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.

Stop. Wait. Relax

Yet another expert urges caution over Iran:

Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix on Monday said Iran is a least five years away from developing a nuclear bomb, leaving time to peacefully negotiate a settlement.

Blix, attending an energy conference in the Western Norway city of Bergen, said he doubted the U.S. would resort to invading Iran.

“But there is a chance that the U.S. will use bombs or missiles against several sites in Iran,” he was quoted as saying by Norwegian news agency NTB. “Then, the reactions would be strong, and would contribute to increased terrorism.”

We now have conclusive proof that Western foreign policy in the Middle East is directly linked to a rise in terrorism. This, of course, won’t stop some war-mongers urging military action against Iran.

35 comments ↪
  • Antony, no-one should sit around chugging Jack Daniels whilst waiting for Shrubya & Co to accept advice from the UN. These fascists will do what they want, when they want. There's nothing short of a long, LONG stay in The Hague which will stop them.

    The tide is turning for Shrubya, though. Articles of impeachment have been drafted by several people. Now, to get them introduced and supported in Congress…

  • smiths

    thats exactly what these people are, war mongers,

    there is no reason at all to attack iran, what kind of people sit in their comfy homes in western countries urging on a confrontation that will kill people randomly, mothers, children, human beings who have done nothing at all to deserve it,
    and what about the rest of europe, routinely now bathed in americas depleted uranium clouds, infant mortality rising and things like that,
    i curse you armchair warriors bleating about the danger of iran, i hope you go to hell if there is one

  • Addamo

    Were it not for this manufactured danger, they would surely come up with another reason just as swiftly. These chickenhawks want war and will have it, facts and innocent lives be damned.

    What's most frightening about these crazies is that their arrogant sense of superiority and invincibility has not been the least bit shaken by the disaster in Iraq. They continue ot believe their own propaghanda that it wil lbe a swift and painless victory.

  • Addamo

    Weird report.

    It starts out by suggesting the story was a conspiracy theoiry and thn admits it actuialyl happned.

    Great, so that Israeli admits to iiradiating 100,000 children and killking 6000 of them immediately is suppose to make it OK? Why were the children’s families lied to abotu the kids going off to summer camps?

  • Comical_Ali

    there is no reason at all to attack iran,

    No, no reason not at all:


    'Divine mission' driving Iran's new leader

    Also:

    "As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,"

    Current Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad.

    "If a day comes when the world of Islam is duly equipped with the arms Israel has in possession, the strategy of colonialism would face a stalemate because application of an atomic bomb would not leave any thing in Israel but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world",

    Former Iranian President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani

    Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix on Monday said Iran is a least five years away from developing a nuclear bomb,leaving time to peacefully negotiate a settlement.

    Oh what a relief, plenty of time for sitting around and waiting….

  • orang

    Comical, why don't you scurry on back to your kith & kin, ..

    but wait, the link is hilarious;

    "But listen carefully to the utterances of Mr Ahmadinejad – recently described by President George W Bush as an "odd man" – and there is another dimension, a religious messianism that, some suspect, is giving the Iranian leader a dangerous sense of divine mission."

    One lunatic talks to God and the other is on a divine mission.

  • Chris

    Here’s a report claiming 180,000 killed:

    Hussein Charged With Genocide of 180,000 Kurds (Update1)
    April 4 (Bloomberg) — Saddam Hussein is being charged with genocide for the 1987-1989 Anfal campaign against the Kurds, which killed as many as 180,000 civilians.

    Charges are also being levied against six co-defendants, including Ali Hassan al-Majid, former secretary general of the northern region who was known as Chemical Ali. The charges were announced by Raed Juhi, chief investigating judge, at a televised news conference today in the capital Baghdad.

    The investigation into the campaign that targeted the Kurdish north has been completed and the accused referred to the Iraqi Special Tribunal, Juhi said. The date of the genocide trial would be determined by the court, he said.

    About 4,500 villages were destroyed in the Anfal assaults, which included the use of ground offensives, aerial bombing, mass deportation, concentration camps, firing squads, and chemical warfare.

    Hussein, 68, and seven former members of his Baath Party regime are already standing trial for the 1982 massacre of 148 people in the mainly Shiite Muslim village of Dujail.

    President Jalal Talabani said earlier today that Hussein would be tried for all his crimes before any of the verdicts are implemented, Agence France-Presse reported. Most of the cases pending against him carry the death penalty, according to AFP.

    The other men accused of genocide are: former minister of defense Sultan Hashem Ahmed, and Baath party officials Saber Abdel Aziz, Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti, Taher Mohammed al-Ani, and Farhan al-Juburi.

    Hussein ruled Iraq from 1979 until his ouster and capture during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. He’s the first leader of a Middle Eastern country to be brought to justice for such crimes.

  • Stev

    recently described by President George W Bush as an “odd man”

    And the award for blackest pot goes to…

  • Comical_Ali

    I think there is a difference between just talking to G-d (Dubya apparently has something in common with Leunig there) and being on a divine mission to herald a messianic era using unconventional war as one of the means.

  • Stev

    Dubya doesn't just talk to God, he claims that God talks to him. Don't believe me?

    Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"

    Source

    Seems like a divine mission to herald a messianic era using war as one of those means to me. Whether or not the war is conventional or not is about the only thing debatable in there. What defines war as conventional? If we're to base convention on history, then a pre-emptive war is somewhat unconventional.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    Wh-t t-e f-ck is G-d?

  • Comical_Ali

    Yes, we can always trust the Palestinian Authority (see their Daniel Pipies conspiracy commentary on the Danish cartoon riots among other things).

    “God came in from the paddock and placed a reassuring hand on my shoulder. An email popped open; it was the Iranians. They were courteously apologising, they had been co-operative. They cared,” Michael Leunig The Age (Feb. 15).

    The Divine Name also communicated with Jimmy Carter…

  • Stev

    Jews generally believe there is much power in the name of God and so they avoid writing it fully when referring to him. They do this by omitting the vowel, as was done in biblical times with the true name of God, written as YHWH.

    I'm sure someone will be able to give a more full explanation than that, but until that time mine will give you some idea of the reason.

  • smiths

    comical ali,
    dont you see the obvious problem,
    a nuclear weaponed america is meddling in middle eastern affairs abetted by a nuclear weaponed israel,
    iran is worried and would like to have some defenses,
    america says they are not allowed
    and to stop them they will be attacked with tactical nuclear weapons,

    as michael franti says,
    you can bomb the world to pieces, but you cant bomb the world to peace

  • Comical_Ali

    america says they are not allowed

    To find out why, I once again refer you to the above quotations which I posted from Iran's current and past Presidents not to mention the link on the "12th Imam."

  • smiths

    well i refer you to the massive history of manipulation and intervention that the iranians have been dealing with for a century,
    they would actually prefer to be left alone,
    words are easy to trot out to accuse people, but actions mean more,
    the iranians have not committed hostile acts against israel as a state,
    and could have been helped toward an increasingly moderate and democrativ form of govt, instead of pushed in the direction that they have,

    dont you stupid sods get it, attacking iran will not make israel safer, it will hasten its demise

  • orang

    smiths, you are not aware that it is more important what you say than what you do. For instance, if you drop atomic bombs but don't actually say or talk about or at least are reported on a regular basis that you dropped atomic bombs, then it's better than say, saying that if you had atomic bombs you would do the same as the guys who dropped atomic bombs. Saying this is infinitely worse than actually doing it – get it?

  • boredinHK
  • Comical_Ali

    well i refer you to the massive history of manipulation and intervention that the iranians have been dealing with for a century,

    they would actually prefer to be left alone,

    The same could have been said of the Germans post-world War I. All their western apologists from both the right/left political divide were employing the exact same arguments. Yes, everyone has their grievances, or percieved grievances.

    the iranians have not committed hostile acts against israel as a state,

    Hezbollah is an Iranian organisation, set up and directly controlled by the elite Iranian Revolutionary guard. It is used as a proxy to attack Israel on behalf of Tehran. Common knowledge. But it gets worse – take this & the fact that the Iranian regime pays the families of Palestinian suicide bombers aside – Iranian diplomats (including the Iranian Ambassador to Argentina at the time) & intelligence agents were also directly involved in two terrorist attacks against Israeli & Jewish targets in Argentina – one against the Israeli embassy in 1992 where 24 people died and the other against the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association in which 86 people died.

    They were the worst terrorist atrocities in that countries history.

    I often have ask the same questions as Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani – what the world would be like if the Iranians had nukes? Of course he might be right, the Iranian regime which strongly believes in martydom and the desire to bring the messianic era through total destruction (coupled with his remarks about Muslim demographics) might have nothing to lose. Israel on the other hand…

  • Addamo

    It is used as a proxy to attack Israel on behalf of Tehran.

    Last time I looked, they were a proxy to defend LKebanon from Israel and they were very effective.

    Iranian regime pays the families of Palestinian suicide bombers aside

    Yes the same argument was made about Saddam for giving money to families with no source of income. Didn't the IDF soldier who pumped a whole clip of bullets into the body of a 13 year old Palestinian girl just receive compensation for having to sit through a trial?

    Iranian diplomats (including the Iranian Ambassador to Argentina at the time) & intelligence agents were also directly involved in two terrorist attacks against Israeli & Jewish targets in Argentina

    Care to provide a link to this? Did Israel not attack the UUS Liberty, thereby killing 35 people from it’s closest ally? What about Sabra and Shatilla, which took place because Sharon wanted it to take place?

    Iranian regime which strongly believes in martydom and the desire to bring the messianic era through total destruction (coupled with his remarks about Muslim demographics) might have nothing to lose. Israel on the other hand…

    Absolute propaganda and bigotry here. This is no different to the Apocalyptic evangelicals who wasn’t to see Israel restored to it's Biblical borders so that upon the return of the Messiah, they get to go to heaven, while Jews who refuse to adopt Christianity burn in the fires of hell.

    I don't hear you complaining about that sick and macabre little fantasy.

  • Comical_Ali

    Last time I looked, they were a proxy to defend LKebanon from Israel and they were very effective.

    start with a "google" search on Ayatollah Kohmeni & Hezbollah.

    Yes the same argument was made about Saddam for giving money to families with no source of income.

    And your denying this as well?

    Care to provide a link to this?</code>

    I already did, see the above BBC link:

    This year, Judge Juan Jose Galeano has issued warrants for the arrest of 12 Iranians, including Iran's ambassador to Argentina at the time of the bombing.

    <code>Did Israel not attack the UUS Liberty, thereby killing 35 people from it’s closest ally? What about Sabra and Shatilla, which took place because Sharon wanted it to take place?

    What about the USS liberty and Sabra and Shatilla? Comparing a war accident & a case of ARab christians massacering Arab muslims during war time to an outright deliberate terrorist atrocity ochestrated by diplomates in a foreign country on a civilian target during peace time? Besides, changing the subject, what is the relevance?

    Absolute propaganda and bigotry here. This is no different to the Apocalyptic evangelicals who wasn’t to see Israel restored to it’s Biblical borders so that upon the return of the Messiah, they get to go to heaven, while Jews who refuse to adopt Christianity burn in the fires of hell.

    I don’t hear you complaining about that sick and macabre little fantasy.

    Reason why I don't complain about "Apocalyptic evangelicals", is simple – they have never expressed the desire to wipe any country off the face of this earth. Nor have they expressed the desire for heralding the messianic era with all out unconventional war, death & destruction. For as long as they dont have such sentiments, than I only take their view about "Jews and others burning in hell for not accepting Christianity" as "cute." Anything that crosses the "cute" line deserves the sort of attention that the mad Mullahs of Iran are getting right now.

  • Chris

    Didn’t the IDF soldier who pumped a whole clip of bullets into the body of a 13 year old Palestinian girl just receive compensation for having to sit through a trial?

    ******************************************

    No. He did not receive compensation for having to sit through a trial.

  • edward squire

    Meanwhile in the Occupied Territories…

    "and there is another dimension, a religious messianism that, some suspect, is giving the … [the settlers] … a dangerous sense of divine mission."

    This wouldn't matter so much if it weren't so exploited by some political parties.

    As to the "G*d" thang. It's essentially based on a Precautionary Principle. If you write out the actual word "God", then it could be defaced (basically, people can scribble on it) – and that's a Bad Thing. Of course, this only really applies in the world of pens and paper. It's pretty redundant in the world of the internet, but some "serious" believers in Judaism do it because

    (a) they've never thought about it; or

    (b) they think it's "the thought that counts"; or

    (c) they think one could, in principle, deface the word by scribbling on one's computer screen.

  • Addamo

    start with a “google” search on Ayatollah Kohmeni & Hezbollah

    .

    Fine. Google Israel and Hamas sand see what you get. Google mujahadeen and CIA and se hat you get. What’s your point?

    What about the USS liberty and Sabra and Shatilla? Comparing a war accident & a case of Arab christians massacering Arab muslims during war time to an outright deliberate terrorist atrocity ochestrated by diplomates in a foreign country on a civilian target during peace time? Besides, changing the subject, what is the relevance?

    Both happened because of Israeli involvement. USS Liberty was not an accident. It was outright aggression. If it was an accident, Israel would have admitted it from the start, rather than the stream of denials that eventually led to their mia culpa when the evidence was insurmountable.

    Same thing with the shelling of the Un compound in Quana. Were it not for Fisk turning up a tape of the Israeli UAV in the area, the myth of another IDF “accident” would have remained the official story.

    The Sabra and Shatilla massacre took place becasue Sharon directed it to happen. deny it all you like, but israel's own investigatino into this has drawn that conclusion.

    “they have never expressed the desire to wipe any country off the face of this earth. Nor have they expressed the desire for heralding the messianic era with all out unconventional war, death & destruction.”

    Their agenda is indistinguishable from “the desire for heralding the messianic era with all out unconventional war, death & destruction”. It just happens to suit Israel’s interests for the time being to foster this sick and insidious relationship.

    For as long as they don’t have such sentiments, than I only take their view about “Jews and others burning in hell for not accepting Christianity” as “cute.”

    So it’s cute now is it? I see. Very clever bit of rhetorical gymnastics there.

  • Chris

    I guess this can also be said to have Israel's involvement:

    CHILD ABUSE IN THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

    by Justus Weiner

    From the outset of the current Palestinian intifada two years ago, children and teenagers have assumed an integral role.

    Regrettably, this role is not adequately addressed in the recent Amnesty International report entitled "Killing the Future —

    Children in the Line of Fire."

    Knowing that Israeli soldiers are ordered not to shoot live ammunition at children, and face disciplinary procedures or court

    martial for breaches, Palestinian snipers hide among the youngsters or use them as human shields. Three recent developments are also notable:

    — Yasser Arafat's depty, Abu Mazen, admitted to a Kuwaiti newspaper in June that Palestinian children have been paid NIS 5 (about $1) for every pipe bomb they throw.

    — Children have been increasingly mobilized during 2002 for suicide attacks; their parents have received cash payments from the Palestinian Authority, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

    — The attempt at a cover-up; The Palestinian Journalists' Association has warned members that they would be punished if they photographed armed children.

    Sacrificing Children

    On March 30, a 16 year-old Palestinian girl named Ayat Akhras walked into a Jerusalem supermarket and detonated a bomb concealed under her clothing, killing two Israelis and wounding 22 others.

    On April 23, three teenagers – Anwar Hamduna, Yusef Zakut, and Abu Nada from Gaza, attempted to crawl under the perimeter fence and attack the residents of the nearby Jewish community of Netzarim, only to be shot dead by guards. For over a month, Palestinian children as young as 10 barricaded themselves in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, alongside Palestinian gunmen.

    In May a 16 year-old Palestinian boy was arrested in a taxi near Jenin with a bomb strapped to his body.

    On June 13, a 15 year-old Palestinian girl, arrested for throwing a firebomb at IDF soldiers, admitted during interrogation that she had previously been recruited as a suicide bomber.

    On July 9, Israeli security forces arrested another 15 year-old Palestinian girl who admitted to having agreed to carry out a suicide attack in Israel.

    These are some of the latest developments in the intifada, an unprecedented wave of ongoing attacks that has foiled the region for two years. Although some elements in Palestinian society oppose using children, or at least their children, in "martyrdom" operations, these voices remain isolated. IDF soldiers who participated in Operation Defensive Shield, for example, reported that children were sometimes left behind to trigger booby-traps that terrorists set for troops. But why are these young people willing to throw away their lives?

    Who led them to believe that assuming dangerous roles in the violence will result in improving their personal, family, and political situation?

    How did the celebration of violence against Israelis become so deeply ingrained in Palestinian culture?

    What cause, no matter how deeply held, can motivate a society to sacrifice its children, its future?

    A Family's Badge of Pride

    The pressure to sacrifice oneself in the intifada often originates at home. Stoked by Arafat's speeches lauding the role of children

    in the struggle and the importance of martyrdom, many Palestinian parents have come to view the role of youth in the uprising as useful and, indeed, honorable. Thus, after 15 year-old Ahmat Omar Abu Selmia was killed on his way to attack the Israeli community of Dugit, his father celebrated his "Martyrdom" at a street festival attended by about 200 men.

    Martyrs – people who die for the sake of jihad (holy war) and Islam – are held in such high regard by the Palestinian people that

    at times parents accept the deaths of their children as a badge of pride. Parents of toddlers proudly recount their little children

    saying they want to become martyrs, and a father of a 13 year-old said, "I pray that god will choose him" to be a martyr.

    One mother told a journalist from The Times in London, "I am happy that he (her 13 year-old son) has been martyred. I will sacrifice all my sons and daughters (12 in all) to Al-Aksa and Jerusalem."

    Another reason Palestinian parents allow and even encourage their children to get involved is the financial incentive offered to families of "martyrs." The PA furnishes a cash payment – $2000 per child killed and $300 per child wounded.

    Saudi Arabia announced that it had pledged $250 million as its first contribution to a billion-dollar fund aimed at supporting the families of Palestinian martyrs.

    In addition, the Arab Liberation Front, a Palestinian group loyal to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, pays generous bounties to

    the injured and the families of the dead according to the following sliding scale: $500 for a wound; $1000 for disability, $10,000

    to the family of each martyr; and $25,000 to the family of every martyr suicide bomber – lavish sums, given the chronic unemployment and poverty of the majority of the Palestinian residents of the West Bank and Gaza Strip

  • Addamo

    Ringworm and Radiation
    By Barry Chamish August 19, 2004

    On August 14, at 9 PM, Israel's Channel Ten television screened a documentary film which exposes the ugliest secret of Israel's Labor party founders: the deliberate mass radiation poisoning of nearly all Sephardi youths of a generation.

    "The Ringworm Children" (translated in Hebrew as "100,000 Rays"), directed by David Belhassen and Asher Hemias, recently won the prize for "best documentary" at the Haifa International film festival, and in the past year has made the rounds of Jewish and Israeli film festivals around the world. But it had yet to come to Israeli television screens. The subject is the mass irradiation of hundreds of thousands of young Israeli immigrants from Middle Eastern countries — Sephardim, as they are called today. The story goes like this:

    In 1951, the director general of the Israeli Health Ministry, Dr. Chaim Sheba, flew to America and returned with seven x-ray machines, supplied to him by the American army.

    They were to be used in a mass atomic experiment with an entire generation of Sephardi youths to be used as guinea pigs. Every Sephardi child was to be given 35,000 times the maximum dose of x-rays through his head. For doing so, the American government paid the Israeli government 300 million Israeli liras a year. The entire Health budget was 60 million liras. The money paid by the Americans is equivalent to billions of dollars today.

    To fool the parents of the victims, the children were taken away on "school trips" and their parents were later told the x-rays were a treatment for the scourge of scalpal ringworm. 6,000 of the children died shortly after their doses were given, while many of the rest developed cancers that killed thousands over time and are still killing them now. While living, the victims suffered from disorders such as epilepsy, amnesia, Alzheimer's disease, chronic headaches and psychosis.

    That is the subject of the documentary in cold terms. It is another matter to see the victims on the screen.

    To watch the Moroccan lady describe what getting 35,000 times the dose of allowable x-rays in her head feels like. "I screamed make the headache go away. Make the headache go away. Make the headache go away. But it never went away."

    To watch the bearded man walk hunched down the street. "I'm in my fifties and everyone thinks I'm in my seventies. I have to stoop when I walk so I won't fall over. They took my youth away with those x-rays."

    To watch the old lady who administered the doses to thousands of children: "They brought them in lines. First their heads were shaved and smeared in burning gel. Then a ball was put between their legs and the children were ordered not to drop it, so they wouldn't move. The children weren't protected over the rest of their bodies. There were no lead vests for them. I was told I was doing good by helping to remove ringworm. If I knew what dangers the children were facing, I would never have cooperated. Never!"

    Because the whole body was exposed to the rays, the genetic makeup of the children was often altered, affecting the next generation. We watch the woman with the distorted face explain, "All three of my children have the same cancers my family suffered. Are you going to tell me that's a coincidence?"

    The majority of the victims were Moroccan because they were the most numerous of the Sephardi immigrants. The generation that was poisoned became the country's perpetual poor and criminal class. It didn't make sense. The Moroccans who fled to France became prosperous and highly educated. The common explanation was that France got the rich, thus smart ones. The real explanation is that every French Moroccan child didn't have his brain cells fried with gamma rays.

    The film made it perfectly plain that this operation was no accident. The dangers of x-rays had been known for over forty years. We read the official guidelines for x-ray treatment in 1952. The maximum dose to be given a child in Israel was .5 rad. There was no mistake made. The children were deliberately poisoned.

    David Deri makes the point that only Sephardi children received the x-rays: "I was in class and the men came to take us on a tour. They asked our names. The Ashkenazi children were told to return to their seats. The dark children were put on the bus."

    The film presents a historian who first gives a potted history of the eugenics movement. In a later sound bite, he declares that the ringworm operation was a eugenics program aimed at weeding out the perceived weak strains of society. The Moroccan lady is back on the screen. "It was a Holocaust, a Sephardi Holocaust. And what I want to know is why no one stood up to stop it."

    David Deri, on film and then as a panel member, relates the frustration he encountered when trying to find his childhood medical records. "All I wanted to know was what they did to me. I wanted to know who authorized it. I wanted to trace the chain of command. But the Health Ministry told me my records were missing." Boaz Lev, the Health Ministry's spokesman chimes in: "Almost all the records were burned in a fire."

    We are told that a US law in the late '40s put a stop to the human radiation experiments conducted on prisoners, the mentally feeble and the like. The American atomic program needed a new source of human lab rats and the Israeli government supplied it. Here was the government cabinet at the time of the ringworm atrocities:

    Prime Minister – David Ben Gurion; Finance Minister – Eliezer Kaplan; Settlement Minister – Levi Eshkol; Foreign Minister – Moshe Sharrett; Health Minister – Yosef Burg;
    Labor Minister – Golda Meir; Police Minister – Amos Ben Gurion.

    The highest ranking non-cabinet post belonged to the Director General of the Defence Ministry, Shimon Peres.

    That a program involving the equivalent of billions of dollars of American government funds should be unknown to the Prime Minister of cash-strapped Israel is ridiculous. Ben Gurion had to have been in on the horrors and undoubtedly chose his son to be Police Minister in case anyone interfered with them.

    Finance Minister Eliezer Kaplan was rewarded for eternity with a hospital named after him near Rehovot. But he's not alone in this honor. Chaim Sheba, who ran Ringworm Incorporated, had a whole medical complex named after him. Needless to say, if there is an ounce of decency in the local medical profession, those hospital names will have to change.

    After the film ended, there was a panel discussion which included a Moroccan singer, David Edri, head of the Compensation Committee for Ringworm X-Ray Victims, and Boaz Lev, a spokesman for the Ministry Of Health.

    TV host Dan Margalit tried to put a better face on what he'd witnessed. He explained meekly that "the state was poor. It was a matter of day to day survival." Then he stopped. He knew there was no excusing the atrocities which the Sephardi children endured.

    But it was the Moroccan singer who summed up the experience best. "It's going to hurt, but the truth has to be told. If not, the wounds will never heal."

    There is one person alive who knows the truth: Shimon Peres. The only way to get to the truth and start the healing is to investigate him for his role in the mass poisoning of over 100,000 Sephardi children and youth.

    But here is why that won't happen. The film was aired at the same time as the highest-rated TV show of the year, the finale of Israel's talent-hunt show: "A Star Is Born." The next day, the newly-born star's photo took up half the front pages. There was not a word about "The Ringworm Children" in any paper, nor on the Internet. Until now.

  • Chris

    "So, after I read this article I was shocked and disturbed. While this site seems to have an endless supply of articles that describe all Israelis as Nazis, this article was profoundly disturbing to me. So me and a friend spent the afternoon doing research on this topic. The author of the article is a widely known conspiracy theorist whose work, while interesting, is not always grounded in reality. And searching for information on many of the details which he described proved fruitless.

    But nonetheless, there is ample documentation of the fact that Israel did indeed administer large doses of radiation to brown children during the fifties. At the time, there was massive hysteria around the issue of ringworm, and radiation was the popular method for dealing with it. In fact, 10,000 kids in New York recieved the same treatment. It seems that the government was really worked up at the thought of an epidemic and they responded with insane treatments. Remember that this was the fifties and that in America people with queer tendancies were having their brians fried with electroshock therapy and all kinds of crazy medical stuff was going on. They did not understand they implications of these treatments, they thought they were dealing with ringworm and administering the most effective treatment. However, the results have been dramatic and horrible, many people have suffered tremendously. And the Israeli government has been dealing with this issue for over a decade by compensating victims of these treatments. While the compensation has been far from enough, it is happening and there is no evidence that Israel is trying to cover up what happened. There have been Knesset hearing and much public debate on this issue."

  • Addamo

    What does Saddam Huseeing have to do with Israeli genocide and mass murder?

    Trying ot change the subject again are we Chris? You not liking where the thread is going?

    Intersting that these charges are now being brought against Saddam. We can expect one of the following to happen:

    1. The trial will never reach completion
    2. Saddam will call Rumsfeld to the stand as a witness to testify to US complicity
    3. Saddam will be found dead in his jail cell (as was Milosevic).

  • Addamo

    Statements from the UNSC regarding Iran:

    "The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons and recalls the right of States Party, in conformity with articles I and II of that Treaty, to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination."

    Iran – even under the mullahs – is guaranteed the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes?

    Without discrimination?

    The Council essentially remanded the Iranian dossier to the IAEA Board.

    "The Security Council strongly supports the role of the IAEA Board of Governors … and underlines the necessity of the IAEA continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran's nuclear program."

  • orang

    “They were to be used in a mass atomic experiment with an entire generation of Sephardi youths to be used as guinea pigs. Every Sephardi child was to be given 35,000 times the maximum dose of x-rays through his head. For doing so, the American government paid the Israeli government 300 million Israeli liras a year. The entire Health budget was 60 million liras. The money paid by the Americans is equivalent to billions of dollars today. ”

    Can anyone here explain this to me?

  • smiths

    this thread demonstartes one simple point,
    all states say things about other states that they shouldnt or are trouble-making,
    all states engage in defensive and aggresive manouvers,
    all states commit acts of terrorism if they think the situation justifies it,
    therefore all states that have nuclear arsenals or suspected nuclear arsenals that dont allow full inspection should have all their facilities bombed,
    cant say fairer than that

  • orang

    Sephardi youths..that's like jews who look like arabs right? – I get it now.

  • Chris

    It seems the report has been changed and now states that Saddam is being charged with genocide for about 100,000 kurdish deaths, not the 180,000 as earlier reported.

    I wish they'd get the numbers straight the first time.

  • orang

    So in other words the Lion of the Desert conned Sephardic jews to Israel and then did medical experiments on them? Where did he learn this?

  • Chris

    Without the correct numbers, it just allows many to post what they reasonably believe to be the correct figures.

    It seems that the Iraqis intend to keep Saddam in court forever.