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.

The blind spot emerges

David Hirst, The Guardian, February 23:

If the Hamas assumption of power is truly a watershed, it will be an Arab and Muslim, not just Palestinian, one. It has long been said that in so far as Arabs and Palestinians ever formally accommodated themselves to Israel it was Arab despotism, not democracy, that made it possible. To be sure, Arab public opinion might have been moving away, if only in the weariness of repeated defeat, from the all-pervading “rejectionism” of the conflict’s earlier stages, but never far enough for those rulers who did make peace with Israel to do so with anything seriously resembling a popular mandate. “Israel,” said Aluf Benn in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, “could always do business with Arab dictators, a barrier protecting it from the rage of the ‘Arab street’. That was the basis of the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan, Yasser Arafat and his heirs and the rules vis-a-vis Syria and Lebanon. But those days are over. Henceforth Israel will have to factor into its foreign policy something it has always ignored – Arab public opinion.” 

42 comments ↪
  • Chris

    And what is Arab public opinion? It seems to revovle around humiliation. No nation can deal with such public opinion. Especially when that nations very existance is a constant reminder of Arabs being humiliated.

  • rhross

    The problem the Arabs have with Israel Chris is not that it is a reminder of defeat in war but that it stands as a reminder of dispossession and colonisation and the wrongs inherent in its foundation, compounded by the ongoing wrongs of occupation, the brutality of that occupation and continued colonisation.

    The Arabs, like most, have lost many wars and gotten over it. They have harmonious relationships with the British who conquered and oppressed them and defeated them in battle.

    The difference with Israel is that it remains an oppressive occupier. If Israel were to apologise for the wrongs inherent in its foundation as other colonising nations have had to do, and to make redress to those it dispossessed and to return to original borders thus ending the occupation and to pay the Palestinians compensation for the suffering and destruction that Israel has inflicted upon them,

    then, I am sure the Palestinians and the Arabs would establish the same sort of diplomatic relations with Israel that they have with the United Kingdom.

    The fact is, the Saudis put together a peace initiative a couple of years back saying that the Arab nations would establish relations with Israel if the Israelis ended the occupation.

    Guess what? Sharon rejected it because he did not want to end the occupation.

    Arab opinion and Palestinian opinion revolves around the egregious wrongs committed by Israel as a coloniser and an occupier.

  • Chris

    The British gave back everything and made them wealthy beyond belief.

    The most of the Saudi terms were not defined and some were not acceptable. To state a single reason for rejection is disengenuous. One may state that Arafat could accept no deal that was not 100% of demands because he knew he would be assassinated is not disengenuous. Just speculation.

    From the BBC:

    From the Israeli point of view, the plan as it stands has certain problems. The crucial sticking points may be:

    Giving up all of the Golan Heights

    A Palestinian political and administrative presence in Jerusalem

    The dismantling of all Israeli settlements in Golan, West Bank and Gaza

    The potential problem of the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

    Of course Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is, and always has been, opposed to full Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders. Should he engage with the Saudi proposal, he will need to undergo a fundamental conversion.

  • Addamo

    What is unacceptabel to israel is to return land that they stole and does nto belong to them.

    As long as israel behaves liek a rogue state and a murderous one, its`security wil be at risk.

    Simple really.

  • Addamo

    Quotes from Norman Filkenstein regarding teh taba and camp David Negotaions.

    “It turned out Arafat was not willing to make those concessions to deny Palestinians what their rights were under international law, and I think that's where the impasse occurred at Camp David and at Taba.”

    “Palestinians refused to make any concessions, because of what Dr. Ben-Ami repeatedly calls Arafat's unyielding positions; and that Arafat missed a huge opportunity. Now, it is correct to say that if you frame everything in terms of what Israel wanted, it made huge concessions. However, if you frame things in terms of what Israel was legally entitled to under international law, then Israel made precisely and exactly zero concessions. All the concessions were made by the Palestinians.”

    “Under international law, there is no dispute, no controversy. Under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, it's illegal for any occupying country to transfer its population to Occupied Territories. All of the settlements, all of the settlements are illegal under international law. No dispute. The World Court in July 2004 ruled that all the settlements are illegal. The Palestinians were willing to concede 50% — 50% of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. That was a monumental concession, going well beyond anything that was demanded of them under international law.”

    “It is inadmissible to acquire territory by war. Under international law, Israel had to withdraw from all of the West Bank and all of Gaza. As the World Court put it in July 2004, those are, quote, "occupied Palestinian territories." Now, however you want to argue over percentages, there is no question, and I know Dr. Ben-Ami won't dispute it, the Palestinians were willing to make concessions on the borders. What percentage? There's differences. But there is no question they were willing to make concessions.”

    “But under international law Israel has not one atom of sovereignty over any of Jerusalem. Read the World Court decision. The World Court decision said Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory. Now, the Palestinians were willing, the exact lines I'm not going to get into now — they are complicated, but I'm sure Dr. Ben-Ami will not dispute they were willing to divide Jerusalem roughly in half, the Jewish side to Israel, the Arab side to the Palestinians.”

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    I have noticed that recently Palestinian apologists have flicked the rhetoric switch to what they call “international law.”

    Reading through apologies such as yours, anybody would think that this issue is no more complex than buying a house. And why would you be quoting an historian as an authority on “international law.” In fact what you have quoted below is just nonsense. Let’s unpack it:

    “It turned out Arafat was not willing to make those concessions to deny Palestinians what their rights were under international law, and I think that’s where the impasse occurred at Camp David and at Taba.”

    The plain unvarnished truth is that the major obstacle to some sort of peace is that the poor Palestinians have been conned into thinking they have a legal “right” of return. There is no such right, there never has been, and there never will be. And Arafat knew there was no way he could explain this to them.

    “Under international law, there is no dispute, no controversy. Under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, it’s illegal for any occupying country to transfer its population to Occupied Territories. All of the settlements, all of the settlements are illegal under international law. No dispute. The World Court in July 2004 ruled that all the settlements are illegal. The Palestinians were willing to concede 50% — 50% of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. That was a monumental concession, going well beyond anything that was demanded of them under international law.”

    There is no de jure applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding occupied territories to the case of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This Convention refers to “Higher Contracting Parties” and thus assumes that a sovereign state had been “occupied.” There has not been a sovereign state legally recognised as having sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza since the end of the British Mandate.

    To put it even more bluntly, the “Palestinians” have never been acknowledged as having ownership over this region. In fact, at law, Israel has the greatest legal claim to these “disputed” territories.

    “It is inadmissible to acquire territory by war. Under international law, Israel had to withdraw from all of the West Bank and all of Gaza. As the World Court put it in July 2004, those are, quote, “occupied Palestinian territories.” Now, however you want to argue over percentages, there is no question, and I know Dr. Ben-Ami won’t dispute it, the Palestinians were willing to make concessions on the borders. What percentage? There’s differences. But there is no question they were willing to make concessions.”

    I can’t believe that a University Professor of History is permitted to get away with such blatant lies. First of all “the World Court” has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Israel in the West Bank. Also under UNSC Resolution 242 there is no demand of unilateral withdrawal.

    242 is a Chapter Six Resolution. Chapter Six Resolutions are demands to “negotiate.” The terms of negotiation are set out in 242 and have been progressively resolved over the years since 1967.

    Following Oslo II in 1995, which extended the legal control by the PA to the rest of the West Bank cities, and since that time, nearly the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza has come under the PA’s jurisdiction.

    “But under international law Israel has not one atom of sovereignty over any of Jerusalem. Read the World Court decision. The World Court decision said Jerusalem is occupied Palestinian territory. Now, the Palestinians were willing, the exact lines I’m not going to get into now — they are complicated, but I’m sure Dr. Ben-Ami will not dispute they were willing to divide Jerusalem roughly in half, the Jewish side to Israel, the Arab side to the Palestinians.”

    Again, the “World Court” does not have one iota of legal authority on this issue. Also if Israel has no sovereignty over Jerusalem the PA has less than nothing. You are not doing the “Palestinians” any favours by continuing to peddle these silly legal “arguments.”

    They are totally baseless and ignorant.

  • Addamo

    Viva Peace,

    Interesting post.

    “The plain unvarnished truth is that the major obstacle to some sort of peace is that the poor Palestinians have been conned into thinking they have a legal “right” of return."

    Wrong. As Shlomo Ben Ami, who was involved in Oslo put it, “the Oslo peace process was an agreement — it started as an agreement between two unequal partners. Arafat conceived Oslo as a way, not necessarily to reach a settlement, but more importantly to him at that particular moment, in order to come back to the territories and control the politics of the Palestinian family. Don't forget that the Intifada, to which Oslo brought an end, started independently of the P.L.O. leadership, and he saw how he was losing control of the destiny of the Palestinians. His only way to get back to the territories was through an agreement with Israel. So in Oslo, he made enormous concessions.”

    Hear that? Arafat made enormous concessions. No mention here about unrealistic rights of return.

    And he goes on, “Arafat in Oslo reached an agreement that didn't even mention the right of self-determination for the Palestinians”.

    So apparently you are completely mistaken b y what took part during Oslo.
    “There is no such right, there never has been, and there never will be. And Arafat knew there was no way he could explain this to them.”

    According to Ben Ami, you are grossly mistaken.

    “ There has not been a sovereign state legally recognised as having sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza since the end of the British Mandate. “

    This in itself is the trophy argument used by Israeli apologists. That the absence of a Palestinians state (which Israel has prevented from ever being realized) precludes this law from being applicable.

    The absence of a sovereign state legally recognized as having sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza has been interpreted by Israel to mean that it is therefore theirs for the taking.

    You don’t even seem to realize that what you are describing is the entire recipe that Israel has been following all along. So long as Israel is able to thwart the creation of a Palestinain state, it is able to hold onto the territories.

    “To put it even more bluntly, the “Palestinians” have never been acknowledged as having ownership over this region. In fact, at law, Israel has the greatest legal claim to these “disputed” territories.”

    Under what law exactly? If there were such legal precedent, how do you explain the abundance of UN sanctions passed over this very fact? Surely UN sanctions would fail to pass if there were no legal basis for having them referred in the first place?
    I can’t believe that a University Professor of History is permitted to get away with such blatant lies. First of all “the World Court” has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Israel in the West Bank. Also under UNSC Resolution 242 there is no demand of unilateral withdrawal.

    Completely irrelevant. The source is not the University Professor of History but the courses he is quoting.

    You and Chris asset that the World Court has no authority over Israel. Is that in itself supposed to mean that Israel is off the hook? Isn’t that a little like using the argument that if you’re wanted by the police in one state, it doesn’t mean you are subjected to the law in another?

    “Following Oslo II in 1995, which extended the legal control by the PA to the rest of the West Bank cities, and since that time, nearly the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza has come under the PA’s jurisdiction.”

    So what went wrong? Why is Israel expanding settlements in the West Bank? Are they not in contravention of this agreement? What happened to the legal control by the PA to the rest of the West Bank cities?

    “Again, the “World Court” does not have one iota of legal authority on this issue. Also if Israel has no sovereignty over Jerusalem the PA has less than nothing. You are not doing the “Palestinians” any favours by continuing to peddle these silly legal “arguments.”

    Again you maintain that because Israel lies beyond the reach of the World Court it is therefore innocent of the findings. Is there any court who’s jurisdiction that Israel does reside within?

  • orang

    Addamo,
    you should know those "beasts who walk on two legs" if they exist, are Jordanians. There is no such thing as Palestine or Palestinians. Those little mauve coloured passports people had about 56 years ago that said "Palestine" were a figment of imagination. Those people who had houses, farms, relatives, grandparents, children in what is now Israel, they just vanished, poof! All those Arabs in Ghaza are Ghazaians and if they shut up and play their cards right they could get cleaning and gardening jobs in "The Promised Land". All those others don't exist, they have no rights they are non-people.

    "We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves." Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.

  • Addamo

    Exactly Orang,

    teh jews are supposedly homeless for nearly 2 thousand years and yet the Paelstinians are the ones refrerred to as the nomads who just happened to be livign a logn time in the promised land.

  • Chris

    2 thousand years? I thought you agreed the number is wrong. Why still use a number that you know is wrong?

    Exactly who are these 'beasts who walk on two legs" can you supply the entire quote? Or does that defeat the purpose of your post?

    The world court has no authority over any nation that does not agree to said authority. Which makes the court a joke, just as the UN often is. But no one maintains that because the world court has no authority Israel is off the hook and thus innocent.

    Israel is innocent because it is not guilty of the charges.

  • Addamo

    I said nearly 2000 years.

    You speak like a petulant childs soemtimes Chris. And you don't ever realise your own choide of words is n admission of israel's culpability. "Israel is off the hook and thus innocent" basically says that as long as Israel refuses to recognise the World Court, it can continue to act criminally.

    Does the refusal of Israel to recognise the authority of the World Court mean that the findings of the world court are wrong or baseless? Saddam Husseing does not recognise the court that is trying him. Does it make that court a joke? Milosevic does not recognise the Hague. Does that make the court in the Hague irrelevant? Did the Nazi's recognise Nuremberg?

    You really are putting forth very foolish arguments Chris. You have no clue what significance your ideology is leading to.

    What court does Israel recognise by the way? Or is Israel a law unto itself i.e. a rogue state?

    Israel was charged with disposessing Palestinians of their homes. Are you tellign us that ten thousand homes were not bulldozed and that israeli settlements were not built on those plots of land?

    Your credibility is shot to pieces.

  • orang

    " [The Palestinians are] beasts walking on two legs." Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the Beasts". New Statesman, 25 June 1982.

    Just look at all these anti-semites:

    "Vote on Advisory Opinion of ICJ

    The draft resolution on the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in occupied Palestinian territory (document A/ES-10/L.18/Rev.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 6 against, with 10 abstentions, as follows:

    In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe."

    Iceland? You just never know do you. Who would have thought that Iceland was against the only democracy in the Middle East.

    And now for our good friends who voted against;

    "Against: Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States."

    Aaaah, Goodonya Johnny and Lexy.

  • Chris

    Read the words slowly, I did not say “Israel is off the hook and thus innocent”

    I said "no one maintains that because the world court has no authority Israel is off the hook and thus innocent."

    You misquoted me. Was it deliberate?

    The ruling of the World court was erronious. It did not take in account any of the factual proof supplied by the defense. If the court decides not to hear the other side, it can not render justice.

    The rules of the hague do not depend on Milosevic's recognition. The rules of the World court do depend on the recognition by both parties.

    The rules of Nuremburg did not depend on the Nazi's recognition.

    Both of your attempts to refute argument are based on your feelings and not on any facts. I don't know if that makes your refutation foolish, ineffective, or just incorrect. It is just another example where you are attempting to invent 'facts' to suit your needs.

  • orang

    Well, that's that then. If, as you say the ruling of the court was erroneous, it should be thrown out.

    By the way, just remind us, what did the defense have to say that wasn't listened to?

    Your honour, we're taking the land on the Pali's side of the border because we need the extra bit because the wall is pretty big see, and we need a bit more room.

  • Addamo

    So Chirs,

    What international body does Israel recognise? What international court does it recognise? Does it recognise the ICJ? Would it continue to recognise those courts if it made jusgements that weer not in Israel's favour?

    Ans as Orang has asked, what factual proof did the World Court not take into account when making it's desciosion?

    I didn't mean to misquote you, but your sentence was badly worded. So you are tellin gus that the World Court essentialy has no reason for existing because no one recognises it, is that right?

    Obvoiosly the World Court is one of those institutions not made up of real people right Chris?

    "The rules of the hague do not depend on Milosevic’s recognition. The rules of the World court do depend on the recognition by both parties."

    Strange comment. Milosevic is one of those parties is he not?

    As the saying goes, the victors get to write history.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    The disputed territories should be designated as UN protectorates.

  • orang

    The "disputed" territories are disputed only in the sense that the whole world knows Israel has stolen them and Israel says "No we didn't" . Think Monty Python.

  • viva peace

    My apologies for the appalling lack of formating but I am in arush and have not got time at the moment to master this blog's formatting protocols!

    Addamo

    Look, I’m sure your heart is in the right place; but dude your head is not even awake here. Read this carefully: This whole conflict is nothing more and nothing less than a POLITICAL conflict. “International law” is absolutely irrelevant, and in my opinion it has been a major strategic boo-boo of the Palestinians to pursue this diversionary tactic to garner the sympathy of well-meaning, time-poor, clueless western middle-class “left“ wingers.

    It is very telling that the main entrepreneurs of this strategy have been Upper Class Anglophone Christians such as Hanan Ashrawi and Edward Said. Like Bolsheviks were to Lenin and Greenies to US, UK, and Australian “left-wing” political parties, Ashrawi and Said were “Useful Idiots” for the Islamists who have always called the shots.

    However, Said and Ashrawi have actually derailed the process by at least 10 years. And following Hamas’ spectacular victory, poor old Hanan looks like she’s a few months away from the burqha or jizyah! I sent her a card last week saying “chin up girlfriend…” Anyway, let’s get back to specifics.

    OK.

    "Wrong. As Shlomo Ben Ami, who was involved in Oslo put it, “the Oslo peace process was an agreement — it started as an agreement between two unequal partners. Arafat conceived Oslo as a way, not necessarily to reach a settlement, but more importantly to him at that particular moment, in order to come back to the territories and control the politics of the Palestinian family. Don’t forget that the Intifada, to which Oslo brought an end, started independently of the P.L.O. leadership, and he saw how he was losing control of the destiny of the Palestinians. His only way to get back to the territories was through an agreement with Israel. So in Oslo, he made enormous concessions.”Hear that? Arafat made enormous concessions. No mention here about unrealistic rights of return."

    Well you have just snookered yourself. As I said “There is no such right, there never has been, and there never will be. And Arafat knew there was no way he could explain this to them.” This is why Arafat was so ready to “concede” the “right of return” of the refugees to Israel. But, he had never convinced his people of this reality. He never even tried, and this reality underpins Oslo’s structural vulnerabilities. You see, Clinton was negotiating with a man who did not have the authority of the Palestinian people to make these “concessions.” But we can’t be hard on Clinton; after all, who wouldn’t want their legacy to be underpinned by peace in the middle east rather than lewd jokes about cigars and stained blue-dresses!?

    Arafat’s total disinterest in the “right of return” was what gave rise to Hamas. You must understand, Arafat’s power had always been rooted in his “take no prisoner’s” charisma. He was a putative modern-day Saladin (as have been a whole slew of other Arab “oriental despots” from Nasser through to the Hashemites, and of course the various and nefarious Ba‘athists from Damascus to Bagdad).

    Starting in 1958 Arafat had promised “his people” they would push the Jews into the sea and return them to their homes (on a white charger, camel or donkey depending on petty-cash reserves of course). As an historical figure I think Yasser Arafat was da man! A real-life action hero, an Arab Che Guevara; except of course he was as ugly as sin. All lips and no cheek bones! And too short: But I digress. p.s. this current Iranian posseur is a lame pretender by comparison.

    Further, while Shlomo Ben Arvi is a man deserving of immense respect, the comments you quote here are irrelevant to the Palestinians’ mistaken belief that they have a “right” to return to Israel. Also you would do well to know that the number of people “involved with Oslo” would be in the hundreds! And where is this quote from anyway? I could probably find a quote from Hillary Clinton’s High School Yearbook to support anything I wanted as well. 

    Even the Oslo inner circle would number more than 50. I attended a very stimulating Round Table debate in Washington last Spring featuring five of the key U.S. negotiators during the whole Oslo process. The standard of debate and exposition of the parameters, nuances and themes that motivate this whole process was just something that blogging hoi polloi, who live by Op-Ed puff-pieces, would never be able to follow. So it just annoys the hell out of me when people spit all over blogs with their 4th hand references and “authorities.”

    "And he goes on, “Arafat in Oslo reached an agreement that didn’t even mention the right of self-determination for the Palestinians”. So apparently you are completely mistaken by what took part during Oslo. "

    My comment was not focused on Oslo and none of these quotes in any way invalidates anything I have argued.

    “There is no such right, there never has been, and there never will be. And Arafat knew there was no way he could explain this to them.” According to Ben Ami, you are grossly mistaken.

    I’m sure you are cringing at your silliness by now! 

    “ There has not been a sovereign state legally recognised as having sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza since the end of the British Mandate. “ This in itself is the trophy argument used by Israeli apologists. That the absence of a Palestinians state (which Israel has prevented from ever being realized) precludes this law from being applicable."

    I claim no expertise on the arguments, trophy or otherwise, of Israeli apologists. But I will say this: from the perspective of international law, if what you claim is accurate then these Israeli apologists are standing on firm ground.

    "The absence of a sovereign state legally recognized as having sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza has been interpreted by Israel to mean that it is therefore theirs for the taking. "

    As I said above, I claim no expertise in Israeli diplomatic strategies, but do you have any reference for this suspect claim?

    "You don’t even seem to realize that what you are describing is the entire recipe that Israel has been following all along."

    You would be correct in pointing to my ignorance of Israel’s “claims all along” as I don’t follow this stuff obsessively. All I am interested in here is educating you on the issues surrounding “international law.”

    "So long as Israel is able to thwart the creation of a Palestinain state, it is able to hold onto the territories. "

    It is clear that you have long ago abandoned any rational approach to the Arab-Israel conflict. It is this sort of irrationality that the Palestinian PR politburo plays on. I don’t criticize them or even blame them; heck, let’s be blunt, for them, this is war, no holds-barred! But if you want to have any credibility as a “voice” in this debate you will need to address this knee-jerkism.

    “To put it even more bluntly, the “Palestinians” have never been acknowledged as having ownership over this region. In fact, at law, Israel has the greatest legal claim to these “disputed” territories.” Under what law exactly? If there were such legal precedent, how do you explain the abundance of UN sanctions passed over this very fact?"

    Sanctions? Ah, which ones exactly?

    "Surely UN sanctions would fail to pass if there were no legal basis for having them referred in the first place?"

    True. Hence the current situation in Iraq. However, the gravity of Iraq is a world away from the dreary carping on the West Bank!

    "I can’t believe that a University Professor of History is permitted to get away with such blatant lies. First of all “the World Court” has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Israel in the West Bank. Also under UNSC Resolution 242 there is no demand of unilateral withdrawal. Completely irrelevant. The source is not the University Professor of History but the courses he is quoting."

    Actually, all you are quoting here is Finkelstein. Now Finkelstein is valuable; as a fact-checker and sub-editor. Of course as a scholar the guy is a D-lister. He has never had an original thought in his life and has no talent as a political scientist or sociologist, let alone as an historian!

    "You and Chris asset that the World Court has no authority over Israel."

    I did not say that. The World Court, like any court, has authority over those matters it is empowered to have authority over. Duh! Recently I missed several payments on my car insurance. I had a minor accident and my insurer refused to pay. I suppose I could have taken my case to the World Court, but I doubt my insurance company would have given a hoot!

    "Is that in itself supposed to mean that Israel is off the hook?"

    “Off the hook?” See here you give the game away. Why have any legal process at all if you, Addamo, have already decided on the verdict and – ominously – presumably the penalty!? See you are now Alice, stumbling in Wonderland, where Addamo is the Queen of Tarts! Sentence first, then verdict and finally evidence! I was mighty steamed that I had to pay for the $3,000 of my car repairs, but in my deepest most solitary moments I know that I was totally in the wrong; I knew the terms and conditions of the insurance agreement.

    "Isn’t that a little like using the argument that if you’re wanted by the police in one state, it doesn’t mean you are subjected to the law in another?"

    Irrelevant; but at law, YES.

    “Following Oslo II in 1995, which extended the legal control by the PA to the rest of the West Bank cities, and since that time, nearly the entire Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza has come under the PA’s jurisdiction.” So what went wrong? Why is Israel expanding settlements in the West Bank?

    Oslo never, ever even remotely addressed settlements.

    "Are they not in contravention of this agreement?"

    If they are it has nothing to do with our debate here, which is the World Court.

    "What happened to the legal control by the PA to the rest of the West Bank cities?"

    Huh?

    "Again you maintain that because Israel lies beyond the reach of the World Court it is therefore innocent of the findings."

    Again, I have never claimed anything like “Israel lies beyond the reach of the World Court.” As the World Court has not presided over any legal issue involving Israel, who cares about the World Court’s “findings?” It has never been in any position to rule on Israel’s “innocence” on ANY legal matter. Therefore, YES, ipso facto, Israel is innocent of any World Court drivel. Addamo I don’t mean to be rude here, but it is pretty obvious that you could do with a refresher course when it comes to international law. I realize I am being blunt; but it is for your own good!

    "Is there any court who’s jurisdiction that Israel does reside within? "

    The answer to that has absolutely no relevance to the matters we are discussing.

    "So Chirs, What international body does Israel recognise? What international court does it recognise? Does it recognise the ICJ? Would it continue to recognise those courts if it made jusgements that weer not in Israel’s favour? "

    Addamo you clearly did not comprehend the significance of my earlier post. Who CARES what “courts” Israel “recognizes?” All that matters is what jurisdiction do these courts have? If the “court” is a legitimate legal authority over some issue or other, Israel has NO say whether or not to recognize it. Just as you and I have no say over which courts we “choose” to recognize. Clearly the World Court is totally and absolutely irrelevant to anything we are discussing here. So can you just drop it and live in reality?

  • Chris

    Viva, Long winded but I applaud you anyway. Realistically though, do not expect any attitudes to change.

  • Addamo

    viva peace

    Excellent post. Hat’s off to you. I am more than happy to be proven wrong buy someone who knows what they are talking about.

    Of course, there are a number of areas I still remain unconvinced.
    I fail to see how “International law” is irrelevant. In fact, I find it quite alarming that you would be so flippant ion your disregard for international law. Yes this is political conflict, but it does involve disputed territory and the potential involvement of 2 states. It is most certainly not merely a domestic issue.

    So while you are probably correct in saying that the Palestinians have made a strategic mistake, I’d say that this is what is irrelevant. After all, international law is binding on states irrespective of their interpretation of the law or their strategy is it not?

    “Ashrawi and Said were “Useful Idiots” for the Islamists who have always called the shots.”

    So what? I fail to see how this makes their efforts to champion the cause from a human rights perspective any less credible or significant.

    “Well you have just snookered yourself. As I said “There is no such right, there never has been, and there never will be. And Arafat knew there was no way he could explain this to them.” This is why Arafat was so ready to “concede” the “right of return” of the refugees to Israel.”

    I never said that Arafat went to Oslo armed with a desire to enforce international law. It seem pretty obvious that his main priority was to maintain his position and power base. Arafat was clearly a poor advocate for the Palestinians, but that is in itself irrelevant in light of law is it not? Oslo was not a meeting of law makers as far as I am aware.

    “ Clinton was negotiating with a man who did not have the authority of the Palestinian people to make these “concessions.”

    I agree entirely. SHLOMO BEN-AMI makes referenc to the Clinton parameters, which say “that on the territorial issue, the Palestinians will get 100% of Gaza, 97% of the West Bank, plus safe passage from Gaza to the West Bank to make the state viable. There will be a land swap. The 97%, which I mentioned, takes into account the land swap, where they will get 3% on this side, within the state of Israel, so we will have the blocks of settlements and they will be able to settle refugees on this side of the border.”

    “But we can’t be hard on Clinton; after all, who wouldn’t want their legacy to be underpinned by peace in the middle east rather than lewd jokes about cigars and stained blue-dresses!?”

    Silly remark, don’t you think, in light of how low the current standards of statesmanship have sunk?

    “Arafat’s total disinterest in the “right of return” was what gave rise to Hamas.”
    Hmm not so sure about that. Hamas got a huge leg up from Israel following the 1967 war. Their popularity was establish in the e70’s and 80’s, long before Olso, or Camp David.

    “As an historical figure I think Yasser Arafat was da man!”
    He was also somewhat mythical forhaving more lives than a cat and rpeatedly surviving attempts on his life.

    “ And where is this quote from anyway?”
    http://www.democracynow.org/finkelstein-benami.sh

    “ So it just annoys the hell out of me when people spit all over blogs with their 4th hand references and “authorities.””

    Yes I appreciate your frustration. Just like I completely lose it when clueless wannabe bulldoggers go on about Iran’s nuclear enrichment program and their impending arsenal of nuclear weapons.

    “I’m sure you are cringing at your silliness by now!”

    Maybe I should be but I am not. Arafat’s agenda was to maintain power, not the interests of the Palestinians. That is clear.

    “As I said above, I claim no expertise in Israeli diplomatic strategies, but do you have any reference for this suspect claim?”

    Is the proof not in the pudding? If the PA were given authority over the West Bank, then why does Israel insist that it has the exclusive authority to give approval for construction in the area? Only yesterday, Israel demolished a public park, along with 2 houses in the West Bank, on the grounds that they were constructed without permission from the Israeli authorities.

    “You would be correct in pointing to my ignorance of Israel’s “claims all along” as I don’t follow this stuff obsessively. All I am interested in here is educating you on the issues surrounding “international law.”

    I am no better informed than you Viva. I just base my points on the arguments I have heard.

    “ But if you want to have any credibility as a “voice” in this debate you will need to address this knee-jerkism.”

    Point taken. But based on rhetoric from some Zionist extremists in the US, the logic goes something like this. Palestine cannot be recognized as a state until it is democratic. When Palestinians exercise democracy, Israel deems them to no longer being worthy partners in the peace process and uses the excuse for further land incursions.

    “Sanctions? Ah, which ones exactly?”

    My mistake. I meant to say resolutions. Naturally the US would veto any suggestion of sanctions. Who needs laws when you have the lawmaker in your pocket right?

    “True. Hence the current situation in Iraq. However, the gravity of Iraq is a world away from the dreary carping on the West Bank!”

    Not sure what you are trying to say here. Are you acknowledging that the UN resolutions against Israel, were based on international law? Does that not contradict everything you have said above?

    What do you mean by hence the current situation in Iraq?
    “ Of course as a scholar the guy is a D-lister. He has never had an original thought in his life and has no talent as a political scientist or sociologist, let alone as an historian!”

    Is that not the whole pint? Why go looking for some creative thinker if you want a fact checker? It seems I would need one of these if I wanted to “interpret” law and historical facts rather than use then as a basis for argument no?

    “The World Court, like any court, has authority over those matters it is empowered to have authority over.”

    So what court does preside over these matters? The ICJ?

    “Off the hook?” See here you give the game away.”

    I was quoting Chris who used this term. So
    “What happened to the legal control by the PA to the rest of the West Bank cities?”

    Huh?”

    You stated that the PA was given legal control over the rest of the West Bank cities. If this is the case, why does Israel insist it has the sole authority to approve constructing in the area?

    As the World Court has not presided over any legal issue involving Israel, who cares about the World Court’s “findings?”

    The legal issues were obviously brought before the World Court, after which the World Court made a finding. How then do you arrive at the conclusion that the Court has not presided over any legal issue involving Israel?

    “ Addamo I don’t mean to be rude here, but it is pretty obvious that you could do with a refresher course when it comes to international law. I realize I am being blunt; but it is for your own good!”

    I will take your advice in jest Viva. No offence taken. Perhaps you would enlighten me on what the World Court does preside over and which court does in fact have jurisdiction over matters such as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

    Of course, based on the sleigh of hand we have seen from the Bush and Blair adminstrations over interpretations of International Law, it appears that thes matters are clearly open to interpretation and manipulation.

    “The answer to that has absolutely no relevance to the matters we are discussing.”

    On the contrary. It is central to the argument. If there is a court that does preside over these matters, would it not be informative and worthy of discussing to examine what their finding s have been in relation to this conflict?

    “Clearly the World Court is totally and absolutely irrelevant to anything we are discussing here. So can you just drop it and live in reality?”

    I will gladly drop this until it is established (at least for my benefit) which court does indeed have legitimate legal authority over the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

  • Chris

    I hate to pull a one liner like this, especially when there are so many things to disprove on the post above.

    But I'll do it anyway.

    You hate being proved wrong by someone who doesn't know what they're talking about? And who gets to judge the knowledge level required?

    As for the off the hook comment, it was already proven that you misquoted. I believe you even stated you misquoted. Please do not blame me for your erronious work. Inventing facts and misquoting posts seems to be a habit with you.

  • Addamo

    Chris,

    Maybe you you can start talking to me about making erroneous comments by explaining what you meant when you said that "real peopel admire israel, real people do not admire Palestinians" and how you define "real people" given your admission that unreal people do not exist.

  • Chris

    Nothing erronius about it. Real is real. Stop beating a dead horse and try answering real questions.

    You stand accused of misquoting, making up your 'facts' and borderline fibbing. Yet you are stuck on whining about a term you don't like.

    Perhaps you'd like to start by explaining why you are making up 'facts'. We'll get to your misquotes later.

  • Addamo

    No it is you that is cawardly ruining away from a stupid, childish and immatre statement. What did you mean when you said real people admire Israel and do not admire Palestinains.

    Either admit you are wrong and get on with it, or remain discreditted as an infantile debater.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    Further consideration of your arguments continues to trouble me.

    If I'm not mistaken, you stated that under International Law, Israel has greater claims to the occupied territories than do the Palestinians.

    I would be interested to know what article of international law makes this finding. thinking aloud here, does this mean that under international law, the claims of a state that acquires territory by force are greater than those of the inhabitants of that territory that are subsequently forced to leave it or removed from their homes? Isn’t there something in the Geneva Conventions that prohibits such actions?

    Furthermore, you have argued that the Un does not recognize the state of Palestine and that this strengthens the case of Israel’s claim to the land, yet this opens a Pandora’s box. Does this not imply that the Indian tribes of North America have no legal claim, under international law, to land in the United States. Does this not mean that indigenous people’s around the are legally screwed if their land was taken from them without the UN recognizing their territory?

  • Chris

    Discredited? You've been caught inventing facts, misquoting people on this blog, and misquoting histrical figures, and I'm in danger of being discredited over a term you don't like? You are accusing someone of infantile behavior?

    Ever notice when you're having a hissy fit, your typing suffers? Is that why you're no longer a secretary?

    Too, too funny.

  • Addamo

    And your cowardly behavior contiues Chris.

    Sorry Imiossed where you defined what a real person is. eally I an currious. I want to know what precludes comeone dfrom being a real person, in case I;m included in that definition. Tell me, does it hurt when your're not a real person?

    Further quotes from key people who believe the arttack on teh USU Liberty was intentional.

    Uou see hwo wrong you can be? I don't invent facts at all.

    “The pilot's protests also were heard by radio monitors in the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter has confirmed this. Porter told his story to syndicated columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak and offered to submit to further questioning by authorities. Unfortunately, no one in the U.S. government has any interest in hearing these first-person accounts of Israeli treachery.”

    “-Key members of the Lyndon Johnson administration have long agreed that this attack was no accident. Perhaps most outspoken is former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer. "I can never accept the claim that this was a mistaken attack," he insists”

    “Former Secretary of State Dean Rusk is equally outspoken, calling the attack deliberate in press and radio interviews. Similarly strong language comes from top leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency (some of whose personnel were among the victims), National Security Council, and from presidential advisers such as Clark Clifford, Joseph Califano and Lucius Battle.”

    “A top-secret analysis of Israel's excuse conducted by the Department of State found Israel's story to be untrue. Yet Israel and its defenders continue to stand by their claim that the attack was a "tragic accident" in which Israel mistook the most modern electronic surveillance vessel in the world for a rusted-out 40-year-old Egyptian horse transport.”

    “Instead of determining whether the attack was deliberate, the Navy blocked all testimony about Israeli actions. No survivor was permitted to describe the close in machine-gun fire that continued for 40 minutes after Israel claims all firing stopped. No survivor was allowed to talk about the life rafts the Israeli torpedo men machine-gunned in the water. No survivor was permitted to challenge defects and fabrications in Israel's story. Even my eyewitness testimony as officer-of-the deck was withheld from the official record. No evidence of Israeli culpability was "found" because no such testimony was allowed. To survivors, this was not an investigation. It was a cover-up.”

  • Addamo

    that last quote by the way came from By James M. Ennes Jr., who was on the deck of the USS Li9berty when Israel deliberately attacked it.

  • Addamo

    Futher quotes regarding the USS Liberty attack. See Chris, I made none of these up either!

    BTW. Can you explain why none of the survivors (i.e. key witnesses) were allowed to testify in any of hte so called "investigations"?

    "I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. . . . Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn't believe them then, and I don't believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous "
    — US Secretary of State Dean Rusk

    "…the board of inquiry (concluded) that the Israelis knew exactly what they were doing in attacking the Liberty."
    — CIA Director Richard Helms

    "I can tell you for an absolute certainty (from intercepted communications) that the Israelis knew they were attacking an American ship."
    — NSA Deputy Director Oliver Kirby

    "That the Liberty could have been mistaken for the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir is unbelievable"
    — Special Assistant to the President Clark Clifford, in his report to President Lyndon Johnson

    "The highest officials of the [Johnson] administration, including the President, believed it 'inconceivable' that Israel's 'skilled' defense forces could have committed such a gross error."
    — Lyndon Johnson's biographer Robert Dallek in Flawed Giant, Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 430-31)

    "A nice whitewash for a group of ignorant, stupid and inept [expletive deleted]."
    — Handwritten note of August 26, 1967, by NSA Deputy Director Louis W. Tordella reacting to the Israeli court decision exonerating Israelis of blame for the Liberty attack.

    "Never before in the history of the United States Navy has a Navy Board of Inquiry ignored the testimony of American military eyewitnesses and taken, on faith, the word of their attackers.
    — Captain Richard F. Kiepfer, Medical Corps, US Navy (retired), USS Liberty Survivor

    "The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack…was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew…. It was our shared belief. . .that the attack. . .could not possibly have been an accident…. I am certain that the Israeli pilots [and] their superiors. . .were well aware that the ship was American."
    — Captain Ward Boston, JAGC, US Navy (retired), senior legal counsel to the US Navy Court of Inquiry

    That the attack was deliberate "just wasn't a disputed issue" within the National Security Agency
    — Former NSA Director retired Army Lieutenant General William Odom on 3 March 2003 in an interview for Naval Institute Proceedings

    Former NSA/CIA Director Admiral Bobby Inman "flatly rejected" the Cristol/Israeli claims that the attack was an accident
    — 5 March 2003 interview for Naval Institute Proceedings

    Of four former NSA/CIA seniors with inside knowledge, none was aware of any agency official who dissented from the position that the attack was deliberate
    — David Walsh, writing in Naval Institute Proceedings

    "It appears to me that it was not a pure case of mistaken identity."
    — Captain William L. McGonagle, Commanding Officer, USS Liberty, speaking at Arlington National Cemetery, June 8, 1997

    "To suggest that they [the IDF] couldn't identify the ship is … ridiculous. … Anybody who could not identify the Liberty could not tell the difference between the White House and the Washington Monument."
    — Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and later Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, quoted in The Washington Post, June 15, 1991, p. 14

  • Chris

    Cowardly behavior? Over ignoring your whining over a term that bothers you? Yet your refusal to explain why you made up facts is not cowardly?

    You stated that Israel attacked the USS Liberty to prevent them from learning of the upcoming attack at the start of the 6 day war. That is a flat out lie. You made it up. You didn't read it anywhere, you didn't have a source, you invented it. You deliberately told a tale that you knew had no source.

    Even if you confessed to a lapse of judgement, there is no escaping the fact that you make things up to try to prove your case.

  • Addamo

    I admitted my statemet was mistaken. I recalled I had read somewhere a tetment to that effect and I mistakenly used that in my argument. I was wrong on that issue. Can you not accept that or are you going to keep harping on about it?

    You statement about real people did not bother me. It just made you look foolish and immature. Your anxioussness to avoif explaining your statement and move past it is a sign of poor character on your part.

    I provided these quots to prove that I don;t make facts up. Things that are made up are not facts.

  • orang

    Addamo,
    you are being pre-occupied by "depends what your meaning of "is" is" types. I am hugely impressed at their ability to convince me that Israel has more of a leagl right to "the territories" than the Palestinians. – Yeah well whatever you say you apologist for organised gangsters. As for the UN as far as I'm concerned they drew up a map of the area back in 1947 which said This bit is for the jews and Israel, and this bit is for the …….PALESTINIANS.

    So tell you mates to fuck off the Palestinian bits and stop telling us how clever you all are. (See after the 1967 war we changed the UN thingy to say "Israel must withdraw from all the territories captured in the war. – See how clever we are?)

  • Chris

    Your statement wasn't mistaken, it was made up. It is not written anywhere else. It seems to have taken ten posts to get you to own up to the mistake. How many more before you admit what really happened?

    Your complaining about my harping over the fundimental basis of argument, the "honesty in facts" factor? And you are whining about someone elses supposed 'poor' character? You've put the teapot up to boil but forgot to add water.

    You have proved nothing with your hodgepodge. Top secret documents that we can not read can not be used for proof of anything. You have pilots that no one knows and documents that no one can read. You are blowing smoke.

  • Addamo

    I think the quotes I listed speak for themselves Chris.

    Look, pesnal feud's aside. Am I blowing smoke when the Captain of the USS Liberty, a former Secrataries of State, 2 former CIA Directors, a former NSA Director, 2 former NSA Deputy Directors, a former US Navy captain all state very frankly that the USS Liberty attack was no accident?

    Surely you have to admit that this is a compelling case and that the investigation that have covered it have clearly faile to convince a great many well informed people.

  • Chris

    Yes, you are blowing smoke when every single official inquiry states that the attack was an accident. The official transcripts recently released proves it was an accident.

    Superficially, any case is compelling. And the official inquiries have convince a great many well informed people of the accidental nature of this tragedy.

  • Addamo

    Except fo course for the peopel qho's quotes I have listed and a grat many who respect these people for being experts in tehri field.

    Any investigation that denies the primary witnesses from giving tehir accounts is ultimately flawed. Not one fo the investigations that has beenundertaken allowed any of the survivors to give their account of what happened.

    One can onyl deduce that this was done to prevent the witnesses account from enterring the record.

  • Addamo

    One more thing.

    from what I was able to deduce, not one of the survivors has acepted the fisings of the investigations into the USS Liberty attack. They are unanimous in tehir belief the investigations were a whitewash.

    Like it or not, these peoepl are the ultimate authority as to what is true and what is flase.

  • orang

    Addamo,
    If the gentleman with the secretary really wanted to know the truth he could find it. Give it up, he doesn't want the truth.
    http://www.ussliberty.org/
    USS Liberty pix WAR CRIMES REPORT FILED BY USS LIBERTY SURVIVORS USS Liberty pix
    USS Liberty pix HTML Version of War Crimes Report USS Liberty pix

    The USS Liberty Veterans Association has filed a formal
    Report of War Crimes Committed Against U.S. Military Personnel,
    June 8, 1967, by elements of the Israeli military forces.

    The Report has been filed with the Department of Defense.

    http://home.cfl.rr.com/gidusko/liberty/
    "On that June day in 1967, the weather was beautiful… Clear and sunny, visibility unlimited… the LIBERTY, an elaborate state-of-the art intelligence gathering platform, was in international waters off the Gaza strip and was flying the Stars and Stripes. Israeli reconnaissance planes flew overhead for hours. Pilots and ship's crew waved to each other. Then, inexplicably, unmarked Israeli aircraft began attacking the ship.

    The defenseless LIBERTY radioed for help. Two aircraft carriers in the Med responded by launching fighter aircraft. Unbelievably, they were recalled by the White House. RADM Geis, then commanding the carriers in the Sixth Fleet, called Washington personally to confirm the order. SecDef McNamara came on the line, then President Johnson. Johnson indicated to Geis that the aircraft were to be returned, that he would not have his allies embarrassed, and that he didn't care who was killed or what was done to the ship. Geis, like any good sailor, recalled the aircraft."
    http://www.ussliberty.org/report/report.pdf

    http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0693/
    June 1993, Page 19

    This Month in History

    The Assault on the USS Liberty Still Covered Up After 26 Years

    By James M. Ennes Jr.

    Twenty-six years have passed since that clear day on June 8, 1967 when Israel attacked the USS Liberty with aircraft and torpedo boats, killing 34 young men and wounding 171. The attack in international waters followed over nine hours of close surveillance. Israeli pilots circled the ship at low level 13 times on eight different occasions before attacking. Radio operators in Spain, Lebanon, Germany and aboard the ship itself all heard the pilots reporting to their headquarters that this was an American ship. They attacked anyway. And when the ship failed to sink, the Israeli government concocted an elaborate story to cover the crime.

    There is no question that this attack on a U.S. Navy ship was deliberate. This was a coordinated effort involving air, sea, headquarters and commando forces attacking over a long period. It was not the "few rounds of misdirected fire" that Israel would have the world believe. Worse, the Israeli excuse is a gross and detailed fabrication that disagrees entirely with the eyewitness recollections of survivors. Key American leaders call the attack deliberate. More important, eyewitness participants from the Israeli side have told survivors that they knew they were attacking an American ship.

    Israeli Pilot Speaks Up

    Fifteen years after the attack, an Israeli pilot approached Liberty survivors and then held extensive interviews with former Congressman Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey about his role. According to this senior Israeli lead pilot, he recognized the Liberty as American immediately, so informed his headquarters, and was told to ignore the American flag and continue his attack. He refused to do so and returned to base, where he was arrested.

  • Chris

    "eyewitness participants from the Israeli side have told survivors that they knew they were attacking an American ship." How many? Who are they? Why don't they go public? Moral cowards? Or made a up story.

    And Who is the Israeli pilot? Why does no one know? One could easily have said that they were in a group meeting with the CO of the boat. And at that meting they were all informed of the story they must tell in order to get revenge. Of course there are no minutes of that meeting and I can't tell you who the sailor was who told me. He could get killed.

    That is the gist of the credibility of McCloskey's story.

    The truth, which you can all read form the latest official inquiry, is that it was a tragic accident.

  • Leo Braun

    Chris: "Yes, you are 'blowing smoke' when every single 'official inquiry' states that the attack was an 'accident'. The 'official' transcripts recently released 'proves' it was an 'accident'. Superficially, any case is compelling. And the 'official' inquiries have convinced a 'great many' (zionists) 'well informed people' of the 'accidental nature' of this tragedy"… Really? According to close knit Zionist connivers ingenuity knack to prop charlatan's doctrine … bait-n-switchsmear-n-deceitlie-n-repeat … and never ever admit any wrong!

    As a result amateur folks visiting this forum to endure Zionist chutzpah all along by the verbose Chris, unyielding as ever to pursue his modus operandi …"official inquiries have convinced a great many well informed (zionist) people of the accidental nature"… tantamount to zionazi academy ploys to ignore any proof presented and demand the impossible corroborations.

    This is perhaps a variant of the 'play it dumb' rule … regardless of what material may be presented by the well-meaning truth-seeker, claim the material was irrelevant and demand a proof that is impossible for an amateur to come by (it may exist but not be at the disposal, or it may be something which is withheld or destroyed).

    So don't hold your breath guys, to get your logical elaborations through the unusually thick skin with an ability to persevere and persist even in the face of overwhelming global community criticism and unacceptance. This likely stems from intelligence community training (at Pine Gap, Echelon installations) that no matter how condemning the evidence is, deny everything, and never become emotionally involved for real, or reactive.

    Versus truth seeking folks who rather to examine the veracity of http://ussliberty.org published version on July 14th, 2003. According to which US Senator Adlai Stevenson III (in 1980, his last year as a US Senator from Illinois), invited USS Liberty lieutenant Jim Ennes to his Senate office for a private two hour meeting to discuss USS Liberty attack on June 8th, 1967 (and cover-up). Following an initial private meeting, Ennes was invited-back the next day to discuss the matter with the members of Stevenson's staff, joined by members of the staff of Senator Barry Goldwater and members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

    During that meeting USS Liberty lieutenant Jim Ennes was told that that his story was found to be convincing, yet no recommendation for the action will be issued to the senators (to pursue investigation), which only to antagonise Israeli interests while 'nothing good could come of it'. Senator Goldwater accepted staff counsel, but Stevenson called a press conference in which he announced that he was convinced that the USS Liberty attack was deliberate and that the survivors deserved an investigation. So he would (he said), spend the remaining few weeks of his Senate term, attempting to arrange for an inquiry.

    Almost immediately Israeli junta spin doctors contacted the White House and offered to settle the outstanding $40million damage claims via $6million compromise. Vice President Walter Mondale quickly agreed to that offer just before Christmas while Congress and President Carter were on vacation. The Department of State followed immediately with a press release, reported on the front page of the New York Times, which announced, 'The book is now closed on the USS Liberty'.

    Indeed, from that point on, it was impossible to generate any congressional interest in USS Liberty at all. Senator Stevenson's staff told later that they felt the settlement was directly related to Senator Stevenson's announced plan to hold an inquiry, and was engineered to block forever any inquiry plans. Israel did subsequently pay $6million in three annual installments of $2million each. Secretary of State Dean Rusk said later that he considered the payments meaningless, as Congress merely increased the annual Israeli allotment by that amount.

    Adlai Stevenson later ran for Governor of Illinois. He was strongly opposed by Israeli / Zionist interests. No wonder, he lost. Many feel it was his support for USS Liberty that cost him the election. Many also feel it was Stevenson's experience with the Liberty that has intimidated also other members of Congress who might otherwise support the survivors. Thomas Moorer accused US regime and Israeli junta of covering-up evidence surrounding the 1967 Israeli attack on the American intelligence ship USS Liberty as 34 American crewmen were killed and 171 wounded in the combined air and sea attack on June 8th, 1967, against the reconnaissance ship, cruising in international waters 15 miles off the Sinai Peninsula during the Six Day War.

    Israel maintains its fighter pilots, who buzzed the ship for eight hours before the attack (along with torpedo boat crews), mistook USS Liberty for an Egyptian ship. 'The Israelis maintain this was simply a case of mistaken identity, but this clearly does not hold water', said Moorer, who was chief of naval operations at the time of the attack. 'In clear visibility, this unique ship was very easy to identify. 'The Israeli forces circled the ship and then proceeded to attack over an extended period of time. There is simply no way the fighter pilots and torpedo boat crews could have come to such a conclusion', he said.

  • Leo Braun

    Thomas Moorer, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joined a dozen surviving crew members of the USS Liberty at a seminar during the annual convention of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington. He suggested the incident was a deliberate attack to prevent USS Liberty from picking up signals that could have forewarned the US of an Israeli military push into Syria the next day of war. 'Based on the way this tragedy was handled, both in the US and Israel, one must conclude — there is much information that has not been made available to the public', Moorer said.

    Mind you, US 6th Fleet, positioned nearby, received a distress call from the Liberty, and one carrier dispatched a squadron to search for the disabled ship. Yet before USS Liberty was found, the fleet received devious orders from Washington, ordering the planes back. Moorer called on Congress to clear up once-and-for-all the uncertainties, speculation and unanswered questions surrounding this tragedy. Which is still thought by many to be a deliberate cover-up on the part of US establishment and Israeli junta. The following appeared in the Fall, 1995 (Vol 8, No 3 Issue of the) International Journal of Intelligence & Counterintelligence. The Attack on the Liberty: an 'Accident'? By Reverdy S Fishel.

    Although David Rodman's review of 'The Secret War Against the Jews': How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People, by John Loftus and Mark Aarons, notes some of the serious flaws in that work, his critique contains its own serious flaw that should gall anyone who knows a few basic, uncomplicated facts about the Israel's June 8th, 1967 attack on the electronic intelligence ship, USS Liberty. All serious scholarship on the subject accepts Israel's assault as having been perpetrated quite deliberately, but Rodman says that the 'most credible' explanation of the attack is that it was an 'accident'. To see so flagrant a misstatement in IJIC, considering its standards of factuality, is startling. Assault on the Liberty (1980), by James Ennes, a lieutenant who was on the bridge during the attack, was a very big seller; so the facts of the case need not be out of anyone's reach.

    In fact, Israel's attack on the Liberty was as accidental as Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor. The US military had posted the Liberty off the coast of Gaza, in international waters, to monitor developments in the region during the Six Day War. At dawn June 8th, 1967, Israeli aircraft began reconnoitering the ship, some flying so close that the pilots could clearly be seen, and as low as masthead height, obviously photographing it. This extensive observation lasted seven hours and involved eight separate observations, at about 0600, 0900, 1000, 1030, 1100, and 1130, 1200 and 1215pm.

    US intercept stations twice overheard Israeli pilots reporting that the ship was American. The visibility conditions were perfect; the ship's American flag was flying free and clear in a good breeze. At 1400 a well coordinated attack by jet aircraft and torpedo boats began. Jets hammered the virtually unarmed ship with cannon and rockets, and napalmed it. Its forward machineguns were wiped out in the first firing pass, and whatever transmitting antennas survived that pass were disabled by the second. Nine minutes into the attack, crewmen jury-rigged a transmitter to an antenna. But the radiomen discovered that four out of five of the ship's radio frequencies, including the international distress frequency, were being jammed.

    Ironically, the only time Liberty could transmit was while the jets were firing their missiles. A frantic cry for help was sent to the Sixth Fleet, only 400 miles away and off Crete; despite the Israeli jamming, the Liberty's plea for assistance was received. The patchwork transmitting arrangement ceased functioning soon afterward. Torpedo boats soon arrived and continued the attack, firing five torpedoes, with one hitting and killing 25 men. They then leisurely circled the defenseless ship for 40 minutes, pumping hundreds of 40mm, 20mm, and 50cal rounds at wounded men on deck, stretcher bearers and fire fighters.

    Thinking the ship was about to sink, the crew threw life rafts over the side; the attackers machinegunned those too. With increased radio activity from the US Sixth Fleet indicating an impending US response (many of the Fleet's messages bore 'Flash' precedence), the Israelis suddenly contacted the US embassy and informed it of this 'accident'. It was probably the longest 'accidental' attack in the history of naval warfare an hour and 15 minutes. Two separate flights of jets from the carriers America and Saratoga were recalled by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, the first flight probably because Washington was not absolutely certain of the attacker's identity and was leery of starting a war with the Russians if they were the guilty party. The second flight was recalled after receipt of the Israeli xplanation.

    Ironically enough since Russia was the unofficial enemy of the US, a Russian warship that was nearby came over after the attack to assist the USS Liberty. Though the Liberty declined Russian ship's help (nevertheless, the Russians stood by and waited until shortly before the American warship arrived, which is probably a good thing, as the Israelis might have returned to finish the job). It was 15 hours before help finally arrived from an American vessel. The crew had been left for dead; it was a miracle, given the vicious nature of the attack (as USS Liberty looked like Swiss cheese), that most survived.

  • Leo Braun

    In addition to the above mentioned circumstances, showing that Israeli attack was a deliberate, lengthy, commenced after careful surveillance, along with the radio jamming and other factors … which belie Israeli professed innocence. As Israelis initially claimed they had 'mistaken' the Liberty for the Egyptian ship El Quseir. But the El Quseir was only 40% the size of Liberty (4000 tons vs 10,400 tons). The El Quseir was an old rust-bucket (horse transport), that bore about as much resemblance to the Liberty as a rusty VW does to a new Cadillac.

    USS Liberty was very conspicuously arrayed with the numerous specialized antennas and an ultramodern (for 1967) 16-foot microwave dish. A device possessed by no other ship in the world, except her sister ship Belmont. She bore standard US Navy markings, which included a freshly painted 10-foot high hull number, and USS Liberty on the stern. The radio jamming is by itself damning evidence that the assailants knew exactly whom they were attacking. As such jamming requires intimate advance knowledge of the target being jammed, obtained by extended monitoring of its signals. This was selective jamming; it struck Liberty's frequencies and no others.

    Afterward, in one of their ever changing explanations, the Israelis claimed to have learned the ship's identity when they heard its distress signals. But the attack continued for sixty six minutes after the first distress signal (which the Israelis had jammed) was sent. Had this particular Israeli claim been true, they would have recalled the torpedo boats before they even reached the ship. The Israelis claimed that the ship's US flag hung limp because there was no wind. Later, when presented with the fact that the flag had been perfectly visible, they claimed that they thought that the ship was an enemy vessel flying false colors.

    The extended radio monitoring, exposing considerable advance investigation of Liberty's communication facilities, refutes this claim. The Israelis claimed that the torpedo boats, after first sighting the ship, had called in the aircraft to attack after the ship refused to identify itself. This is an obvious lie, because the attack was clearly a preplanned and well coordinated punch, employing different branches of the Israeli Defense Forces. The jets were already intent on attacking the ship before the Liberty came into the torpedo boat's radar range. Directly contradicting themselves, the Israelis later claimed that their aircraft had called in the torpedo boats.

    The Israelis eventually admitted that before the attack, their commanders had compared reconnaissance photos of the Liberty with Jane's Fighting Ships. But they claimed that before the attack they twice telephoned the US naval attache in Tel Aviv inquiring whether the Liberty was a US ship and were told that there were no US Navy ships in the area. They claimed that having received a negative reply, they decided that the ship had to be the El Quseir. However, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, and later the naval attache, emphatically stated that no such inquiries were made. The Israelis not only knew the ship's nationality and that she was an 'ELINT' ship; they also knew she was USS Liberty herself.

    Immediately preceding the attack, an Israeli pilot recognized Liberty as a US ship and radioed this information to IDF headquarters. He was instructed to attack anyway. This dialogue was intercepted at the US embassy in Beirut. Former US Ambassador to Lebanon Dwight Porter revealed the existence of this intercept in 1991. Finally, there is evidence, circumstantial but clear, of a relationship between the attack on the Liberty and a postponement of Israel's planned attack on the Golan Heights. The Golan attack was scheduled for 11:30am on June 8th; the Liberty was spotted by 6am or earlier; last minute orders delayed the Golan attack; the Liberty was put out of commission; and the Golan attack occurred shortly thereafter. The vaunted IDF made very few mistakes in that war.

    After the attack Secretary of State Dean Rusk recommended a strong response, and Presidential Counselor Clark Clifford advised President Johnson to treat Israel in the same manner as the US would treat the Soviets or the Arabs if they had committed the atrocity. The US would certainly not have taken this insult in silence had the offender been any country but Israel. But President Johnson stoically accepted Israel's explanation. The Navy conducted a Court of Inquiry, which ignored and even suppressed testimony that the attack had been deliberate; it dealt only with the actions and performance of the Liberty crew.

    State Department legal advisor Carl Salans performed an assessment of Israel's official explanation; with only the Navy's highly incomplete and erroneous preliminary investigation to go on, he thoroughly discredited the Israeli Government's claims of innocent error. The logical next step was to confront the Israelis with his findings, but that was not done. The US regime inaction was completely out of keeping with the outrageousness of the attack. What was Israel's motive for this act? The scheduling of the Israeli assault on the Golan Heights for June 8th, was a move to defeat an intense effort in the United Nations to halt the war, a ceasefire having been scheduled for June 9th. A pressure was also being applied by the US.

    The IDF leaders were under stress to acquire the Golan before the ceasefire was imposed, preferably without being labeled the aggressor (as in 1956 when Israel had colluded with Britain and France to attack Egypt). But with all the pressure to attack Syria, and after all the hurried preparations to do so, the Golan attack was suddenly called off within hours of its scheduled commencement. Why? Obviously, someone in the IDF leadership feared the Liberty might intercept some of the many signals then filling the air that would expose Israel's preparations for invasion. They might then be forced into a ceasefire before they conquered the coveted territory.