S, Serco, and Halliburton cash in on or­ganized misery in a hidden world of privatized detention centers, militarized private security, aid profiteering, and destructive mining.

Disaster has become big business. Talking to immigrants stuck in limbo in Britain or visiting immigration centers in America, Loewenstein maps the secret networks formed to help cor­porations bleed what profits they can from economic crisis. He debates with Western contractors in Afghanistan, meets the locals in post-earthquake Haiti, and in Greece finds a country at the mercy of vulture profiteers. In Papua New Guinea, he sees a local commu­nity forced to rebel against predatory resource companies and NGOs.

What emerges through Loewenstein’s re­porting is a dark history of multinational corpo­rations that, with the aid of media and political elites, have grown more powerful than national governments. In the twenty-first century, the vulnerable have become the world’s most valu­able commodity. Disaster Capitalism is published by Verso in 2015 and in paperback in January 2017.

Profits_of_doom_cover_350Vulture capitalism has seen the corporation become more powerful than the state, and yet its work is often done by stealth, supported by political and media elites. The result is privatised wars and outsourced detention centres, mining companies pillaging precious land in developing countries and struggling nations invaded by NGOs and the corporate dollar. Best-selling journalist Antony Loewenstein travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and across Australia to witness the reality of this largely hidden world of privatised detention centres, outsourced aid, destructive resource wars and militarized private security. Who is involved and why? Can it be stopped? What are the alternatives in a globalised world? Profits of Doom, published in 2013 and released in an updated edition in 2014, challenges the fundamentals of our unsustainable way of life and the money-making imperatives driving it. It is released in an updated edition in 2014.
forgodssakecover Four Australian thinkers come together to ask and answer the big questions, such as: What is the nature of the universe? Doesn't religion cause most of the conflict in the world? And Where do we find hope?   We are introduced to different belief systems – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – and to the argument that atheism, like organised religion, has its own compelling logic. And we gain insight into the life events that led each author to their current position.   Jane Caro flirted briefly with spiritual belief, inspired by 19th century literary heroines such as Elizabeth Gaskell and the Bronte sisters. Antony Loewenstein is proudly culturally, yet unconventionally, Jewish. Simon Smart is firmly and resolutely a Christian, but one who has had some of his most profound spiritual moments while surfing. Rachel Woodlock grew up in the alternative embrace of Baha'i belief but became entranced by its older parent religion, Islam.   Provocative, informative and passionately argued, For God's Sakepublished in 2013, encourages us to accept religious differences, but to also challenge more vigorously the beliefs that create discord.  
After Zionism, published in 2012 and 2013 with co-editor Ahmed Moor, brings together some of the world s leading thinkers on the Middle East question to dissect the century-long conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians, and to explore possible forms of a one-state solution. Time has run out for the two-state solution because of the unending and permanent Jewish colonization of Palestinian land. Although deep mistrust exists on both sides of the conflict, growing numbers of Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and Arabs are working together to forge a different, unified future. Progressive and realist ideas are at last gaining a foothold in the discourse, while those influenced by the colonial era have been discredited or abandoned. Whatever the political solution may be, Palestinian and Israeli lives are intertwined, enmeshed, irrevocably. This daring and timely collection includes essays by Omar Barghouti, Jonathan Cook, Joseph Dana, Jeremiah Haber, Jeff Halper, Ghada Karmi, Antony Loewenstein, Saree Makdisi, John Mearsheimer, Ahmed Moor, Ilan Pappe, Sara Roy and Phil Weiss.
The 2008 financial crisis opened the door for a bold, progressive social movement. But despite widespread revulsion at economic inequity and political opportunism, after the crash very little has changed. Has the Left failed? What agenda should progressives pursue? And what alternatives do they dare to imagine? Left Turn, published by Melbourne University Press in 2012 and co-edited with Jeff Sparrow, is aimed at the many Australians disillusioned with the political process. It includes passionate and challenging contributions by a diverse range of writers, thinkers and politicians, from Larissa Berendht and Christos Tsiolkas to Guy Rundle and Lee Rhiannon. These essays offer perspectives largely excluded from the mainstream. They offer possibilities for resistance and for a renewed struggle for change.
The Blogging Revolution, released by Melbourne University Press in 2008, is a colourful and revelatory account of bloggers around the globe why live and write under repressive regimes - many of them risking their lives in doing so. Antony Loewenstein's travels take him to private parties in Iran and Egypt, internet cafes in Saudi Arabia and Damascus, to the homes of Cuban dissidents and into newspaper offices in Beijing, where he discovers the ways in which the internet is threatening the ruld of governments. Through first-hand investigations, he reveals the complicity of Western multinationals in assisting the restriction of information in these countries and how bloggers are leading the charge for change. The blogging revolution is a superb examination about the nature of repression in the twenty-first century and the power of brave individuals to overcome it. It was released in an updated edition in 2011, post the Arab revolutions, and an updated Indian print version in 2011.
The best-selling book on the Israel/Palestine conflict, My Israel Question - on Jewish identity, the Zionist lobby, reporting from Palestine and future Middle East directions - was released by Melbourne University Press in 2006. A new, updated edition was released in 2007 (and reprinted again in 2008). The book was short-listed for the 2007 NSW Premier's Literary Award. Another fully updated, third edition was published in 2009. It was released in all e-book formats in 2011. An updated and translated edition was published in Arabic in 2012.

Hatred is hatred

Regrettably, incitement and anti-Semitic pronouncements are common throughout the Arab world. Edward Said campaigned strongly about this insidious trend throughout his life. No less disturbing is Jewish hatred of Arabs and Palestinians, equally irrational and dangerous.

The following news item, only appearing in Hebrew, offers evidence of well-known Rabbis expressing racial vilification:

“A conference which took place yesterday against the establishment of a mixed Arab-Jewish school in Pat, Jerusalem saw harsh attacks made by well-known rabbis.

“The (ha-mekubal) Rabbi David Bazri said: ‘The establishment of such a school is a foul, disgraceful deed. You can’t mix pure and foul. They are a disease, a disaster, a devil. The Arabs are asses, and the question must be asked, why did God did not create them walking on their fours? The answer is that they need to build and wash. They have no place in our school’.

“His son, Rabbi Itzhak Bazri, also referred to the interpretation of Ishmaelites – people similar to donkeys, and said ‘the Arabs are inferior. What do they want? To take our daughters. They say we are racists. Well, they are the evil, they are the cruel, they have the foulness of snakes. There’s foul and there’s pure, and they are foul’.

“In response to questions by ‘Walla!’, Rabbi Bazri said that he meant to emphasize the difference between Arab and Jewish culture, and that there is no common denominator that can bring us together. Bazri went on to say that ‘our experience is to prevent situations in which our Jewish girls be hurt by Arabs and to prevent danger to Jewish lives. We intend to demonstrate in front of the City Hall and to do everything we can to prevent this initiative’.

Rabbi Yehuda Der’i, brother to Arie Deri and Chief Rabbi of Ber Sheva, also participated in the conference and said that ‘this is a thing that the Jewish mind, logic and soul cannot tolerate. We have to go from house to house and raise supporters in the neighbourhood to prevent this horrid punishment.’

“Today the school is running in a temporary building and is looking for a permanent residence in the Pat neighbourhood of Jerusalem. The municipality assigned a territory for the school but because of repeating appeals to court the process is delayed. Today the matter is scheduled for a debate in the High Court.”

When Arab clerics preach hatred, they are rightly condemned. There is a telling silence when Jews do likewise.

80 comments ↪
  • RHRoss

    Read more carefully ibrahamav.I said Sharon had been charged. I did not say he had been convicted although in the year following the massacres Sharon was found guilty of 'personal responsibility' for the massacres by the Kahan Commission. The Commission did not accept that Israel had direct responsiblity but admitted to indirect responsibility involving Sharon and seven others, including the Prime Minister of the time Menachem Begin.In 2001 he was charged with war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in a Belgian court. The suit is proceeding. Insults and and name-calling make you look bad, not me. They also reflect a level of immaturity on your part and a lack of argument.

  • RHRoss

    addamoQuite right. The level of education in a society does not necessarily reflect a high level of knowledge.In the case of both America and Israel there are high levels of official and non-official censorship in regard to the Palestinian situation.Americans don't really care and Israelis don't want to know. Hence the disinformation and lack of information is compounded by disinterest in one instance and denial on the other. Both dangerous.The trouble with denial is that ultimately it will destroy you because those who are prepared to investigate and assess all of the facts will be in a more powerful position in terms of bringing about change.

  • Glenn Condell

    Simple test for our Likudnik brethren: defend the comments of those rabbis. Go on. If you can't, you will have to… condemn them. It won't hurt a bit, promise. You might even feel a bit cleaner. The rabbi that buried Baruch Goldstein (who has a state-approved shrine to his memory which is visited daily by families of settlers) stated that '1000 Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail'. Once you've finished with the others, have a pop at that one. Let's for once desist with the tedious diversions and comparisons; confront this evil directly and either support or condemn it. That means you ibrahamav.

  • RHRoss

    glenn, well said.Sadly most of Israel's supporters do not have the integrity to condemn evil when they see it. Condemning such appalling outbursts does not diminish one's position as a supporter of Israel, it strengthens it because it shows that there is some sort of reasoned intelligence at work.Name-calling, insults and abuse seem to be the weapons of choice for Israel's supporters and, as others have said, ibrahamav is no supporter any Israeli would wish to have.One could in fact suspect, as others have said, that he or she is just the opposite.

  • violet

    RhossYour comments are not true, in fact, they're plain dishonestRead the Kahan Commission report, which is freely available online. This judicial commission, chaired by the chief justice of the Israeli supreme court, found that Sharon bore indirect responsibility for the Sabra and Shatilla massacres because the commission ruled that he should have foreseen that the Christian Falangists would be in a murderous mood after Syrian intelligence agents assassinated the Falangist leader, Bashir Jumayel.Nowhere is Sharon accused of inciting the Falangists to commit murder. Nowhere is the Israeli army accused of direct involvement in the killings. The Kahan commission found that two Israeli junior officers (one a tank platoon commander, and another listening to Falange radio traffic at division hq) concluded on the basis what they saw/heard that killings of civilians might be going on. But the murders were carried out deep within the rabbit warren of the refugee camps where the Israelis were not present, and there was no line of sight to Israeli positions. A few quotes from the Kahan Commission report might shed some light on the issue (and correct your dishonest claims):We do not say that the decision to have the Phalangists enter the camps should under no circumstances have been made and was totally unwarranted. Serious considerations existed in favor of such a decision; and on this matter we shall repeat what has already been mentioned, that an understandable desire existed to prevent I.D. F. losses in hazardous combat in a built-up area, that it was justified to demand of the Phalangists to take part in combat which they regarded as a broad opening to assume power and for the restoration of Lebanese independence, and that the Phalangists were more expert than the I.D.F. in uncovering and identifying terrorists. These are weighty considerations; and had the decision-makers and executors been aware of the danger of harm to the civilian population on the part of the Phalangists but had nevertheless, having considered all the circumstances, decided to have the Phalangists enter the camps while taking all possible steps to prevent harm coming to the civilian population, it is possible that there would be no place to be critical of them, even if ultimately it had emerged that the decision had caused undesirable results and had caused damage. However, as it transpired no examination was made of all the considerations and their ramifications; hence the appropriate orders were not issued to the executors of the decisions and insufficient heed was taken to adopt the required measures. Herein lies the basis for imputing indirect responsibility to those persons who in our view did not fulfill the obligations placed on them…In the witnesses' testimony and in various documents, stress is laid on the difference between the usual battle ethics of the I.D.F. and the battle ethics of the bloody clashes and combat actions among the various ethnic groups, militias, and fighting forces in Lebanon. The difference is considerable. In the war the I.D.F. waged in Lebanon, many civilians were injured and much loss of life was caused, despite the effort the I.D.F. and its soldiers made not to harm civilians. On more than one occasion, this effort caused I.D.F. troops additional casualties.And for all you leftwing anti-Zionists who will argue that the Commission report was a whitewash, Justice Kahan and his colleagues included this preemptive strike:We do not deceive ourselves that the results of this inquiry will convince or satisfy those who have prejudices or selective consciences, but this inquiry was not intended for such people. We have striven and have spared no effort to arrive at the truth, and we hope that all persons of good will who will examine the issue without prejudice will be convinced that the inquiry was conducted without any bias.Using this venue to argue opinion is one thing, but to use it to misrepresent the truth is unacceptable.

  • violet

    Oh, and by the way, I'm still waiting for all you postmodernists to point me to an Arab enquiry on Sabre and Shatila???Come on, where is it?Where is anything, a court case, a question, a query regarding the massacre the Lebanese malitia carried out at Sabre and Shatila? And don't come back to me with psychobabble and don't change the subject.I'm waiting…

  • violet

    Rhoss,Just clearing up another little error of yours, you need to stop this sort of misrepresentation it makes you appear dishonest. In 2001 he was charged with war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in a Belgian court. The suit is proceeding."Belgian Court Dismisses Sharon War Crimes Suit BRUSSELS – A Brussels appeals court threw out a lawsuit against Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Wednesday, ruling he was immune from investigation in Belgium over his alleged role in a 1982 massacre of Palestinian refugees. "Read the whole story Rhoss and then say sorryand what was that you said about denial and assessing the real facts…The trouble with denial is that ultimately it will destroy you because those who are prepared to investigate and assess all of the facts will be in a more powerful position in terms of bringing about change.

  • Ibrahamav

    So ross just lied some more and hoped he could get away with it? For shame.

  • orang

    violet said… "Belgian Court Dismisses Sharon War Crimes Suit Read the whole story Rhoss and then say sorry"Say sorry for what? You post this with great fanfare and gusto as if the court dismissed the case because he was innocent??Your style is admirable but you are still a liar, or you don't read what you post;"What the court decided is that the complaint against Sharon … is not admissible because of the principle of Belgian law that crimes committed in other countries cannot be prosecuted in Belgium unless the author or presumed author has been found in Belgium," a court spokesman said."The complaint is not admissable because of a technicality. The c*cksucker still did it. By the way is he dead yet – hope not. Hope he's on a drip for the next 50 years.Can they charge someone with war crimes if they're unconscious?

  • Ibrahamav

    Sorry that he lied. We don't ask you because of what you are. There is a hope that ross is human.RHRoss said… In 2001 he was charged with war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in a Belgian court. The suit is proceeding. That is a lie, no suit is proceeding. Regardless, the charge was not correct because it is not what Sharon did.

  • Glenn Condell

    Jeez, the sayanim are working overtime right now aren't they? ('now, where did I put those talking points') You can almost admire the dedication. Almost.

  • RHRoss

    mea culpa. I was sloppy. I should have been more specific and will make sure I am in the future.Yes, the Belgian move to indict Sharon was withdrawn following US pressure…. they were being very naughty and looking to charge George W with war crimes too.This is not to say Sharon was exonerated. He was not.It is also not to say that the charges may not be re-activated. And, moves to indict Sharon for war crimes do still proceed but at the instigation of Human Rights Groups and groups involved with international law.The point remains that the evidence is there that Sharon could and should be tried for war crimes.And the point I made about the Kahan Commission was that he was found to be 'personally responsibility.' That point remains, whatever other points can be made.But that does not negate my sloppiness. So, as I said, mea culpa. Another reminder that typing fast is not always a plus.At the end of the day Sharon's record is not the issue …. the fact is that Israel's first prime minister had a record as a terrorist….the issue is, and remains, not the quality of Israel's leaders per se" except in terms of how it impacts on the resolution of the problem, or rather the lack of resolution.Who Israelis choose to lead them is their business. What those leaders do to others is anyone else's business. Sharon's record in terms of settlement building and continued colonisation of Palestine and the atrocities committed against the Palestinians are more important. History will judge him for those even if he does not appear in an international court of justice for literal war crimes.And I would add, whatever Sharon's record I would either wish him a complete recovery or a speedy death. To wish suffering upon him is to lower yourself to his level Orang. Plus, if you have ever known anyone who had a major stroke you would not wish 50 years of suffering on him.Whatever crimes he committed he did so because he believed they were things he had to do. That does not make them right. He, like so many was and is a damaged individual and his acts of cruelty have arisen out of fear, not a desire to simply be cruel.Sharon should be judged for his actions and held accountable for them but he is also deserving of compassion.

  • Ibrahamav

    You wish you could rise to the level of a Sharon. But you will always be found wanting.You weren't sloppy, you were just so full of shit.

  • Edward Mariyani-Squi

    Ibrahamav said… "You wish you could rise to the level of a Sharon."No sane, moral human being would wish that upon themselves. Sane, moral human beings have self-respect and respect for all human life.By the way, how is your hero going?

  • violet

    RhossAnswer my question:Where is a link or a query or an enquiry into the role of the Lebanese militia at Sabre & Shatila? You want to prosecute Sharon for not foreseeing it — why do you dismiss those who did the actual slaughtering?Why aren't you jumping up and down demanding an Arab enquiry into the slaughter? l have asked you and others several times to provide evidence of an Arab enquiry — come on — are you really that hypocritical that you want to persecute Sharon but not those who actually carried out the massacre?You are all hypocrits who would prefer to blame the Jews rather than find the whole truth. It's sickening. Really sickening.Perhaps you could start with the Lebanese Christian militia commander (who was recorded on the radio ordering the women and children to be slaughtered) who went on to become a cabinet minister in the Lebanese parliament. Rhoss, why aren't you calling him a war criminal or demanding an enquiry??Come on you pack of hypocrites… please tell me why it's all the Jews' fault.

  • RHRoss

    Violet,Accusations made against Sharon in regard to war crimes have nothing whatsoever to do with him being Jewish. They have to do with the crimes committed.Slobodan Milosevic has been charged with war crimes…. some believe with less of a case than that against Sharon.,.. he is not Jewish. It is not about being Jewish.When the case comes to a court the actions of the Lebanese militia will come into it and those responsible will be held to account.Why Sharon? Because the topic here is Israel and the way it acts in the world and the way its leaders act. Also, because it was Sharon who held power at the time to incite and encourage such acts of murder or to calm and discourage them. The evidence suggests he chose the former.As the one with all the power, he holds greatest responsibility. It's a fact of life that the buck stops somewhere and it stops with the people in power.For example, Israel will always be called to account more than Palestine while it remains an occupier. As an occupier it has a capacity to control things that the occupied do not have. Israel if you like is free to do whatever it chooses whereas the Palestinians are not. Ergo: the greatest power lies with the Israelis. Therefore, those with the greatest power have the greatest responsibility.That's why our governments are held to account. We give them power and they exercise power. If they exercise power badly they must answer for it. Palestinians, as an occupied people, do not have the freedom to pursue justice and human rights as do Israelis. They have no functioning legal system, no functioning governmental system, and, as an occupied people are completely dependent upon their occupier, Israel, in terms of what they can and cannot do.The reality is that if this matter were taken to the Hague all of those responsible would be charged and called to account. It would not be Sharon alone. I agree with you that everyone involved should be held responsible. I only hope that one day they will be.

  • violet

    RhossWhen the case comes to a court the actions of the Lebanese militia will come into it and those responsible will be held to account.Rubbish rubbish rubbish, I asked you for evidence of an Arab enquiry? Where is it? An Israeli state enquiry was held in 1983. That's right 25 years ago. Robert Maroun Hatem, Elie Hobeika's bodyguard, stated in his book "From Israel to Damascus" that Hobeika ordered the massacre in defiance of Israeli instructions to behave like a "dignified" army. Elie Hobeika, the Phalangist commander at the time of the massacre never stood trial and held a post of a minister in Lebanese government in the 1990s."Your argument is rubbish.They have no functioning legal system, no functioning governmental system, and, as an occupied people are completely dependent upon their occupier, Israel, in terms of what they can and cannot do.Rubbish again. Gaza and the West Bank operate under Jordanian law. This is a law, by the way, that hands out a 6-month sentence to a man who honour-kills his daughter or sister. This law also affords rapists freedom if they offer to marry their victims. This law will not allow complaints of incest to be made (despite over 400 cases of incest in the West Bank alone in a single year) unless it is made by a male. Gaza is now Palestinian land — and what have they done? There is lawlessness and violence everywhere as well as continual Kassam rocket attacks into Israel. This was their big chance. If they had began to build communities and industry, the world would have donated millions to help them. Instead even the EU is holding back on committed funding because they are so hopeless at managing their own economy. You need to stop reading the propaganda and start to look at the real facts Rhoss. and stop shooting off your mouth about the situation until you have researched this properly.

  • violet

    Oh and Rhoss, l just can't let this one go:Palestinians[sic]do not have the freedom to pursue justice and human rights as do Israelis.So, according to your logic the Palestinians commit honour killing, gang rape and incest because they "do not have the freedom to pursue justice and human rights."A 4-year-old Palestinian toddler was raped by a 25 year-old man in 2002 and her family left her to bleed to death because she had dishonoured their family. You are arguing that this is not a cultural atrocity but due to a "lack of freeedom"?When Rafayda Qaoud was raped by her two brothers in her bedroom and became pregnant her mother slashed her wrists after she refused to commit suicide. You are arguing that this is due to a "lack of freedom."Clearly Rhoss, you are very misguided.

  • Ibrahamav

    He is more than misguided.

  • RHRoss

    violetyour bigotry reflects on you and no-one else, least of all Palestinians.Let me get this right though, what you are suggesting is that somehow Israelis are culturally superior to Palestinians?Isn't that what Germans said about Jews and look where that got them?Or is it bigotry against Muslims?Honour killings, gang rape and incest are present in many societies…. sadly … quite common in Africa and they are not necessarily Muslim. Would you believe, also, sadly, extremely common in India … among Hindus as well as Muslims.Rape, honour killings and incest, wherever they exist, do so because of flawed cultural and religious values.Those in free democracies have a greater ability to move beyond these values, those in non-democratic societies do not.Those who live under occupation have even less freedom to bring about any sort of change. All power lies with the occupier, ie Israel.Those who live under brutal and repressive occupation, as do the palestinians, are going to experience much higher levels of social dysfunction …. courtesy of their aggressors, in this instance, Israel.Not only do Palestinians, the few who may commit such acts, not have freedom to act, their lives are brutalised in such a way that any existing dysfunction will be magnified.One can of course, as you know, find rapes, murder, incest in Israeli society … secular and religious, but of course, your point is to try to say Israelis are somehow superior and Palestinians inferior so you do not want to go there.Here's a reality for you. It may be shocking but here it is.Jews and Israelis are guess what? Only as good as other human beings, not better.And, not only that, they are as bad as other human beings, not worse.Surprise surprise, Israelis and Jews are as good as the best of us and as bad as the worst.In terms of a functioning democracy Israel is performing way under par and more like a backward, tyranny than a free and liberal society.But, just as I would make some allowance for the dysfunction in Palestinian society because it is occupied, so I make allowance for the dysfunction in Israeli society because it is an occupier.Aggression diminishes people; violence debases; occupation both diminishes and debases.Israelis have also had to deal with the paranoid dysfunction that is so much a part of Judaism and their cultural heritage and which Jews who do not have the courage to live in Israel continue to impose upon them.No people living under repressive occupation have the same freedoms as those living in freedom. Even you should be able to grasp that simple logic despite your bigotry.

  • violet

    RhossI guess you missed the point in amongst your emotive rambling.When rape, incest and the killing of women is committed in democratic countries — including Israel — the perpetrators are caught and punished. It is not celebrated or condoned by the society, as it is in Arab countries.When a woman is raped in an Islamic country it is considered under Islamic law to be HER fault and she is sentenced to stoning or 100 lashes. In Nigeria recently a 15 year old girl was raped by her stepfather. She received 100 lashes.There are hundreds of cases I can cite where women are murdered for being raped, flirting or doing nothing at all in Islamic countries. The age of consent in Iran is 9 years-old. A girl of this age can be stoned to death for being raped. And YES this occurs.In Saudi, when 15 girls fled their burning school, do you know what happened? They were forced back into the burning building because they were not wearing their veils. They all burned to death. Are you blaming the Israelis for this too?You blame the Islamic treatment of women on occupation and lack of freedom? And you call me a bigot because I don't agree with you?Calling me a racist is idiotic and not addressing the problem. The Arabs commit shocking human rights abuses against their women. Do not call me a racist and a bigot for pointing this out. This must be pointed out or ignorant people like you will continue defending those who commit these atrocities.Namecalling simply shows your ignorance Rhoss. You appear to have gathered your blighted, subjective knowledge of Arab culture from second-hand sources and listening to ideological babble that has no connection to the real situation.Read Irshad Manji, Oriana Fallaci, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nawal el-Sadawii or Fatima Mernissi and broaden your mind. Or, like me, perhaps you could meet some of them.With the exception of Fallaci these are Muslim feminists fighting the oppression of their sisters. Many of them live with constant death threats and fear of being murdered themselves because they are standing up to the men in their culture.And you ask whether I consider a culture that murders and rapes its own women with religious sanctity to be inferior. Absolutely. I certainly do. And the dilemma is — if you believe in human rights — why don't you?Why do you have one set of rules for the Western world and a different more tolerant one for the East?By the way Rhoss, have you been to Israel? How do you justify what you write — from reading Antony ?Monday, January 23, 2006 8:28:05 AMDelete

  • RHRoss

    violetin terms of human rights abuses against women we have something in common.In terms of this being peculiarly Muslim or Arabic we disagree.It isn't. These dysfunctional cultural attitudes are found in many places throughout Africa (non muslim) and, as I said, in India, amongst Hindus.Hindus grieve at the birth of a daughter; women are killed every day in India and raped and the perpetrator rarely gets convicted even if charged. A woman who is raped in Hindu society is considered to be responsible.My point remains, these are not Islamic nor Arab values but patriarchal values which history shows, existed to varying degrees in European society.And you also miss the point, perpetrators of such acts can be caught and punished in democratic societies in a way that they cannot in non-democratic societies which is what most Arab nations are.India, shamefully, is one democratic society where the appalling treatment of women and the murder of female babies, goes on without halt.When I was living in India in the 90's a woman an hour was burned to death in Gujarat; a woman a day in Delhi. One hopes these figures have improved.Young girls are given away in marriage; girls as young as seven are 'sold' into prostitution. It's not about religion, it is about patriarchy at its worst.These are backward cultural values and to that degree reflect inferior elements in the societies…. but it does not make the people themselves inferior in any way. Particularly as I said when they do not have the freedom to become other.You might also have a look at the mysoginistic practices of Judaism, which, like Islam and fundamentalist christianity, represses women and abuses them in emotional and psychological ways, if not physical.By all means condemn the abuse of women but do not try to make it a particularly Muslim or Arab condition. You diminish the power of your case when you cite such practices as being a sign of inferiority in people you clearly hate.

  • RHRoss

    violetYes, I have been to Israel and to Palestine. I have also read a lot. Anthony is important because he, like those Israelis who fight for human rights and justice for Palestinians are the people who will ultimately save Israel.Speaking the truth about what is happening is the only way that things will be righted.Do I agree with everything Anthony says? No, but I defend his right to say it. Just as I defend yours.I would put more credence on your argument and that of ibrahamav if you did not become so abusive and reveal such deep levels of bigotry and racism.But I can understand that you care and are emotionally involved in what happens and this clearly diminishes reason.Unfortunately, with such a position you do Israel no favours.Reason, being reasonable and being fair, balanced and compassionate towards both sides is what is needed.

  • Glenn Condell

    I score it to rhoss about 76-0. Impressive heavy lifting, but probably not worth the effort.

  • Ibrahamav

    Antony will not save Israel. He does Israel no favors. You have already shown that you are neither versed on the situation, and what little you do know is out of date. One can only imagine what sources you use for information.As the Palestinian side has never been reasonable, fair, balanced or compassionate, the Israelis have decided that there is no reason for them to be either.

  • RHRoss

    ibrahamavYou are forgetting the core point: Israel occupies the Palestinians, not vice versa.The Palestinians while they remain under occupation are the victims. That's v-i-c-t-i-m. No way out of it. Fact of life.Your comments would have some weight if Palestinians lived in freedom.Israel, as the occupier, carries the can. Always will.

  • Ibrahamav

    You keep forgetting that the palestinian's have acted in the same way from 1948 through 1967, when the land they occupied was not controlled by Israel.

  • RHRoss

    The Palestinians have been occupied since 48 because Israel has never dealt with the wrongs of its foundation.Yes, I know you don't see it as a wrong but they did. Palestinians were dispossessed. Their homes were taken. Many were killed. They fought back against that as would most people.Until Israel acknowledges the wrongs of its foundation and makes redress as other modern colonisers have had to do not only will it not have moral legality, it will not be at peace with itself or the Palestinians.It is a fantasy to believe that Israel was established peacefully on land legally purchased or land on which no-one lived. It is this great lie which has made the issue impossible to resolve.Israel came into existence through the theft of Palestinian land…. sure, with the approval of the international community but that does not make it right.The international community approved the invasions and colonisation of the Americas, Australia and Africa … but it did not make it right. As we now know. Those nations have had to accept the wrongs of their foundation and make redress. So must Israel.

  • neoleftychick

    rhrossOh dear. How old are you? 14? Somebody needs to sit you down and remind you that Israel does not rely on any biblical gift nor should it feel any responsibility for Arab dissolution.Israel got its state by hard and smart work since the 1880s. In 1948 it fought and won a bitter civil war and then a war against an invasion of seven rogue Arab states, which they defended in 1948, and which the UN again recognized in 1949. The horrible reality is that nobody has ever said that the Palestinians have a right to any state. Somebody should tell the Israel haters THAT.

  • neoleftychick

    EdwardSaid was always a crook and a charlatan. If you want to read the real deal try Bernard Lewis. Lewis' demolition of Said is so thorough it is almost cruel.Even a Year 12 History education is enough to spot Said's bizarre lies about History in "Orientalism." It says a lot about the political correctness of late 1970s and 1980s America.