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 sewer rots

Israel faces responsibility for a humanitarian catastrophe:

United Nations aid organizations are warning that the Gaza Strip is on the verge of a humanitarian disaster due to a lack of money and food.

David Shearer, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told Foreign Ministry officials that if there is no significant change in the situation, Gaza will face a humanitarian crisis as bad as the one in Kosovo.

A report by the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) warns of a lack of basic food supplies due to the frequent closures of the Karni crossing that are preventing goods from reaching Gaza from Egypt. The report also said there has been a significant increase in the number of hungry people since financial aid has been halted.

As long as Israel maintains and expands the occupation, blood will remain on its hands.

93 comments ↪
  • JohD

    I am sorry, but that is what the Purim story sounds like, pretty much like the Palestinian story. A whole people are tried and condemned without any real evidence that they were planning what they are accused of planning. In response, thousands of them are slaughtered in a pre-emptive attack, to the extent that many become Jews themselves in order to protect themselves. This event is then celebrated throughout the ages as a 'victory' over the jewhaters. Hmmm… something definitely leaking from the radiator here, and the parallels with the Palestinian situation are stark. It is instructive and reveals the mindset at work when whackos celebrate the suffering of others, and it induces a plethora of creative expression; salvitating at the prospect of destruction.

  • captain

    In Purim, there was a presidential degree that on a certain day, all Jews were to be killed. The geographical area was very extensive. Because a royal decree cannot be undone, a separate decree allowed Jews to defend themselves.

    What you see as analogous with palestinians is completely wrong. There is no genocidal intent from Israelis. There has been quite the opposite despite the propaganda that you rely on. There is no pre-emptive attack against pals. There are however responses to missiles that are fired almost daily, suicide attack and bombings and shootings. Any country would respond accordingly. Most would be much less restrained than the israelis.

    And I agree that the celebration of the suffering of others is whacko, which is why I find it disturbing that pals hand out sweets and dance in the streets when Jews are killed. Look at the hideous way they celebrated 9/11.

    JohD, you see what you want to because you are a completely fucked up racist.

  • Chris

    Better still, wipe out those who are firing the rockets, those who are supplying the rockets, and those who support the rockets being fired at innocent Jewish people. Then you can see about the fence. As for 67 borders, there aren't any except with Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt.

  • Comical_Ali

    If you interpret the following as "political": But we are not dealing with normal people, but a people conditioned to believe that the slaughter of thousands is justified by an imagined plot to destroy them. I have always been well-disposed towards Jewish people, but recently the idea of Purim was explained to me by a devout practioner of Judaism, and I was revolted.

    and then yourself bring the Torah into the equation to explain our apparent blood thirstiness toward other peoples, than so be it. Thats your own interpretation. But I don't need others to make interpretations on what hatred toward my people (or derogatory remarks about my religious beliefs) constitutes on my behalf – just like a black person or a homosexual would not want an outsider like me to define what derogatory bigotry against them is.

    If you want to continue – go ahead. As an abnormal person who professes to follow an abnormal Scripture called the Torah I would respond in an abnormal way – just sit back and smile at you ignoramuses. I feel secure enough about my faith and my beleifs to do that. And such is an abnormal reaction, considering that the standard "norm" of today seems to consist of fatwas, killings, arson and rioting. You are entitled to your free-speech and make an arse of yourself, and I salute you for it.

    And me thinks it speaks volumes of Loewenstein when he has nothing to say on the matter and doesn't intervene.

  • Chris

    He has intervened to spare the feelings of addamo, but that is all I've ever seen.

  • Chris

    In the meantime, Palestinians are profitting on the suffering of their brothers:

    The price of sugar has increased by 25% since the closure of the Karni crossing.

  • Addamo

    Then you can see about the fence. As for 67 borders, there aren’t any except with Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt.

    Ah just as I expected. chris has tripepd over his own BS:

    Chris Apr 5th, 2006 at 1:01 am

    Israel’s borders are well known. The Jordan river, The Sinai, the border with Lebanon and Syria, and the Mediterranean Sea.Israel’s borders are well known. The Jordan river, The Sinai, the border with Lebanon and Syria, and the Mediterranean Sea.

    Captain

    There is no pre-emptive attack against pals.

    Perhaps you should tell that to the Israeli authorities who openly declare their rights to assasinate their opponents. How do you explain the attack on the Osirak reactor or the threat od pre-emptive strikes against Iran?

    Comical, your obsessive and compulsive insistence to turn this discussion into one of religion exhibits a staggering myopia, and is therefore your own problem, not Antony's or anyone elses. Communicating with you is like talking to a brick wall.

    If you feel so secure in your faith and your beliefs, why do you and Captain insist that Antony come to your rescue?

    You guys are like a bunch of squaling panzies who run for their mothers wheever they run out of talking points.

  • Comical_Ali

    your obsessive and compulsive insistence to turn this discussion into one of religion exhibits a staggering myopia, and is therefore your own problem,

    I didnt bring the Torah, yeshivas or the story of Purim into this discussion or other people's religious beliefs for that matter – least of all as a way of explaining the apparent blood thirstness of a certain group of people toward others.

    Has anyone diagnosed this strange "obsessive and complusive" illness which exhibits certain traits of myopia? An illness which leads the sufferer to say that he is perfectly sane & others (not him) are suffering from this illness?

    I don't insist that Antony come to my rescue.

    Its just all that awfully hard work to prove his detractors wrong – that we were all indeed crying wolf and that he & the group that associates with him (i.e the people on this blog among others) only engage in criticsm of Israel and not derogatory anti-Jewish bigorty – has gone down the drain due to his silence on this.

  • Addamo

    I brought up the subject of the students of the Torah attending workshops on how to interpret the Israeli occupation as a troublesome situation. If the matter is self explanatory and Israel's position so morally justified, why the need for someone to be told how to think about it?

    engage in criticsm of Israel and not derogatory anti-Jewish bigorty

    That's what is so damned frustrating when debating you and your colleagues. Because you interpret critisim of Israel and pro Zionist opinions as a personal affront and insist it must be bron out of a hatred towards Jews. When Ant posts an article that raises such questinos, your rectionary response is to deflect criticism by pointing to an example that is worse or more extreme.

    I have yet to read apos tfro you where you have even aknowledged Israeli wrongdoign in any circumstance. To his credit, at least Captain does do so.

  • captain

    And Addamo, when did you last step inside a Yeshiva and hear this? Most Yeshivot that I am aware of are completely unconcerned with anything other than theology.

  • Addamo

    I must admit I have never been inside one Captain. I have only been made aware of the classes/workshops abtou the occupied terriroties from participants.

  • Comical_Ali

    Here is what was said once again on record:

    A mindset that can blithely celebrate an outcome that is patently the result of deliberate manipulation is incomprehensible for normal people. But we are not dealing with normal people, but a people conditioned to believe that the slaughter of thousands is justified by an imagined plot to destroy them. I have always been well-disposed towards Jewish people, but recently the idea of Purim was explained to me by a devout practioner of Judaism, and I was revolted.

    followed by Progressive Athiest –

    The problem begins in the Yeshivas where they teach the bloody Bible stories as history. They celebrate the slaughter of the Philistines (Palestinians) by their fictional heroes such as Joshua, Saul and David.

    (side note: not sure whether all Palestinians are a bunch of Philistines – but the people who comment here, certainly are without question).

    & concluded by yourself –

    continues in later life when they study the Torah,and continues in later life when they study the Torah, while attending classes on hwo to “think” about the Israeli occupation of Palestinain land.

    All in the context of explaining how a not "so normal people" were historically & culturally conditioned into their blood thirsty and abnormal behaviour.

    strange how one has to remind you of what was only just recently said by yourself & others.

    And since we are on the topic of "normal" and "religion/culture" – If "normal" by everyone standards here, consists of rioting, issuing fatwas, murdering people & blowing up the London Tube, than I cant argue with that.

    Your right, the Torah, Yeshivas and the story of Purim have certainly instilled abnoramal character traits within the Jews. Even the brave muslim dissident Wafa Sultan picked up on this curious abnormality:

    The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.

  • viva peace

    "The occupation! The occupation! The occuparion! The occupation!" Oh boo hoo! Has anybody else just totally turned off this sooooo tired propoganda pumped out by the Palestinian politburo. Change the tune.

  • orang

    well tell your your mates to fuck off , and then there wouldn't be an OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION
    OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATIONOCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATIONOCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATIONOCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATIONOCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATIONOCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATIONOCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION OCCUPATION

  • viva peace

    orang

    The Israelis are not going anywhere. The state of Israel will, within ten years, include a sizeable part of the West Bank. Exactly how much depends on whether or not the US gives Jordan to Hamas. If so, then most, if not all, of the West Bank will be part of Israel. If not, the Palestinians will remain stateless and dysfunctional.

    It is not an "occupation" as their is no sovereign nation to occupy.

  • orang

    right – Herr Goebbels

  • edward squire

    Comical_Ali Apr 6th, 2006 at 12:52 am

    Ed – Ok Israel has decided to cross off a vital crossing only because it sadistically feels like it. There is no other obviously blatant reason – one which relates to the smuggeling of rockets.The Arabs are thus rendered absolutley blameless.

    There, I’ve decided to come clean about it.

    While your heartlessly sarcastic answer is revealing about you, it is not very revealing about why the Israeli government has decided to let Palestinian children starve. Can you please explain why the democratically elected government of Israel has made a conscious decision to harm Palestinian children who even in the government’s eyes have committed no sin other than being Palestinian? I just can’t see the moral reason for it, that’s all.

  • edward squire

    Meanwhile, back to the straving kids…I fail to see how, as Chris asserts,

    Israel is not starving the Palestinians. The Palestinians are starving the Palestinians

    given that it is Israel that has chosen to close off food supplies to Gaza. Can someone please explain how it is that the Israeli state's decision to do this is not (somehow) the Israeli state's decision?

  • Addamo

    It seems that inorder to restore their honor, the Palestinian people elected a group that ensured they would die with dignity.

    Yo knwo this is not the case. Arafat was a failure and a corrupt one at that and Abbas was ineffective and also very corrupt.

    The Palestinians wanted effective and competent leadership, so they choe the only other alternative. Did the Israelils vote for Sharon because they wanted to reward war criminals?

  • Chris

    I am confused as to why antony deleted the comment concerning the fact that orang was fucked. Not only does orang used the term often, but it was a good anology.

    Orang, No one needs to remind you of Arafat as he lies, unmourned, in ramallah or where ever they bury the trash in the territories.

  • Addamo

    It is not an “occupation” as their is no sovereign nation to occupy.

    There you go. Stop the Palestinans fromforming an independent Palestinian state and you are free to take whatever you like. At least we agree on that.

  • Chris

    As the Jordanians and Egyptian stopped the Palestinians from forming such from 1948 through 1967, you can blame them.

  • Addamo

    You broke the rules Chris. You pushed your luck. Silly you.

  • Comical_Ali

    Ed – Ok Israel has decided to cross off a vital crossing only because it sadistically feels like it. There is no other obviously blatant reason – one which relates to the smuggeling of rockets.The Arabs are thus rendered absolutley blameless.

    There, I've decided to come clean about it.

  • Addamo

    The price of sugar has increased by 25% since the closure of the Karni crossing.

    Where does sugar come from? Is it impoted or locally produced? What evidence is there that this is not a question of scarcity? Sugar is hardly a staple.

  • Addamo

    As the Jordanians and Egyptian stopped the Palestinians from forming such from 1948 through 1967, you can blame them.

    Which was 40 years ago. 1948 through 1967 is 19 years. Israel has stalled the process for 40. That makes Israel doubly responsible.

  • Addamo

    There is no other obviously blatant reason – one which relates to the smuggeling of rockets.

    and when that doen;t suffice as a reason, you can always lie about it.

    Israel is not above resorting to self inflicted wounds to win terrirotyry or the odd headline. In March 2, 2002 attack was carried out by the revitalized Stern Gang, responsible for bombing Pacha’s Disco in Tel Aviv during June 2001, and the Jerusalem Ben Yehudah Mall in early December 2001. it is a foregone conclusion that it was an inside job. It killed 10 and wounded 57.

  • Chris

    But one doesn't need to lie, or make things up, as you do. The truth suffices. Thank's for posting the Pasha hoax. It is just another opportunity to show that you are an idiot.

    The palestinians are not above deliberately killing women and children.

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

    Initially, no Palestinian movement came forth to claim responsibility for the suicide bombing at the Dolphinarium discotheque. This, according to an Israeli commentator, “is evidence of the confusion that the attack has caused among the Palestinians and their leadership. Since the start of the current Intifadah, the zealous Muslims who have carried out the attacks have usually been proud of their actions.” According to the same commentator, “the attempt now to evade responsibility stems from fear that the attack will cause serious damage to the interests of the Palestinians and their government and could lead to a turnaround in public opinion on their actions.”[Danny Rubinstein, Haaretz, June 3, 2001]

    Probably for the same reason, the Palestinian media center, headed by PA Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, strongly denounced the bombing. The Center’s announcement claimed that the Israeli government was wrong to blame the PA for the attack.

    Later, at least two militant Palestinian groups—the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas—claimed responsibility for the blast. Another claim was made by the “Palestinian Hizballah,’ a name given to a “cocktail” cell made up of members of the Islamist groups and Yasser Arafat’s Fatah militants.

    According to a statement released by Hamas on June 4, the suicide bomber was Sa’id Hutari, 22, from the Palestinian Autonomous town of Qalqilyah, in the West Bank. The radical Islamic movement claimed Hutari was a Hamas supporter, but stopped short of claiming responsibility for the terrorist attack. According to Palestinian Authority sources, Hutari was arrested and held for 12 days by Palestinian security forces two months ago, following a suicide bomb carried out by a friend of Hutari’s, Fadi Atallah. In the attack at Neveh Yamin two months ago, two schoolboys were killed and four wounded. [ICT Topic of the Day, March 28, 2001]

    The Hizbollah television station, Al-Manar, reported that the military wing of Hamas, Iz-e-Din al-Qassam, had taken responsibility for the Tel-Aviv suicide bombing.

    Hamas claims the attack

    On June 5, the official Hamas website published a communiqu? in English, proudly taking full responsibility for the murderous attack, which was labeled a “qualitative martyrdom operation.” According to the statement, “the blast was made using a highly explosive material (Qassam-19), which was developed by Qassam Brigades’ experts in their own factories.” The Jews were threatened “to leave or perish.” [See Annex I for full text of communiqu?]

    Heavy pressure from the international community and the American administration, together with the threat of Israeli retaliatory attacks, lead Yasser Arafat to commit to an “immediate and total” cease-fire.

    Leaders of the Islamic militant groups, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, subsequently expressed confidence that Arafat, even after ordering a cease-fire, would not act to stop their attacks on Israelis. “I don’t think this will happen,” said Mohammed al-Hindi, a top-ranking Islamic Jihad official in Gaza City.

    This was confirmed by a senior Palestinian minister, Nabil Sha’ath, who said the Palestinian Authority has no intention of re-arresting Palestinian militants wanted for the murder of Israelis. [ICT Topic of the Day, June 6, 2001, and Haaretz, June 4, 2001]

    Palestinian propoganda attempts to absolve Hamas

    However, in the framework of Arafat’s attempts to achieve a cease-fire and the concomitant political gains, without, however, paying the price of imprisoning the Islamist terrorists and their leaders, Hamas’ claim of responsibility became something of an embarrassment.

    Thus, the PA propaganda machine has resorted to the same type of “dirty tricks” at which the Nazis had excelled more than 70 years previously. The greater the lie, the greater the chances to impress the larger public, at least the Arab and Islamic one. The Palestinian Authority has come to rely heavily on the art of the “hoax as excuse.” First, there was the hoax of the Israeli Army’s use of enriched uranium ammunition, then, the story of poisoned sweets thrown from helicopters to Palestinian children. These, and other tall tales, were followed by the story that Israel was responsible for the death of Palestinian minister Faisal Husseini in Kuwait, due to his inhalation of tear-gas during a violent demonstration in Jerusalem. After all this, it was only a small step to blaming the Israelis themselves for the suicide attack at the Tel-Aviv discotheque! Such was the claim published by the Palestine Ministry of Information on its website on June 10, 2001, based on information from some mysterious “Jewish intelligence experts.” According to the Palestinian Authority, ‘the bombing outside Pacha's Disco which killed 18 and wounded 100 was the work of Israeli fanatics

  • Addamo

    Bad form Chris,

    If you are going to plegiarise, at least provide a link to your sources or are you to ashamed to share where you get your "material"?

  • Addamo

    Sorry scrunb that, you did peovide links. My appologies.

  • Chris

    Figured you would realize the the separation signified by the line of **************************** indicated the posting of an article. I should have realized that the obvious is obvious to all but you. I apologize for making that mistake.

  • Addamo

    the attempt now to evade responsibility stems from fear that the attack will cause serious damage to the interests of the Palestinians and their government and could lead to a turnaround in public opinion on their actions.”

    Pure specualtion. The write is only guessing at best.

    Probably for the same reason, the Palestinian media center, headed by PA Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, strongly denounced the bombing. The Center’s announcement claimed that the Israeli government was wrong to blame the PA for the attack.

    Pure specualtion. The write is only guessing at best. Wy woudl the bombing be carrie dout if the conseuquences were so grave?

    Later, at least two militant Palestinian groups—the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas—claimed responsibility for the blast. Another claim was made by the “Palestinian Hizballah,’ a name given to a “cocktail” cell made up of members of the Islamist groups and Yasser Arafat’s Fatah militants.

    So was was responsible, Hamas, Palestinian Hizballah or Arafat’s Fatah militants?

    The Palestinian Authority has come to rely heavily on the art of the “hoax as excuse.”

    You mean like Israel accusing th Un of helping Hamas and Hizballah of using ambulances to smuggle rockets?

    Yeah Right Chris. back to reading your commics dude.

  • Addamo

    Evidence Israel Using Chemical Warfare On Palestinians
    By James Brooks
    Contributing Writer

    "On June 10th, 2004, the two clinics in Al-Zawiya treated 130 patients for gas inhalation. The patients were children, women, old people and young men. Dr. Abu Madi related that there was a high number of cases of [tetany], spasm in legs and hands, connected to the nervous system. Pupils were dilated . . . Other symptoms included shock, semi-consciousness, hyperventilation, irritation and sweating." [1]

    Thus reads a report by medical units serving the West Bank village of Al-Zawiya, where nonviolent resistance to Israel's impending wall has been extraordinarily resolute. According to the medical report (procured by the International Middle East Media Center – IMEMC), "the gas used against the protestors is not tear gas but possibly a nerve gas."

    The following day, Israel's 'Peace Bloc,' Gush Shalom, began a press release with the following quote from Al-Zawiya: "What the army used here yesterday was not tear gas. We know what tear gas is, what it feels like. That was something totally different . . . When we were still a long way off from where the bulldozers were working, they started shooting things like this one (holding up a dark green metal tube with the inscription 'Hand and rifle grenade no.400' in English). Black smoke came out. Anyone who breathed it lost consciousness immediately, more than a hundred people. They remained unconscious for nearly 24 hours. One is still unconscious, at Rapidiya Hospital in Nablus. They had high fever and their muscles became rigid. Some needed urgent blood transfusion. Now, is this a way of dispersing a demonstration, or is it chemical warfare?" [2]

    The incident in Al-Zawiya appears to be the tenth attack by Israeli soldiers using an "unknown gas" against Palestinian civilians since early 2001. We have photographs of the canisters. We have film of victims suffering in the hospital. We have interviews with Palestinian and European doctors who have treated the victims. And we presumably have hundreds, perhaps thousands, of survivors. But we know nothing of their fate. Despite the evidence, we have not inquired.

    Though it is a state secret, Israel's development of chemical and biological weapons has been known and analyzed for decades. From the typhoid poisoning of Palestinian wells and water supplies in 1948 [3,4] to the conversion of F-16s into nerve gas 'crop dusters' in 1998 [5], Israel has always demonstrated a strong interest in developing CBW agents and methods for their dispersal.

    In 1992 an El Al 747 flying nerve gas ingredients from the US to Israel crashed into an Amsterdam apartment building. [6] According to Salman Abu-Sitta, president of the Palestine Land Society, the respected Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad followed up the crash with an in-depth investigation of the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR), Israel's CBW complex in Nes Ziona. The paper reportedly found "strong links" with several US CBW and medical research centers, "close cooperation between IIBR and the British-American biological warfare programme," and "extensive collaboration on BW research with Germany and Holland." [7]

    At IIBR, doctors publish world-class research in acetylcholine, the mother lode of nerve gas design. The Nes Ziona complex is reputed to have invented an "undetectable" poison-needle gun for "clean" assassinations. [8] In September 1997, two days after Jordan's King Hussein told Israeli PM Netanyahu that Hamas was seeking negotiations, Mossad agents in Jordan attempted to kill Hamas leader Khaled Misha'al with a lethal dose of fentanyl. [9]

    For years, rumors persisted that Israel was using or testing unknown chemical agents on Palestinian civilians. The rumors began to reveal their substance February 12, 2001, when Israel began a six-week campaign of "novel gas" attacks in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. By chance, American filmmaker James Longley arrived in Khan Younis, Gaza in the middle of the first attack. That afternoon he began filming the victims. His award-winning film, Gaza Strip, documents the naked reality of Israel's chemical weaponryóthe canisters, the doctors, the eyewitnesses, and the hideous suffering of the victims, many of whom remained hospitalized for days or weeks. [10]

    The February 12 gassing of neighborhoods in Khan Younis presaged the attacks that followed. When the gas canisters landed, they began to billow clouds of either white or black, sooty smoke. The gas was non-irritating and initially odorless, changing to a sweet, minty fragrance after a few minutes. One victim recalled, "The smell was good. You want to breathe more. You feel good when you inhale it." The smoke often shifted to a "rainbow" of changing colors. [11, 12]

    >From five to 30 minutes after breathing the gas, victims began to feel sick and have difficulty breathing. A searing pain began to wrench their gut, followed by vomiting, sometimes of blood, then complete hysteria and extremely violent convulsions. Many victims suffered a relentless syndrome for days or weeks afterward, alternating between convulsions and periods of consciousness, twitching, vomiting agony. Palestinians agreed: "This is like nothing we've ever seen before." [13]

    Forty people were admitted to Al-Nasser Hospital "in an odd state of hysteria and nervous breakdown," suffering from "fainting and spasms." Sixteen gas patients had to be transferred to the intensive care unit. Doctors "reported the Israeli use of gas that appeared to cause convulsions." [14]

    At the Gharbi refugee camp, 32 people "were treated for serious injuries" following exposure to the gas. Dr. Salakh Shami at Al-Amal Hospital reported the hospital receiving "about 130 patients suffering from gas inhalation from February 12." [15]

    Bewildered medical personnel had "never seen anything..like the gas at Tufa." Victims were "jumping up and down, left and right, thrashing limbs around," suffering "convulsions . . . a kind of hysteria. They were all shaking." Others were already unconscious. An hour or two later, they would come to. And the convulsions and the vomiting and disorientation and pain would return. [16]

    The following day, February 13, Israeli forces again deployed the strange new gas canisters in Khan Younis. Over 40 new gas victims, "including a number of children..from 1 to 5 years-old," arrived at Al-Nasser Hospital and the hospital of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. [17]

    The news began to trickle out. "Palestinian security services have accused the Israeli army of using nerve gas during a gun battle yesterday," reported AFX News Limited, noting, "the army has strongly denied the charges." [18] The Voice of Palestine reported that "specialists believe that this is an internationally banned nerve gas." Those who inhaled the gas "suffered a nervous breakdown and vomited blood." [19]

    The next day, Deutsche Presse-Agentur quoted Dr. Yasser Sheikh Ali from Al-Nasser Hospital: "Israel has been using a powerful type of tear gas against the Palestinians that causes convulsions and spasms." According to DPA, more than 80 Palestinians . . . reported that Israeli soldiers had used the white smoky gas, but Israel denied doing so." [20]

    The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) reported that on February 15 three more canisters of the poison gas were fired at houses in the Khan Younis camp, and "another 11 Palestinian civilians, mostly children, suffered from suffocation and spasms due to gas inhalation." [21] British journalist Graham Usher wrote that Khan Younis civilians were "incapacitated" by "a 'new' form of toxic gas." [22]

    PA President Yasser Arafat publicly "accused Israel of using poison gas." The IDF issued a second denial. Israeli Communications Minister Ben-Eliezer called reports of gas casualties in Khan Younis "incorrect and false." Senior PA minister Nabil Shaath said that a sample of the gas would be sent to "an international center for analysis." [23] The results, if any, were never divulged.

    On February 18, Israeli soldiers near the Neve Dekalim settlement reportedly fired four poison gas canisters at Palestinian houses in Khan Younis. Later that afternoon, more canisters were fired, forcing Palestinians to flee their homes. PCHR reported that "41 Palestinian civilians, mostly children and women, suffered from suffocation and spasms." [24] By PCHR's count, 238 Palestinians were affected by poison gas attacks between February 12 and February 20. Twenty-seven of the victims were still hospitalized on the 22nd. [25]

    On March 2, an unknown gas was used against civilians in the West Bank town of Al-Bireh. Israeli soldiers reportedly fired "canisters of a highly effective black gas similar to the one used in Khan Yunis three weeks ago." [26]

    Twenty-four days later, Israeli forces east of Gaza City used a gas that "left symptoms different from those of the..gas used first.. in Khan Yunis starting from February 12..," although several similarities also appeared. In this attack the onset of abdominal pain seemed to be delayed. [27]

    On March 30, medical professionals in Nablus reported Israeli soldiers using the new poison gas against Palestinian demonstrators. [28]

    British journalist Jonathan Cook reported a March gas attack on the schoolyard of Al-Khader village, near Bethlehem. Thirteen year-old Sliman Salah was playing when a gas canister landed next to him, "enveloping him in a cloud of gas described by witnesses as an unfamiliar, yellow colour." Large doses of anti-convulsants were required to control the boy's seizures and maintain consciousness. His symptoms "were finally brought under control five days after his exposure to the gas. But Salah's father says the boy is still suffering from stomach pains, vomiting, dizziness and breathing problems." [29]

    In its March, 2003 special report, Israel's Secret Weapon, BBC Television reviewed this series of gas attacks, noting, "The Israeli army has used new unidentified weapons. In February 2001 a new gas was used in Gaza. A hundred and eighty patients were admitted to hospitals with severe convulsions. . . . Israel is outside chemical and biological weapons treaties and still refuses to say what the new gas was." [30]

    In my amateur analysis of the reported comments of victims, eyewitnesses and medical professionals regarding this series of attacks, I identified 33 distinct symptoms attributed to the unidentified gas. All but three of these symptoms appear to be typical of nerve gas poisoning. [31] Tareg Bey, a chemical warfare expert at the University of California-Irvine, told the Chicago Reader that the symptoms described to him "all fit really well to nerve gas," though he was puzzled by the reported fragrance and skin rashes. [32]

    In an October 9, 2003 article, Jennifer Loewenstein and Angela Gaff asked, "What gas is Israel using?" They reported the story of Mukhles Burgal, a Palestinian prisoner caught in a brutal attack inside Israel's Ashkelon prison. The "guards forced their way into the crowded cell, spraying two canisters of some type of gas. Some of the 14 prisoners passed out . . . The effects of the gas were severe muscle spasms and an overwhelming sensation of not being able to breathe." [33]

    Two days later, Palestine Monitor reported that Israeli forces in Rafah were allegedly "firing gas grenades containing a black gas believed to be adamatite [adamsite?]óthe use of which is forbidden according to international law. Medical authorities urged people to avoid the gas at all costs, as it not only causes difficulty in breathing but seriously affects the nervous system." [34] For some reason, PCHR's press release from the same day, an apparent source of these reports, is no longer available. [35] On the 14th, eyewitness Laura Gordon wrote, "The army used some kind of nerve gas for the first time in Rafah, leaving people in convulsions for days." [36]

    Following the recent gas attack in Al-Zawiya, town officials reportedly told Al Ayyam newspaper, "the Israeli occupation troops were using an illegal substance that caused nerve spasms and that several cases had been transferred to Nablus hospitals." [37]

    The PA's International Press Center reported that "official and public sources in Al-Zawya.asserted that those who have inhaled the tear gas IOF troops fired at them four days ago are still suffering from the effects of the gas . . . a number of those citizens have already had amnesias or partial memory loss, in addition to cramps . . . in addition to strange cramps every three hours . . . those who inhaled the gas are still suffering severe pains in the joints and nausea for four days now. Eyewitnesses recalled that the Israeli soldiers were keen on picking the empty tear gas canisters.." Journalists told IPC "that the gas was in different colors they have never seen coming out of a tear gas canister before, and that some gases had an unrecalled smell." [38]

    According to IMEMC, .."tens of demonstrators who inhaled this gas had partial memory loss. Dr. Bassam Abu Madi told IMEMC that the some of those who inhaled the gas had severe choking and some contraction in their feet and arm muscles. Eyewitnesses said the gas has a strange smell and a reddish-brownish color." [corrected copy] In a follow up story, IMEMC concluded that "protesters were attacked with gas that is not like the tear gas. Those who inhaled the gas suffered some memory loss while others had other symptoms of a nerve gas. Yet this was not medically confirmed for lack of laboratories to inspect the gas canisters collected from the scene." [39]

    Al Jazeera reported the opinion of Awni Khatib, a professor of chemistry at Hebron University; "the new symptomsñparticularly the violent convulsions experienced by some Palestinian protesters outside the village of Sawiya [Zawiya], southwest of Nablusñsuggest..that the Israeli army may be using a new class of chemicals that lie somewhere between normal tear gas and chemical weapons." [40]

    Israel's repeated use of highly toxic unknown chemicals against Palestinian civilians is now an open secret. We can expect these attacks to continue until a concerted effort is made to determine the facts and hold Israel accountable. So far, the international human rights community has steadfastly ignored the mounting evidence.

    When will professional investigators begin to retrieve and test the gas canisters? Why has no one but James Longley bothered to document interviews with victims, doctors, and other eyewitnesses? In a world in which one country's mere possession of chemical weapons can be an excuse for international retribution, how another country's use of chemical weapons against civilians be dismissed as a "regrettably excessive" tactic of crowd control?

    Our silence is poisoning Palestine.

  • Chris

    Squires:

    The palestinian people have democratically decided to let the palestinians starve, just as Saddam decided to allow Iraqi children to starve.

    Let all of us in on the maral lesson the palestinians are trying to teach the world by starving their children.

    I assume it is the same one they are teaching by forcing their children to become martyrs.

    Publicity.

  • orang

    We are forever been reminded on how brutal the Saddams and the Arafats are to their own people. Interesting though when reading some of the posts of the last few days and doing some verification, you find The Lions of the Desert , the paragons of peace your Ben Gurions etc did the same type of thing to their own people.
    Chris how does it feel?
    Knowing this then, particularly the parts where because the kind of Semitic looking jews are brutalised, and the ones in charge of brutalising them are the "White" ones from Europe. So if these jews are capable of doing these things to other jews because they look different, imagine what they do to the ones who not only look different but are also not jews!! The mind boggles.
    Let you imaginations go wild-chemical weapons/gassing Palis? – Why not, it works good. Starving Palestinian children? Hell, saves a bullet…..
    ….oh let my people go…Fuck off you cunts, nobody wants you here.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    The last 2 opportunities for the creation of a palestinian state, they said they didn't want one. First of all they rejected the state offered in 1947, and then Jordan decided to steal their state.

    You rolls the dice…

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    Unfortunately the Palestinians didn't have a say at Oslo.

  • Addamo

    then Jordan decided to steal their state.

    I guess it came down to finders keepers in teh end right? Or perhaps was it a case of the prize goes to whoever has the biggest guns?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    The moral is that in a ranking of forces preventing a Palestinian state, Israel is quite a way down the list. 😉

    And remember it wasn't even until the late 1970s and 1980s that murmurs started being made about wanting an independent Palestinian state. Up until then, not one Arab country let alone the PLO would even utter Israel's name, let alone acknowledge its legitimacy, so I think we can all excuse the Israelis for being extremely sceptical when the PLO starts bearing peace sticks with forked tongue. 😉

  • edward squire

    Chris Apr 6th, 2006 at 5:56 am

    Squires:

    The palestinian people have democratically decided to let the palestinians starve

    What happened to El Capitain? Anyway, Chris: did the Israeli government explain clearly to all Palestinian voters the following?

    "Palestinians: We, the government of Israel, with the democratic support of the population of Israel, will systematically starve your children to death if you vote for the HAMAS party. This is not a hoax. We will starve your children to death if you vote for this party."

    OR did they announce the starvation policy after the election of HAMAS?

  • Addamo

    And remember it wasn’t even until the late 1970s and 1980s that murmurs started being made about wanting an independent Palestinian state.

    If memory serves, it was only in the 1980's that a 2 state solution was regarded as a viable proposition.

    so I think we can all excuse the Israelis for being extremely sceptical when the PLO starts bearing peace sticks with forked tongue

    Yes I agree, especially when Israel chose the moment that Arafat and the PLO were completely isolated in the Arab world, to decide that he was a suitable partner for peace.

    This is nto to deny of course, that the Palestinians made some big mistakes, but Israel chose Arafat over the PA to negotiate with.

  • orang

    Israel will always choose the dead ones as their preferred partners for peace. This way there is no doubt as to their intentions. Next they'll have a soap opera where Palestinian negotiators are led into a room to talk peace terms with Sharon.

    From edward,
    "…This is not a hoax. We will starve your children to death if you vote for this party.”

    Now that seems reasonable to me.

    Now if you had the leaders of the past – like Ben Gurion, when in 1948 they went to all the arab neighbourhoods and warned them, "If you are here tomorrow, you will be dead, your mother…will be dead…your sister..will be dead…".etc. At least the Palis knew where they stood right? Instead you have the current gang of low life sadists who play the Palis like a cat plays a mouse. Of course every now and again the bully gets a kick in the shins, gleefully his sadism is re-envigorated and gives an almighty punch..give up and I'll stop punching you (heh heh) …but 1st, say you love me.

  • Chris: "It appears the Palestinians prefer death rather than peace".

    Chris: "Of course. Have fun watching the Palestinians starve to death while they keep their Islamic-style honor intact. Have you hired yourself out as an official mourner? Since they seem so fond of sacrificing their children in the hopes of killing a Jew, do you think they'll start to eat them instead"?

    Chris: "They did ensure there were women and children to ensure that they would die".

    JohD: "Having Chris on board is like keeping a pet chimapanzee. He is an example of what Chris:tians call (Jewanderthal) pre-Adamic man – without a shred of conscience, compassion, morality or common sense"…"A mindset that can blithely celebrate an outcome that is patently the result of deliberate manipulation is incomprehensible for normal people"…"But we are not dealing with normal people, but a people conditioned to believe that the slaughter of thousands is justified by an imagined plot to destroy them".

    Chris: "It seems that real people (zionist apologists) feel this divestment campaign is all pish-n-tosh. Real people (ashke-nazi apologists) admire Israel. Real people do not admire the (non-existing) Palestinian people. I am discussing (with) the (goyim and shiksas) majorities, not all (our) real people".

    Addamo: "Hey people, leave Chris alone. Mass murder on this scale comes but once in a lifetime (he was probably too young to have witnessed the Sabra and Shatilla massacre). Let's not spoil his fun"… Or more precisely the obsessive tit-for-tat mental masturbation salvos around the clock. Courtesy of masochistic kind of reactions by the adam_ant dissenter versus malicious mossad's dis-info source of unabated emissions.