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.

Despotism is preferable

The Hamas win in the Palestinian elections is causing the US and Israel to question its “belief” in democracy:

“The United States and Israel are discussing ways to destabilize the Palestinian government so that newly elected Hamas officials will fail and elections will be called again, according to Israeli officials and Western diplomats.

“The intention is to starve the Palestinian Authority of money and international connections to the point where, some months from now, its president, Mahmoud Abbas, is compelled to call a new election. The hope is that Palestinians will be so unhappy with life under Hamas that they will return to office a reformed and chastened Fatah movement.

“The officials also argue that a close look at the election results shows that Hamas won a smaller mandate than previously understood.

“The officials and diplomats, who said this approach was being discussed at the highest levels of the State Department and the Israeli government, spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

“They say Hamas will be given a choice: recognize Israel’s right to exist, forswear violence and accept previous Palestinian-Israeli agreements — as called for by the United Nations and the West — or face isolation and collapse.”

Such an idea is hypocritical, anti-democratic and bound to explode in the faces of Israel and the US. Hamas must now prove its worth as the elected party, and if they fail, can be voted out in the next election. In the meantime, however, the West should be warned that turning its back on an elected democracy – a common occurrence in recent history – will only lead to greater radicalisation and, what Israel fears most, breaking the Palestinian dependency on the Jewish state.

34 comments ↪
  • captain

    How can there be greater radicalisation that the election of a party that is racist and dispatches suicide bombers?

    This is like electing a Nazi party. It has taken the palestinians yet again to show that they are irresponsible and more consumed with hatred than resolution of their own difficulties.

  • orang

    Puhleez……….Have you been sleeping the last 40 years?

  • Edward Squire

    Get a grip. Israel is no enclosed ghetto controlled by an overpowering, industrialised Nazi Germany, its population relatively defenseless, humilitated, and treated with a racist contempt that made a virtue of violent dispossession and murder.

    Nor is Hamas that overpowering specture of Nazi Germany returned from the dead. Only a pure fantasist could think this. Hamas is the product – perhaps the inevitable product – of 30 years of occupation. It is, by definition, the party of the oppressed and humiliated.

    One wonders: if the Nazis had maintained the ghettos for 30 years, would one have seen the occupants voting for a Jewish Hamas?

  • captain

    I'm sorry, but head tilting is no substitute for argument.

  • Addamo

    Captain,

    You have been listening to Netanyahu too much – tha same man who's first reactino to 911 was that it was a good thing.

    You also need to remember that Hamas only rose to such prominence thanks to israel supporting and financing it througotu it's early days. if you insist on giving an alcolholic the key to the liquor cabinet, you can;t complain whenn they go on a binge can you?

  • rhross

    Clearly Americans don't do irony. On the one hand they are screaming to the world that all the bombs and bullets are about bringing democracy to everyone, and then, on the other, when they get governments they don't like, they set out to destroy them.

    The gods have a sense of humour. Americans see themselves as the nation that brings freedom to the world and yet it is the nation that most often brings dictators.

  • captain

    Edwardm you miss the key points. Look at Iran, has it been occupied by Israel? Is Israel responsible for its antisemitic rants? Of course not. The Arab world has been making these kinds of statements and acting on them even when Gaza was controlled by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan. Its funny how you only consider these people to have been occupied under Israelly control.

    The point remains that Hamas is a looney fascist organisation that has as its raisen detre a genocide. You dismiss this by merely pointing to what you believe is the origin of this. Irrespective of its origin its charter and its obvious willingness to support its charter is disturbing in its own right. Only a die-hard Israel hater could deny this.

    As for your specious point about the possibility of a Jewish Hamas after 30 years of Nazi rule, I would suggest that rather than salivating at such a prospect, you may wish to consider that in fact Jews have been oppressed in many places on many ocassions and have never come up with anything like it. The closest would be the Irgun and it had purely military targets with no intention to kill all British or anything of the kind.

    Your faliure to integrate the Hamas charter with the Iranian ranting and general emergence of Islamofascism on the back of pan arab nationalism is bewildering.

  • Ros

    There is of course this minor problem for even the most generous and forgiving of liberal westerners.

    “On top of that, some of the aid that the Palestinians currently receive will be stopped or reduced by the United States and European Union governments, which will be constrained by law or politics from providing money to an authority run by Hamas. “

    And another view

    "Mushir al Masri, a Hamas spokesman and incoming legislator, said attempts to bring down a future Hamas government were hypocritical.

    "This is … a rejection of the democratic process, which the Americans are calling for day and night," al Masri said. "It's an interference and a collective punishment of our people because they practiced the democratic process in a transparent and honest way."

    Nope, this is not that at all. They just don't like you, and they think if they give you money you will use it to buy weapons and wage attacks on them, so why give you any? This is aid money and aid is not an entitlement. End of Story.

    "We need a firm Islamic and Arabic position to confront this challenge," al Masri added.

    Sorry dude. We are too busy boycotting Butter and LEGO at the moment. Call back later when there isn't a cartoon crisis going on, will ya?

    SM

  • Addamo

    Captain,

    Your display an ignorance of the achievements of Hamas in it's efficiency as a charitable organization to provide services to the Palestinian community. to say it is nothing other than a "looney fascist organization" is purely racist and devoid of fact.

    Of course, this is not the reason that Israel gave support to Hamas, which was intended to divide the Palestinians by hoping Hamas would be an effective counter to the PLO, which in turn, Israel originally attacked because it expressed support for democracy amongst the Palestinians.

    Iran does make anit-0semitic bluster but you blatantly ignore that it is Israel that is making noises about attacking Iran (or getting the Us to do it on it’s behalf), not the other way around. Only a blinkered and biased agenda would regard war (with estimates putting the casualties at ten thousand) as preferable to anti-Semitic slogans.

    Also, the Irgun made little effort to avoid attacking civilians, so your suggestion that they acted appropriately is specious, especially given that they were so encouraged by a man who has hero status in Israel, Menachem Begin .

    Your willingness to buy into the myth of the emergence Islamic Caliphate is what is truly bewildering. The term Islamo-fascism is completely devoid of meaning or supported by evidence, seeing as no extremist such movement has any significant support or following in the ME or otherwise. You appear unable to distinguish between resistance to occupation and the so called “emergence of Islamofascism” perpetuated by Western propaganda.

    Simply put, your Islamo fascism would not be there without western oppression to fuel it.

  • rhross

    Captain,

    Israel comes in for criticism in ways that past occupiers did not for two reasons: one is that in times past the world took a more tolerant view of occupation, and second, Israel, unlike former occupiers of Palestine, claims to be a modern democracy which abides by international norms of justice, human rights and the Geneva Convention. It is these claims that have opened it to justified cricicism.

    The raison d'etre of Hamas is not genocide. You might like to post links proving that it is if you can. Hamas was born at the instigation of Israel to disempower the PLO. The reason Hamas has become so powerful and so popular is that amidst the destruction and the carnage which Israel continues to wreak on the Palestinian people, Hamas is the one organisation that has provided relief in terms of food, medical aid and education.

    Hamas does not call for the 'death' of all Israelis, which is what genocide is. It merely calls for the end of the occupation and freedom for Palestinians. It's original charter called for the end of the Israeli State but that is different to genocide. One can understand this position given the illegality of the founding of Israel.

    But, more recent comments from Hamas indicate a recognition of the State of Israel but one that returns to the original, pre:67 borders. Hardly unreasonable and certainly not genocide.

  • Addamo

    Ros,

    Talk abotu irony.

    "Nope, this is not that at all. They just don’t like you, and they think if they give you money you will use it to buy weapons and wage attacks on them, so why give you any? This is aid money and aid is not an entitlement. End of Story."

    Do you not think that Israeli bobbyists regard financial and kilitary aid from the US as their entitlement?

    Can you imagine the outpouring of histerai that woudl be hear if the Us were to cut off aid to Israel?

  • Progressive_Atheist

    If Israel was responsible for setting up Hamas, and Hamas' charter called for the destruction of Israel, then does it not follow that Israel was responsible for calling for its own destruction?

  • Edward Squire

    captain said:

    Edwardm you miss the key points. Look at Iran, has it been occupied by Israel?

    I seem to miss the "key points" because you keep changing them. You were talking about Palestine. Now you've changed it to Iran. So let's look at Iran: has it ghettoised Jews in Iran? No. Has it invaded and ghettoised Jews in Israel? No. Does it even have the remotest capacity to do this? No. This is no Nazi threat. Rather this – just like the Palestinian example which you myseriously threw out the window – is a pure fantasy. It is the imaginary boogey-man under the bed.

    Is Israel responsible for its antisemitic rants? Of course not. The Arab world has been making these kinds of statements and acting on them even when Gaza was controlled by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan.

    Rants? Israel is doing far worse than that right now! It's responsible for more than just words (and remember, we've all revealed ourselves to be defenders of free expression here); it's responsible for physical occupation and the denial of basic political rights of fellow human beings for 30 years.

    Its funny how you only consider these people to have been occupied under Israelly control.

    It's funny how you don't consider the occupation a crime against humanity.

    The point remains that Hamas is a looney fascist organisation that has as its raisen detre a genocide.

    Don't lie. Hamas has never advocated genocide. As previous posters have noted, it has advocated the end of the Israeli state as a political entity. It advocated this on the basis of Israel's unjust foundation. (Many anti-Zionist Jews also advocated the end to the state of Israel as well on the grounds that it was premised on anti-semitism.) And then there are the obvious practicalities: Hamas knows that the end of an Israeli state is an insane objective (even if it makes for blood-rushing rhetoric.

    You dismiss this by merely pointing to what you believe is the origin of this.

    No. I dismiss it because it is false and transparently propagandistic.

    Irrespective of its origin its charter and its obvious willingness to support its charter is disturbing in its own right. Only a die-hard Israel hater could deny this.

    Only someone utterly ignorant of recent history could believe this so-called "obviousness". Look at Fatah. What did it's charter used to say? What does it say now? What used to be the official goal of the Sinn Fein? What is it now?

    As for your specious point about the possibility of a Jewish Hamas after 30 years of Nazi rule

    Tell me what is specious about it? Tell me whether you think it is reasonable to believe that people – any people – dispossessed and ghettoised for 30 years wouldn't eventually react violently against their gaolers.

    you may wish to consider that in fact Jews have been oppressed in many places on many ocassions and have never come up with anything like it.

    First, there are cases where Jewish militias were formed in response to pograms in Eastern Europe. These formed the basis of the terrorist organisations that formed in Palestine in the 1920s and eventually the ideology that informed the early Israeli army. Second, to imply that Jewish people 'just aren't like that' is both fundamentally racist and false. Ben-Gurion is on record as openly despising the Jewish diaspora in the ghettos for not fighting back.

    Your faliure to integrate the Hamas charter with the Iranian ranting and general emergence of Islamofascism on the back of pan arab nationalism is bewildering.

    Your cherry-picking of unrelated quasi-facts, woven into a bizarre mega conspiracy theory is a paranoid fantasy.

  • captain

    Hamas have never advocated genocide??

    "The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,'

    Does it refer to Israelis? Does it refer to Israeli Jews? Nope, just Jews. Genocidal.

    Edward you consider it racist to say that the Jewish people aren't like that? The fact is there has never been anything remotely as fascist, racist and deadly as Hamas. Your memory for their murderous endeavours into pizza parlours, discos and backgammon parlous seems particularly fragile. When have Jews done this? In fact even the European secularist terrorist groups never behaved in this way. Not even the IRA, as hideous as they have been, have been so indiscriminate in their violence (although I am willing to be corrected on the latter point.

    Hamas knows that the end of an Israeli state is an "insane objective"?? Who is lying now Edward. Show me any evidence at all that this is the policy of Hamas. This is your wishful thinking only because it suits your propagandist needs.

  • captain

    Further, the comment about Fatah is , to you use your words, a quasi fact.

  • edward squire

    “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him,’

    Please supply a source for this quote. The closest thing I can find on the net is:

    A Musulman author quoted by Hammer, Najmuddin of Rei, gives an awful picture of the Tartar devastations, "Such as had never been heard of, whether in the lands of unbelief or of Islam, and can only be likened to those which the Prophet announced as signs of the Last Day, when he said: 'The Hour of Judgment shall not come until ye shall have fought with the Turks, men small of eye and ruddy of countenance, whose noses are flat, and their faces like hide-covered shields. Those shall be Days of Horror!' 'And what meanest thou by horror?' said the Companions; and he replied, 'SLAUGHTER!

    Source (last paragraph).

    Does it refer to Israelis? Does it refer to Israeli Jews? Nope, just Jews. Genocidal.

    But who said this? You supply no source. For all I know, it was said by the Wizard of Oz.

    Edward you consider it racist to say that the Jewish people aren’t like that?

    I assumed you wouldn't the point. When you claim that either a particular racial group is superior/inferior to another racial group – and your identifier (or quasi-explanation) is their race, that's racism.

    The fact is there has never been anything remotely as fascist, racist and deadly as Hamas.

    I didn't say that, dill. Read again. Comprehend. You equated them to the Nazis as if they were of the same threat status. They are nothing of the sort. Further, the support for them lies, at core, with the occupation. No 30 year occupation, no Hamas. End the occupation, Hamas support withers. You don't need to be a genius to figure out the connection. I don't know which is more disturbing: that Israeli strategists don't know this or that they do.

    Your memory for their murderous endeavours into pizza parlours, discos and backgammon parlous seems particularly fragile.

    Who can forget? And who can fail to comprehend that a people dispossessed, occupied and treated like animals for 30 years will, are, driven to the maddess of such violence? Only someone who is too blind to know the connection, or knows the connection and doesn't care.

    When have Jews done this?

    The Israeli state has been doing this – and worse – and with higher casualties – for 30 years as it has slowly but surely increased its annexation of the Territories.

    In fact even the European secularist terrorist groups never behaved in this way. Not even the IRA, as hideous as they have been, have been so indiscriminate in their violence (although I am willing to be corrected on the latter point.

    Read.

    Hamas knows that the end of an Israeli state is an “insane objective”?? Who is lying now Edward. Show me any evidence at all that this is the policy of Hamas.

    Haven't you been reading recent statements from Hamas itself. You must take these at face value if you were willing to take their previous statements at face value. One would hope you are not so blind or dishonest as to only belive those statements – whatever they happen to be – that suit your persecutorial worldview.

  • captain

    Edward, you have called me a "dill", accused me of lying, said I was paranoid and dishonest. This is out and out abuse. Do you understand what ad hominem arguments are all about?

    Does it distress you that I was quoting the Hamas charter?

    Recent statements from Hamas? Yeah I have read them. Try this from February 7th. It calls for the humiliation and degradation of Israel before it is destroyed. But I suppose you are going to explain that away. You rely on saying that Hamas is a creation of Israel and therefore what? That it doesn't really mean it? Because Fatah was so reformed? You mean like the Al Aqsa Matyr's Brigades? That part of the reformed Fatah?

    Or perhaps Edward this explicit view as recently as Jan 1 straight from Hamas leadership.

    But perhaps you are more interested in the English language comments made by Hamas to appease folks like yourself?

    Driven to madness? You mean like the Saudi 9/11 terrorists? Many terrorists come from priveledged backgrounds. University educated and middle class. Most experts say that they are not mad but that this is strategic. There is plenty of evidence for this and very little evidence for madness. I don't think that you are really understanding what you are writing. Your anger is really getting in the way.

    You think its cherry-picking to link Hamas and Iran? What, because Chomsky didn't point it out for you? Perhaps you should look a bit closer here.

    Edward, you call me paranoid. Hamas explicitly states that it wishes to kill Jews. It does kill Jews. I am a Jew. I am a target. You on the other hand are completely blinded by your obsession with your perception of the wrongdoings of Israel to appreciate the error of your reasoning.

  • edward squire

    Dear Captain,

    Edward, you have called me a “dill”, accused me of lying, said I was paranoid and dishonest. This is out and out abuse. Do you understand what ad hominem arguments are all about?

    You're right. All of that was uncalled for. I got carried away and abandoned the appropriate etiquette of discussion. I sincerely apologise.

    Ed.

  • Addamo

    Captain,

    You are very misinformed.

    “The fact is there has never been anything remotely as fascist, racist and deadly as Hamas.”

    No fact in this statement whatsoever. Simply put, the number of Palestinians killed at the hands of Israelis is three time the number of Israeli’s killed by Palestinians. of those kjilled, one half to 2 thirds have been innocent casualties. Israel has legalized targeted assassination which has been indiscriminate in killing innocent bystanders. According to you, legalizing murder makes it credible.

    According to Human Rights Watch and B'Tselem, between 1994-1995, Israel tortured tens of thousands of Palestinian detainees. Israel was the only country in the world, the only one, which had legalized torture from 1987 to 1999 It was also the only country in the world that legalized hostage taking, targeted assanination.

    “Your memory for their murderous endeavours into pizza parlours, discos and backgammon parlous seems particularly fragile. When have Jews done this? In fact even the European secularist terrorist groups never behaved in this way.”

    And how does this differ from IDF sharp shooters killing pre teenage Palestinian girls – one 13 and the other 9 years old? How does this differ from Israel killing dozens of bystanders when they carry out targeted assassinations?

    “Not even the IRA, as hideous as they have been, have been so indiscriminate in their violence (although I am willing to be corrected on the latter point.”

    B'Tselem did an interesting comparison. It compared the British policies of torture in Northern Ireland with Israeli policies of torture. In the 1970s, there were thousands of terrorist attacks by the I.R.A., and B'Tselem's comparison showed that the Israeli record is much worse than the British on the question of torture. That's the facts.

    “Recent statements from Hamas? Yeah I have read them. Try this from February 7th. It calls for the humiliation and degradation of Israel before it is destroyed. But I suppose you are going to explain that away.”

    You keep harping on about statements from Hamas as thought these in themselves are a weapon of sorts. Words. In your mind, the lack of inflammatory language by Israel is somehow evidence they their brutality is more humane or warranted.

    “Many terrorists come from priveledged backgrounds.”

    Care to be more specific? Osama is not many.

    “ Most experts say that they are not mad but that this is strategic.”

    Name the experts. Robert Pape suggests that terrorism is overwhelmingly associated with territorial disputes.

    “There is plenty of evidence for this and very little evidence for madness.”

    Links please. People driven to commit suicide do so as a last rest.

    “I don’t think that you are really understanding what you are writing. Your anger is really getting in the way.”

    And you should get your information from someone other than David Horowitz or Daniel Pipes.

  • Addamo

    Captain,

    Another meaningless statement and link "You think its cherry-picking to link Hamas and Iran? What, because Chomsky didn’t point it out for you? Perhaps you should look a bit closer here."

    So by your rasoniung, the US finds Al Qeda (seeing as it supported the mujahaddeen in Afghanistan), and is financing the insurgency in Iraq, seeing as oil revenue in riaq has been revealed to have financing their endeavours also.

    During the iraq/Iran war, the US supported iraq and Israel sold arms to iran. What are we to deduce from that?

    The Mujahedin-E-Khalq is listed as a terrorist organisation by the US State Department, yet the CIA is financing them in their efforts to overthrow the Iranian leadership.

    So yes Captain, your links and arguments are producing an abundance of cherries, but a case riddled with holes.

  • rhross

    Captain,

    You clearly also have little understanding of Middle Eastern culture …. and I include Israel in that because Israelis have far more in common with Arabs, culturally, than they do anyone else.

    But, in this part of the world there is 'face.' Yes, you find the need to 'save face' elsewhere but it is combined in the Middle East with a belief that 'they only understand violence,' and 'aggression means you are not weak.' Both Israelis and Arabs take this position.

    So, to continue the theme, this means there is What one says and then there is what one does and then there is what one might do and then there is what one might say.

    So, just as Hamas may have taken a position calling for the end of the State of Israel, understandable of course given the inherent illegitimacy of Israel in the circumstances of its foundation, much of this is Position as opposed to policy. In the same way, Israel refusing to countenance an Israeli State and therefore condemning Palestinians to life in concentration camps and ultimate destruction as a people, is stating a position, as opposed to actual policy.

    It's what is called an ambit claim. No, Hamas cannot destroy Israel. It does not have the power. No, it cannot bring about the end of the Israeli State because it does not have the power and the world would not allow it.

    Israel on the other hand does have the power to destroy the Palestinians and to destroy any hope of a Palestinian State but, and it's a big but, it won't be able to do it because the world would not allow it.

    So, here you have, two aggressive positions that, at the end of the day, will need to be watered down because the facts on the ground are that despite its illegality, Israel, like all other modern colonising nations will be allowed to continue to exist. However, like all other modern colonising nations it will have to admit to the wrongs inherent in its foundation and make redress.

    The Israeli rant of terrorist and finger-pointing is no more than a ploy to prevent negotiation while it continues to strengthen its concentration camps for Palestinians and to continue its policy of colonisation.

    And then we come to paranoia, yours, most Israelis and a lot of Jews. You know, it's about time you got over it. So something terrible happened to Jews but something terrible has happened to lots of people and they have not become emotionally and psychologically dysfunctional.

    The gypsies for instance, still without a homeland, have been as badly treated as the Jews …. in fact, on a per capita basis the Nazis killed more of them than they did Jews …. and gypsies are still discriminated against and treated badly …. but they are not forever screaming that everyone is out to get them.

    At this point in history there is no threat to the Jewish religion or those who follow it. Millions of followers of this faith live peacefully and happily in other countries. There are as many Jews for instance in New York as Israel. There are lots of safe places. And then, for the truly paranoid ones, there is Israel. There is a place where the Jewish religion rules and it is not going to go away. Back to its original borders yes, but it will endure.

    So how about taking a deep breath. The world does not revolve around you and yours. Jews are no longer victims. Palestinians are in this instance and they are the victims of Jews.

    The truly tragic irony of all of this, and many Jews and Israelis of conscience grieve for this more than anything, is that after all that suffering at the hands of the Nazis, nothing was learned except a pernicious desire for vengeance.

    You have become what you hate. And paranoia and its incumbent need for denial prevents you from seeing that.

  • rhross

    Whoops Freudian slip.

    Israel refusing to countenance a Palestinian State and I said Israeli. I wonder if that is because at a deeper level the Israeli refusal to countenance a Palestinian State has the capacity to destroy the Israeli one as well.

    We need a correction capacity on this site.

  • Addamo

    Well put as always RhRoss,

    "So, to continue the theme, this means there is What one says and then there is what one does and then there is what one might do and then there is what one might say."

    Yes it seems that in Captain's Orwellian reality, what one does is not as important as what one might do, which in turn is less important as what one says. So commiting genocide or murder is less a crime than talking about it or threatening to do so.

  • rhross

    addamo

    Yes, good point. If we could be held accountable for what we say, as opposed to what we do, most of us would be in gaol.

    And, as you and others have pointed out, he completely overlooks the violence that Israel perpetrates against Palestinians.

    I fail to see how shooting children in the head and blowing civilians to smithereens to maintain an occupation is 'better' than blowing yourself up and some of those who occupy you as part of a fight for freedom.

    personally I am a pacifist and against all of it. But surely there is some justification in a fight against occupation that simply does not exist in a fight to maintain occupation.

  • Addamo

    RhRoss,

    "personally I am a pacifist and against all of it. But surely there is some justification in a fight against occupation that simply does not exist in a fight to maintain occupation."

    Of course, you are in agreement with the law makers of Nuremberg and the Geneva Conventions One of these is considered acceptable under international law and the other is not.

  • captain

    The accusations just keep coming: Paranoia, denia, "you have become what you hate" etc.

    All this because I dispute that Hamas is a benign organisation. And I did this with their own actions and words. And even that is disputed! And I am accused of "harping on" when contributors here deny Hamas is murderous and deny its malevolent intentions. For some reason the contributors here know Hamas better than its own leaders.

    And there is no threat to the Jewish religion when Iran calls for the eradication of Israel and defies the world with its uranium enrichment?

    As for the death of bystanders, it is still not apparent to people here what happens in a war zone. When Palestinians continue to ignore the Geneva convention (you know, the one that you like to cherry pick with your quotes), and have combattants mix with non combattants, of course there are going to be innocent people killed. The blame for this lies entirely with the Palestinian terrorists. They have no regard for their own people.

    Australian aboriginals are "occupied", so are the indigenous peoples of many areas around the globe. It is not a linear relationship between a perception of occupation and murderous violence. Just as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem criticised Hitler for not killing Jews fast enough and every arab country has tried to anihilate Israel at one time or another, there is clear continuity evident in the actions of Hamas. They are a dangerous terrorist group and always will be.

    More secular terrorist groups can sometimes modify what they do because they have a more fluid ideology. This is not so for a religious group that has an unchangeable source for their doctrine. They are not about to change Islam.

  • Addamo

    Once again Captain,

    Another factually bereft post.

    “All this because I dispute that Hamas is a benign organisation.”

    Te question of benign definitions is irrelevant. One certainly cannot refer to Israel as a benign entity in any way either.

    “And there is no threat to the Jewish religion when Iran calls for the eradication of Israel and defies the world with its uranium enrichment”

    Israel defied the world with it’s nuclear weapons proliferation, So did India and Pakistan. Iran has actually complied 100% with the NPT – certainly over the last 2 years. In fact, it has agreed to additional concessions that it was not obligated to meet, just to please the international community. In spite of this, the US has been pressuring the IAEA to refer tthem to the UNSC because the are not snging to teh tune of the US and Israel.

    All the noise you are hearing now about Iran recommencing uranium enrichment, is merely Iran doing what it is entitles to do under the NPT. Yet Israel objects to this.

    There is not an shred of evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, yet every week, Israel harps on about how they will not tolerate an Iran armed with nukes. Every week they warn about taking unilateral action, or getting the Us do attack Iran on their behalf. This is in spite of all intelligence stating that Iran is not even close to producing nuclear weapons.

    Who are the extremists here?

    Interesting that you refer to Palestinian children that are killed by IDF marksmen, to be bystanders, even when an IDF soldier empties and entire clip of bullets (17 all told) into her dead body. Where were the combatants mixed with non combatants on that occasion?

    “ The blame for this lies entirely with the Palestinian terrorists. They have no regard for their own people.”

    So now you are shoring your true colors. When Israeli’s die, it’s the fault of the Palestinians. When Palestinians dies, it ‘s the fault of the Palestinians. Israel is jut there to offer comfort and support.

    Are you ever going o get around to the bit about how it is against International Law to acquire territory by war?

    In 1981, Israel was being pressured by the interntional community to reach a diplomatic settlement in the Israel-Palestine conflict. So what did they do? The sensible thing of course. They decides to invade Lebanon in order to crush the P.L.O., because the P.L.O. was on the record as supporting a two-state settlement. As Avner Yaniv, put it in his book, Dilemmas of Security, “The main problem for Israel was…….the P.L.O.'s peace offensive. They wanted a two-state settlement. Israel did not”. Israel decided to crush the P.L.O. in Lebanon.

    So you see Captain, Israel did not declared to the world they would crush the P.L.O., they just went ahead and did it. Something tells me that whether they had declared it to the world or not, you would still be in complete denial.

    And you have he chutzpah to call Hamas a terrorist organization?
    “ every arab country has tried to anihilate Israel at one time or another, there is clear continuity evident in the actions of Hamas. They are a dangerous terrorist group and always will be.”

    More garbage supported by inflated hyperbole alone. When Israel attacks another country, you tell us it’s an act of self defense, but when an Arab country shows aggression against Israel, it can’t be war, it must be an attampt to annihilate Israel.

    Your last statement also betrayes you blatant hypocrisy and racism,

    “This is not so for a religious group that has an unchangeable source for their doctrine. They are not about to change Islam”

    So according to you, all Islam is to blame for the actions of terror. The US and Israel are utterly blameless.

    You repeatedly mention how the fact that the aborigines allowed themselves to be decimated is somehow an example of how the Palestinians should accord themselves, while ignoring that occupation is itself a crime.

  • rhross

    Captain,

    One huge difference between the Aborigines and Palestinians and I am glad you accord indigenous rights to Palestinians, is the fact that Aboriginals, while originally occupied, are now full citizens of Australia.

    Israel on the other hand refuses full citizenship to all Palestinians preferring to maintain a collection of prison camps, bantustan states, keeping Palestinians under brutal occupation because it wants to maintain the Jewish nature of its State.

    You can compare the Palestinian position with that of blacks in South Africa before the end of apartheid. You cannot compare them with indigenous people in colonising nations like the US, Canada, NZ and Australia because they have the rights of citizens.

    If Israel wants all of Palestine it must give full rights to all Palestinians. It cannot keep control of most of Palestine and keep the Palestinians imprisoned. It must allow the establishment of a viable Palestinian State. It must be one or the other. It will be one or the other.

    Either two states or one with full rights for all.

  • rhross

    addamo,

    Well said.

  • Pingback: Dealing with “terrorists” | Antony Loewenstein()

  • Leo Braun

    What a bloody hilarious clap-trap enactment by the sleazy Captain: "Edward, you miss the key points"…"you may wish to consider that in fact Jews have been oppressed in many places on many occasions"… Declared patronising disinfo-blabbermouth, without having the elementary decency to state up-front what kind of Jews we're talking about?

    As an analysis dilemma as such to attest that it's wrong to lump all the Jews together with the supremacist fanaticism, that Zionism has come to represent. It insults sane raised Jews and deflects debate from the real issues in question. Whilst indoctrinated Zionist zealots tend to slur the opposing-opinion-holders via anti-Semitic race mania. Versus dissident Jews, who condemn so painfully obvious Zionist hegemony, while drawing attention to the difference between the Jews on socio-ideological grounds.

    Now having said that, a very interesting would be to look at the supremacist Zionists mentality. To see how they react, like a savage pack of rabid dogs, when they sense that their connived interests are challenged. What was unveiled precisely via imperative exposé, where Jewish peace activists get hatemail from the furious Zionists. Which was reported in Guardian by Brian Whitaker on Jan 19th, 2004.

    Who portrays conscientious Jew activists incessantly faced harassment and intimidation via emails and internet forums. Since the active voiced opposition by Jew lesser brethren versus racist Zionism and its brute onslaught against the humanity. As for example Deborah Fink, a Jewish singer and music teacher (living in London), received all of a sudden deluge of the hateful emails (more than 150 in space of a week).

    One came from a New York's rabbi to inform her: “Your soul, my dear, is petrified and lost”. Another menacingly said: “Hitler killed the wrong Jews”. Still another ostensibly from a Jew doctor of medicine in the US, elaborated on a holocaust theme: “Too bad Hitler didn't get your family”, it said. “With six million Jews dieing [sic] 60 years [sic] ago, it's a shame scum like you somehow managed to survive”.

    So what exactly had Ms Fink done to deserve such a vitriol? The short answer is that, she had been planning to sing as Ms Fink is a member of the “Just Peace UK”. A mainly but not exclusively Jewish group, opposing Israeli occupation and seeking a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, alongside a safe and secure Israel, with Jerusalem as shared capital of both states.

    Though rational assertions as such, attracts paranoid henchmen attention, and chances are Jew lesser brethren might not be able to say it anymore. “It is a poor service to the memory of the spun holocaust tragedy victims, to adopt a central doctrine of zionazi murderers”… Noam Chomsky.

  • Leo Braun

    Wait a minute! Who are you kidding sleazy Captain, with your reverse psychology drivel: "Edward, you call me paranoid? Hamas explicitly states that it wishes to kill Jews. It does kill Jews. I am a Jew. I am a target". Gewalt! "When have Jews done this"? "The fact is, there has never been anything remotely as fascist, racist and deadly as Hamas"… Are you sure about that? Really? Aren't you just speaking of the Zionist chutzpah fabrications in the extreme?

    Which recoiled finally on the perfidious Captain, miraculously sheltered in a glass house! Where as a result of his invoked Irgun's topic, the Zionist Captain shot himself in the foot. Well, in order to grasp the full extent of the evil agenda behind the broad ranging Zionist junta exploits through territorial settlements thrust into the remnants of Palestinian land in lieu of an allegedly sought safety buffer's implementation "for the security sake", one ought to focus on the authentic history.

    Which reveals that in 1940, an extremely lethal Stern Gang, a splinter faction of the Revisionist Irgun Group, combined of the terrorist power brokers (jostling to contest a place in the Zionist venture), went as far as (to offer) to join the WWII on the Nazi side. Towards an erection of the Zionist Vatican (upon the Haram as-Sharif), which was to be established on the national and totalitarian basis, bound by the treaty with the Nazi Reich.

    Due to the fact that the supremacist Zionists and their cultivated Nazi proxies had a common interest in making the assimilationalist Jew lesser brethren of Europe to depart to Palestine. Exposing thus evil relationship, where aloof Zionists did not merely fail to lead any resistance or ever defend Jew lesser brethren survival, they in fact actively sabotaged all the efforts. While plotting with their counterparts for the Third Reich sponsorship not merely because it appeared powerful enough to impose Zionist colony in the Palestine, but because Nazi practices were consonant with the Zionist aspirations.

    Though after the war the victors concocted a myth as to devalue the magnitude of the Zionist participation in crimes committed against the humanity by shifting focus on its terrorist Stern Gang, ran by Nathan Yalin-Mor and Israel Scheib (Eldad). The future Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir chose to join (Avraham Stern's freedom fighters for the Israel) at the time. These facts give an extra edge of topicality to what in any case has been already a highly controversial records study of the Zionism in a hey day of escalated fascism.

    When Zionists were already in bed with what later became known as Axis of Evil. Combined of the fascist Benito Mussolini's Italy and Tojo Hideki's Japan. Mind you, that on March 29th, 1936, Zionists praised Jew Duce and his fascist regime at the opening of the Maritime School, where Nazi uniformed Zionist Youth Betar Group (headed by Begin) trained Jew sailors towards Zionist junta's savagery escapades. Funded by the Fascist Government of Civitavecchia.

    Italian troops had already invaded Abyssinia (Ethiopia-n-Eritrea) on Oct 3rd, 1935. The very cradle of the Solomonic blut aristocracy. Ever since "almighty" chosen to rule the world by the "best". Whilst demoralised in succession, even contemporary couch potatoes relegated their duty of care towards the possible self-rule in a democracy, in lieu of a passive swap for the "No Worries" way of life. As a result all the care has been taken by the "almighty" chosen oligarchies pedigree (candidates for the Law of Return exploits), sprang as malignancy throughout the hijacked world.

  • Leo Braun

    Now surely to most of the moral people, it would appear anomalous, that the Zionist clique which forever invokes the horror of the spun holocaust tragedy, should have collaborated actively with the vicious Nazi enemy, ever faced by Jews. Yet authentic history reveals however, not merely the common interests, but a deep ideological affinity. Rooted in the extreme Zion – Nazi chauvinism, which they actually shared. In spite of the fact that Nazi chauvinists rejected Jews as not of Germanic blut. So for all their grandiose intellectual pretensions, their völkisch Zionism was seemingly an imitation of Nazi nationalist ideology.

    Or wasn't it actually vice versa? As the real objective of Zionism has never been merely to colonise Palestine as a goal in the classical colonial style of imperialist 19th & 20th centuries. When the objectives of European colonialism in Africa and Asia was essentially to exploit the indigenous people as a cheap labor, while extracting natural resources for the exorbitant profit. Whereas what distinguishes subsequent Zionism adherents from their earlier colonial paternity (who exercised imperialist ventures), was the relationship between the born to rule settlers and the people to be conquered.

    As the avowed purpose of the Zionist venture was not merely to exploit Palestinian people, but to disperse and dispossess them. To eradicate farmers, artisans and town-dwellers of Palestine and substitute an entirely new workforce, composed of the new settler population. As intent was to replace the indigenous population with a new settler community. So in denying the existence of Palestinian people, Zionism adherents sought to create the political climate for their removal, not only from their land, but from the history altogether.

    Thus when acknowledged (if at all), the Palestinians were re-invented as a semi-savage, nomadic remnant. Historical records were falsified in a procedure that begun during the last quarter of the 19th century, but still continuing to this day. In a such bogus writing style as Joan Peter's "From Time Immemorial". When for the fact Zionist movers and shakers sought over the years imperial sponsors for their bloody enterprise in the alternative succession among the "rule by the best" adherents within the Ottoman Empire, Imperial Germany, British Raj, bourgeoisie France and Tzarist Russia in lieu of Zionism plotted final solution for Palestinians.

    Who were likely to face Ottoman's style resolve like Armenians, slaughtered in the first sustained genocide of the 20th century. As from the inception Zionist doctrine sought armenianization of Palestinian people. Who like native Americans, were regarded as "a people too many". The logic was elimination; the record was to be one of a genocide. This was no less true motto of the Zionist Labor faction, which solely sought to canvass "socialist" patina on the colonialist enterprise.

  • Leo Braun

    One of the principal theorists of the Zionist Labor and founder of the Zionist Ha'Poel Ha'Tzair (The Young Worker) as well as supporter of Poalei Zion (Workers of Zion), was Aaron David Gordon. Walter Laqueur acknowledges in his "History of Zionism", that AD Gordon and his comrades wanted every tree and every bush to be planted by the Jewish pioneers. Gordon even coined a slogan of Kibbush Avodah (conquest of labor). As he called upon the Jew capitalists and Rothschild's plantation managers, who had obtained land from absentee Turkish landlords over the heads of Palestinian people, to hire Jews and only Jews!

    As a consequence WZO organised boycotts of any such colonist enterprises which failed to employ exclusively Jews … via induced strikes against the colonists who allowed Arab peasants to share a crop or even to work as a cheap labour. Accordingly Zionist Labor employed its fascist methods to prevent an employment of Arab labour. As Zionism's objective was not merely exploitation but usurpation. When at the turn of the 19th century, there were over a thousand of villages in Palestine.

    Jerusalem, Haifa, Gaza, Jaffa, Nablus, Acre, Jericho, Ramle, Hebron and Nazareth were flourishing towns. The hills were painstakingly terraced. Irrigation ditches crisscrossed the land. The citrus orchards, olive groves and grains of Palestine were known at the time throughout the world. Trade, crafts, textiles, cottage industry and agricultural production abounded. The 18th and 19th century "Traveller's Accounts" are replete with the data, as were the Scholarly Quarterly Reports, published in the 19th century by the British Palestine Exploration Fund.

    In fact, it was precisely the social cohesiveness and stability of Palestinian society which led Lord Palmerston in 1840 (when Britain had established a consulate in Jerusalem), to propose presciently the founding of European Jewish settler colony (as a preserve to larger interests of the British Empire). Whilst Palestinian society in spite of suffering from the devious collaboration by the feudal land-owners with the Ottoman Empire's effendis, was nevertheless productive and culturally diverse, with the peasantry quite conscious of its social role.

    As Palestinian peasants and urban dwellers had made a clear, strongly felt distinction between the Jews who lived amongst them, and would be colonists. Dating from the 1820's, when 20,000 Jews of Jerusalem were wholly integrated and accepted in Palestinian society. So when colonists at Petah Tikvah sought to push Palestinian peasants off their land in 1886, they were certainly met with the organised resistance, but Jewish workers in the neighbouring villages and communities, were wholly unaffected. Likewise, when Armenians escaping Turkish genocide, settled in Palestine, they were welcomed.

    Now surely to most of the moral people, it would appear anomalous that the Armenians genocide was actually defended by Vladimir Jabotinsky, along with other Zionist leaders. Courtesy of Zionism inspired connived attempts to obtain Turkish support for the Zionist foothold in Palestine. In fact, until the devious Balfour Declaration in 1917, Palestinian response to the Zionist settlements influx, was unwisely tolerant.

    There was no organised, any such Jew hatred in Palestine, no massacres such as Tzar's or Polish (Zionist orchestrated anti-Semitic pogroms). No racist counterparts in Palestinian response to armed colonists (who used the force wherever possible, to drive Palestinians from their land). Not even spontaneous riots (expressing pent up Palestinian rage versus steady theft of their land), were directed at the Jews as a whole.