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.

Racism by any other name

Benjamin Neuberger, a professor of political science at the Open University, seems confused by academic opposition to Israel and Zionism:

When I was on sabbatical at Oxford University in 2003-2005, I was astonished to see how many professors and students at the renowned university viewed Israel and Zionism. At Oxford there is a strong intellectual stream that identifies Zionism with racism, imperialism and colonialism. The control of the territories, the settlements and the view of Israel as a refuser of peace have contributed to this, but we would be mistaken if we were to think that the problem will be solved with the withdrawal from the territories and the establishment of two states for two peoples. 

Like so many so-called progressives, Neuberger expresses an inherent contradiction:

As an Israeli who is opposed to the occupation and the settlements and supports a solution of two states for two peoples, but also sees himself as a Zionist who wants the existence of a Jewish and democratic state that will also be a state of all its citizens, I felt frustrated that in these circles there is no readiness to see the complexity of the Jewish-Arab conflict.

A Zionist state cannot be democratic by definition. Any state that discriminates against another people, such as Israel, should be opposed on principle.

32 comments ↪
  • captain

    Democracy is defined by universal suffrage. Israel clearly has this. Jews, Christians, Muslims and others all vote and can be represented in the Knesset. Just as Israel is a Jewish state, the US, UK and Australia are Christian states. Still, there is no aspersion about democracy there.

    I think what you are trying hard to say is that you hate Israel and that your position is racism by any other name. The fundamental basis of having Muslim states, Christian states or Hindu or other states is not questioned. Ant's racism is obvious.

  • Addamo

    That's copmpletely absurd Catpain and underlines you ignorance.

    The US constitution specifically opposes the notion of the US being a Christian state. The US and Australia are part Commonweakth and naswer to the Crown, which is not a religious institution.

    Neither Australia, the US or the Uk indetify themseves as Christian states, even if the leaders purport to adhere to Christian values.

    You are failing miserably at making the distintion between the majority religion on a oucntry and whther that country is to be defined as a religious state. There is no Christian state. Muslim states don;t pretend to be demoicratic.

    The contradiction that Ant raises is very obvious – at least to 90% of the population.

  • captain

    The Crown is not a religious institution?? Have you heard of the Church of England?

    Is Christmas a national holiday in the US, UK or Australia? Can you name me any National religious holiday from any other group in those countries?

    The distinction raised by Ant may be obvious to 90% of your relatives. Fortunately they are not the majority of the population.

  • edward squire

    captain May 27th, 2006 at 10:28 am

    Democracy is defined by universal suffrage. Israel clearly has this.

    The definition of democracy is more than that these days my dear boy. Voting is merely one of the rights. There are others at its foundational core. They include that all citizens are equal under law – that there should not be differential rights based on such things as race. This is well understood now. In the 19th century in Europe, from whence the Zionist conception of Israel came, it was entirely acceptable to conceive of a democracy that engaged in discrimination. Racism is universally recognised as being an evil that should not be enshined within an democratic system worthy of the name.

    Jews, Christians, Muslims and others all vote and can be represented in the Knesset.

    Although only Jews have a right of return. Further Arabs who owned and lived on the land for generations longer than the current occupants do not have the legal right to return. Jewish home-owners cannot have their the houses bulldozed to make way for Arab houses, but the reverse is true. Arabs can be expelled from the country for almost any reason, whereas Jews cannot. And so on – but no doubt you know about all the differential rights and treatment metered out by the Israeli state that are clearly deliniated on the basis of race.

    Just as Israel is a Jewish state, the US, UK and Australia are Christian states. Still, there is no aspersion about democracy there.

    Australia is not a Christian state. It is a secular state. Ask any religious person. But more to the point, it is not an Anglo-Celtic state. Rights are not based on one's claimed ethnic-racial background. (Well, they're not supposed to be anyway.)

    I think what you are trying hard to say is that you hate Israel and that your position is racism by any other name.

    I think he's trying to show that he doesn't like racism, and therefore doesn't like racist states.

    The fundamental basis of having Muslim states, Christian states or Hindu or other states is not questioned. Ant’s racism is obvious.

    I think you display a classic example of not knowing what you're talking about. Are you referring to an ethnic-racial grouping or a religious grouping? On the one hand, you refer to Muslims, Christians and Hindus. This implies you are thinking about religion. (They have nothing to do with race.) But on the other hand, you say A.L. is racist, which implies you are thinking about ethnicity-race. Which is it? Pleeeease clarify what you' talking about.

  • captain

    Israel is a democracy and I am not your dear boy. All Israeli citizens are equal under the law.

    Arabs who left Israel to join with their brothers to defeat if of course relinquished their rights. The arabs that remained are full Israeli citizens. Can you tell me of one example of an Arab who has been expelled for "no reason"?

    Arabs do not have their houses randomly bulldozed. This is merely propaganda for which you have no evidence. You merely don't accept the explanations given by Israel because you are a racist.

    I assume you live in Australia Eddy, so perhaps you could tell me which other religious holidays are enshrined in the calendar other than Christian ones. Its not that I mind, I don't at all, but Australia has as head of state the head of the Church of England. Our lifestyle is certainly secular but Christian in character.

  • Addamo

    You are right Edward,

    Captain's logic is falling victim to him to the vagueries of his argument.

    For example:

    The Crown is not a religious institution?? Have you heard of the Church of England

    ?

    The Crown has NEVER been a religious institution. The Church of England is the cretion of the Crown, which eas created out of convenience to the King, not the other war around.

    Is Christmas a national holiday in the US, UK or Australia? Can you name me any National religious holiday from any other group in those countries?

    Australia day is a national holiday. Labour day to is a holiday is it not?

    Fortunately they are not the majority of the population

    And you consider yourself the majority? Since when were Jews in the majority?

    All Israeli citizens are equal under the law.

    The right of return is part fo the law, so wrong again.

    Arabs who left Israel to join with their brothers to defeat if of course relinquished their rights.

    As opposed to those who had their land stolen or were victims of Israel's semi-official policy of enthic cleansing

    Arabs do not have their houses randomly bulldozed.

    There is rarely any evidence given for why they are bulldozed, ie. the home that Rachel Corrie was truign to protect. It was alledged that the house was shieding a tunnel, but that was never proven. A case of bulldoze first, ask questions later.

    Its not that I mind, I don’t at all, but Australia has as head of state the head of the Church of England.

    The Crown is the head of the Church of England.

    Our lifestyle is certainly secular but Christian in character.

    There is nothing about Australian character that can be described as Christian, any more than it is Jewish. The Australian character is not church going as a rule. Religion in public schools or work environment is not tolerated. People's religion is not referenced in passports, or any official forms of ID.

  • edward squire

    All Israeli citizens are equal under the law.

    That's what used to be said about Australia too when we had the explicitly racist White Australia policy – and it was true. Except for Aboriginal Australians who were dispossessed of their land (well, it was true even then because they never owned it under Australian law – a bit like Palestinians don't own their land anymore that is within Israel). But we have become a tad more civilised since then. Only a tad however.

    By the way, what are the marriage laws like in Israel at the moment? Do they have a race-based component?

    Arabs who left Israel to join with their brothers to defeat if of course relinquished their rights.

    According to Israel's best historians, the "brothers running off to fight" is one of those nationalist myths that is, well, just a myth. Most were driven out. The only debate now is to what extent the ethnic cleansing (their term, not mine) was planned. As to "relinquishing" their rights, this is neatly explained by Israel Uri Davis, in his book Apartheid Israel

    …after the establishment of the State of Israel, … the exclusivist constitutional stipulations of the WZO, JA and JNF (for Jews only) are incorporated into the body of the laws of the State of Israel through a detailed sequence of strategic Knesset legislation … Thus organizations and bodies that, prior to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, could credibly have claimed to be voluntary have been incorporated … into the legal, compulsory, judicial machinery of the state:

    * 1950: Absentees’ Property Law; Law or Return; Development Authority Law

    * 1952: World Zionist Organization – Jewish Agency for the Land of Israel (Status) Law

    * 1953: Jewish National Fund Law; Land Acquisition (Validations of Acts and Compensation) Law

    * 1954: Covenant between the Government of Israel and the Zionist Executive …

    * 1958: Prescription Law

    * 1960: Basic Law: Israel Lands; Israel Lands Law: Israel Lands Administration Law

    * 1961: Covenant between the Government of Israel and the Jewish National Fund

    In subsequent years this body of strategic legislation governing the terms of tenure of 93 per cent of Israel lands was further refined in such pieces of legislation as the Agricultural Settlement (Restriction on Use of Agricultural Land and Water) of 1967 and the Lands (Allocation of Rights to Foreigners) Law of 1980. The list above, however, represents the mainstay of Israeli apartheid …

    … it is through this … mechanism that an all-encompassing apartheid system could be legislated by the Israeli Knesset in all that pertains to access to land under Israeli sovereignty and control without resorting to explicit and frequent mention of ‘Jew’, as a legal category, versus ‘non-Jew’.

    But somehow, Israel is a modern democracy with equal rights for all? No. It is a 19th century democracy with equal rights for some, based on a certain criterion.

    Arabs do not have their houses randomly bulldozed.

    Who said anything about randomly? But you're right. That tends to be done to Arabs under the "protection" of Israel as an military occupier, as per the UN rules is assiduously adheres to.

    I assume you live in Australia Eddy, so perhaps you could tell me which other religious holidays are enshrined in the calendar other than Christian ones.

    None are "enshrined". Historial convention recognises some Christian-based (Xmas & Easter – although these are no compulsory) and some secular ones (Labour Day, ANZAC Day, Australia Day, etc.). In 20 years or so when Eid El Fitri gets recognised as a legitimate holiday for some, no-one will be calling the place "a Muslim country". That's because it's a secular state. Holidays is the best you can do? Pfft. Why don't you show me the religious legislation, then we'll talk?

    Australia has as head of state the head of the Church of England.

    Oh please! Break out the hoary chestnuts, why don't ya! The Queen cannot make any religious rulings binding to Australia because that would be a violation of the secular Australian Constitution. And frankly, nobody cares what the Queen thinks, and I think it is also safe to say she hardly cares what we think. So much for Christian piety!

    Our lifestyle is certainly secular but Christian in character.

    Yeah, 50 years ago.

  • captain

    The law of return does not apply to Israeli citizens. Therefore it is completely irrelevant as to those who are Israeli citizens and subject to law. Every country has immigration parameters.

    Under a white Australia policy Aboriginals largely were non citizens and had few rights. There is no parallel at all with Israel. Go there and see for yourself.

    Do houses get bulldozed in other countries? Of course, for a variety of legitimate reasons. Yet the racist conspiratorialist nutters here only see the malfeasance.

    Eddy, you obviously haven't been to Israel and hence your overly theoretical comments about apartheid. Did you know that all street signs, currency, official documents etc are written in Hebrew, Arabic and English? Can Arabs travel on the same buses, bank at the same institutions, apply for the same jobs, live wherever they want? yes to all of the above. Can Jews do the same in Saudi? Ha!

    You have no reliable evidence that the majority of Arabs were driven out at all. This is pure myth. You can however always find mythical stories by those with agendas to claim they still have the keys to their beloved homes. How do you explain the rights afforded to all of those who stayed, including the right to be part of the parliament?

    Last of all Eddy, why dont you call Saudi Arabia or some of those other tyrannies apartheid states? Non-Muslims aren't even allowed in many places there, let alone rights of citizenship, land ownership etc?

  • Addamo

    Every country has immigration parameters.

    None of which are dtermined by someone's religious denomination.

    Australia's white Australia policy is a source of shame for Australia, and rightly so. Australia has hopefully learned from such a despicable policy.

    Please point to examples of homes being bulldozed in other countries, and bulldoezed as a matter of policy.

    You are right about Saudi Arabia, but them again, never has Saudi Arabi or anyone else held up Saudi Arabia as a bastion of democracy and freedom. Nor human rights.

    Arguing that Edwards assertion is a myth, without providing any evidence of it having beeen debunked is futile.

  • captain

    Ummm, let me see. How about houses that are bulldozed in the case of development and roads? Governments routinely do this. That was a hard one!

    Oh, I see, can I become a citizen of Saudi Arabia? What about Iran perhaps? Malaysia? Oh dear. Wrong again Addumbo.

    So Addumbo, where is your outrage at all of those genuine apartheid regimes where Jews cannot be citizens? Why are you only concerned about Israel? It is this fixation, no obsession with Israel and Joooos that make you and fast eddy transparent racists.

  • captain

    Funnier still: Judaism is not a race. So what is fast eddy on about?

  • edward squire

    captain May 28th, 2006 at 8:40 am

    The law of return does not apply to Israeli citizens.

    Who does it apply to? Does it apply to some people who have never lived there? Does it exclude other people who used to live there? What is the critertion used?

    Yet the racist conspiratorialist nutters here only see the malfeasance.

    Have a look at the land appropriation legislation and how it is implemented.

    Eddy, you obviously haven’t been to Israel and hence your overly theoretical comments about apartheid.

    I have spoken to people who have. And there is a curious fault-line. Those enjoying a right of return say there is a wonderful sense of coming to somewhere opened-armed and welcoming. Others who visit, but not under any 'right' report very different experiences and see very different things. If you don't get strip-searched at the airport, if you don't get questioned like a criminal for an hour about "why you're here" by customs, if soldiers don't treat you like a piece of human garbage because of your declared religion on your identity papers, if you get told that where-ever you're standing (be it a former Palestinian village, orchard or graveyard) is your Eternal Birthright, then I imagine it would be a very, very welcoming place.

    I believe everyone is being honest in their reports.

    Can Jews do the same in Saudi?

    Why is Saudi Arabia your standard of comparison? Why not make your standard Gitmo Bay? Or better: why not make your standard the standard Israel itself claims to aspire to: a modern Western secular state that doesn't have discriminatory laws?

    You have no reliable evidence that the majority of Arabs were driven out at all.

    I don't. Israeli historians do. E.g. have a read of Scars of War, Wounds of Peace by the eminant Oxford University historian Shlomo Ben-Ami. I defer to experts. You defer to … yourself.

    Last of all Eddy, why dont you call Saudi Arabia or some of those other tyrannies apartheid states?

    Saudi Arabia has a religiously bigoted policy. There is no doubt about that. But we weren't talking about Saudi Arabia. Are you incapable of sticking to the subject? When the discussion is about quadratic equations, do you say, "Yeah, but what about Saudi Arabia, huh?"

    Non-Muslims aren’t even allowed in many places there, let alone rights of citizenship, land ownership etc?

    Muslims are not a racial-ethnic grouping. It's a system of beliefs.

    captain May 28th, 2006 at 4:22 pm

    Funnier still: Judaism is not a race. So what is fast eddy on about?

    Does Israel revoke the right of return to those people who are agnostic and atheist Jewish people? Is there are religious quiz one must pass to exercise the right of return?

  • captain

    Eddy, Eddy. The law of return applies to Jews. This is defined by theological parameters. It has nothing to do with democracy. This is a big red herring.

    I mention many other countries because you only seem to be concerned with Israel. This makes you a bigot.

    I suggest you go to Israel and see for yourself rather than relying on second hand evidence and unnecessarily obsessing. In your case its like being an expert on sexual technique whilst being a virgin.

  • Addamo

    Captain oh Captain,

    Democracies are defined by law and particularly, the seperation of church and state. Namely, that all men are equal under that law. You cannot argue that a that the right of return is only available to Jews and still maintains that all men are equal under the law or that there exists a seperation of church and state.

    Also, it was not Edward that started this thread, but Ant, therefore your accusation of Edward as being a biggot is absurd. When a thread is started concerning Venezuela, there is no implied requirement that another country must also be utsed as a yardstick in order to remain fair and balanced. Best you look up the meaning of words you don't understand.

    Finally, the statements and observations made here are based on accounts given by those who HAVE been to Israel. If you consider sources like Ben Ami to be unqualified to pass on their observations, then perhaps you should stay clear of any topic of which you have no first hand experience – say talking about Saudi Arabia for example. I trust you have been there?

  • smiths

    captain, you are wrong, cant you get it into your head

  • captain

    Addumbo: The law of return is part of an immigration policy and has no reflection at all on whether a state is a democracy. Every country regulates the intake of new immigrants on a variey of criteria. There is no segway between Israel's immigration policy and whether people are equal under the law. In Israel they certainly are.

    You are right Addumbo, I am not allowed to go to Saudi. Please let me in, I want to see all of those people getting their hands chopped off for stealing and I want to witness real descrimination first hand. At least there people are not ashamed to identify with the protocols of the elders of Zion.

    Edward is a Jew-hating bigot. He is only concerned with the transgressions of Israel in a manner that is asymmetrical against the human rights record of the other 191 countries. Worse still, he intellectualises his hatred to the point where even he forgets what is driving his bigotted attacks.

    The real curiosity is that before the Iraq elections, Israel was the only democracy in the middle east. Of course the jew haters find this particularly distasteful and must somehow try and level the playing field and create a moral equivalence.

  • Comical_Ali

    That’s what used to be said about Australia too when we had the explicitly racist White Australia policy – and it was true.

    Except that Aboriginies did not have any rights – e.g. citizenship, the right to vote etc until 1969. It took an entire 150 years after Australia's establishment to grant the Aboriginies citizenship and all the civil rights that go with it.

    From the moment of its inception, Israel gave its Arab population citizenship, the right to vote etc, despite being in a state of total war with the Arabs, with the latter wanting to extreminate the entire Jewish population. Arabs sit in the Israeli parliament (unlike say France where there are over 7 million arabs) – there are seven arab Knesset members with two main arab parties who openly call for Israel's destruction, – claim social security, recieve healthcare, free educaiton and other state perks. Not bad for a racist, apartheid and facist state.

    Enough with the hyperbole. Quite frankly, I don't see what all the fuss is about. A tiny Jewish state (3 times smaller than Tasmania) was created for the Jews to live in. Arabs live there with all the above mentioned rights. Laws in place relating the right of return and marriage and are designed to keep Israel Jewish – otherwise there would have been no point in creating a Jewish state alongside an Arab state in the first place.

    On the otherhand no jews are allowed to live in the Palestinian authority and those who sell property to Jews there are killed. Muslims are not allowed to marry non-muslims or even be in a relationship with them – it is a capital offence. The same thing occurs with all other Arab nations. You want facism, racism and apartheid – well there you have it.

    Except for Aboriginal Australians who were dispossessed of their land (well, it was true even then because they never owned it under Australian law – a bit like Palestinians don’t own their land anymore that is within Israel). But we have become a tad more civilised since then. Only a tad however.

    Here we go with the Aboriginal analogy again. I take it Jesus and Mary were Palestinian Arabs, considering that the Palesitnian Arab claim and connection to the land is so deep.

    Jews were never dispossessed by the Arabs – no not in Hebron where they lived for thousands of years before they were driven out by a massacer in 1929 or in any of the 22 Arab nations, where no Jews live today.

    I don’t. Israeli historians do. E.g. have a read of Scars of War, Wounds of Peace by the eminant Oxford University historian Shlomo Ben-Ami. I defer to experts. You defer to … yourself.

    Its a shame that the recorded statements of Arab leaders at the time contradict the very notion that the Palestinians were driven out not to mention this "eminent Israeli historian." Efraim Karsh also did an excellent job of debunking the myths of Israeli revisionist historians, not that that was needed since Arab leaders have done a pretty good job of that themselves.

    Others who visit, but not under any ‘right’ report very different experiences and see very different things. If you don’t get strip-searched at the airport, if you don’t get questioned like a criminal for an hour about “why you’re here” by customs.

    Funny you mention that because as someone who has an 'eternal birthright' , I get the same treatement or should I say precieved mistreatement each time I go there. I'm always stopped at the airport, at bus stops and subject to constant searches, where I'm interrogatted as to why I'm here and what I'm doing. Standard proceedure, especially when one considers the context of the situation. Did all these proceedures just miracolously appear out of nowhere? you tell me Ed? Or does it have something to do with mass-murdering Jihadists?

    As someone who has been there and has been constantly subjected to all this, I can appreciate to see how full of sh*t you are when you claim that only non-Jews are subject to this treatement and worse making it out as if the situation has nothing to do with terrorism – the Israelis are just a bunch of racist sadists who enjoy harrasing non-Jews and making their lives miserable. Go get a job with the Palestinian Authority Ministry for information, Ed.

  • captain

    Ditto

  • edward squire

    captain May 28th, 2006 at 10:59 pm

    I mention many other countries because you only seem to be concerned with Israel. This makes you a bigot.

    My concern was with the topic of the thread, my confused little friend.

    I suspect you mention other countries in an attempt to deflect attention from the issue under discussion.

    Edward is a Jew-hating bigot.

    I'm merely opposed to racist policies. How that translates into hating an entire racial-ethnic grouping is impossible for reasonable people to fathom. Hardly something to write home about. It's a pretty common moral position really. I encourage you to consider taking up a moral such a position on the matter.

    He is only concerned with the transgressions of Israel in a manner that is asymmetrical against the human rights record of the other 191 countries.

    Oh, you're been reading everything I've written about other countries, have you? I realise it can be difficult for an narcissist to handle, but believe it or not, my opinions don't begin and end at the limits of your concerns on this blog.

  • captain

    lame eddy very lame.

  • Addamo

    Captain Cretin

    Every country regulates the intake of new immigrants on a variey of criteria.

    Israel is the ONLY democratic country that bases thsi policy on religious denomination. Hence it is blatantly racist.

    There is no segway between Israel’s immigration policy and whether people are equal under the law. In Israel they certainly are.

    Except when you want to return and bring your family with you, such as when you are not Jewish.

    You are right Addumbo, I am not allowed to go to Saudi

    In case you forgot Captain, it was you that insisted those who have not been to a said country are not entitled to speak about it right? Hence according to you, you have no right to speak about Saudi Arabia right?

    I want to see all of those people getting their hands chopped off for stealing and I want to witness real discriminations first hand.

    Of course, you do. As someone who thinks that using Palestinian children for target practice is the sport of gentlemen, you could probably get a thrill from it all.

    He is only concerned with the transgressions of Israel in a manner that is asymmetrical against the human rights record of the other 191 countries.

    Wrong and wrong. The thread was not about the 191 other countries, but about one that proclaims to be a free country and a democracy. How many of those other 191 countries hold themselves in such high esteem and Israel?

    Worse still, he intellectualises his hatred to the point where even he forgets what is driving his bigotted attacks.

    Wrong again Captain. He joins the discussion just like you and every one here does. That’s why it is called a blog. You’re obsessive need to jump in these topics could be perceived as evidence that you feel the need to defender Israel’s racist and appalling human right’s record, which would male you a defender to cruelty and murder.

    The real curiosity is that before the Iraq elections, Israel was the only democracy in the middle east.

    Still is. There is nothing democratic about a country under occupation.

    Of course the jew haters find this particularly distasteful and must somehow try and level the playing field and create a moral equivalence.

    Ah so all of a sudden, this is about Jews is it? It’s about a country called Israel Captain. Getting confused again I see.

    Always easy to cry Jew hater when you have run out of arguments right?

  • Addamo

    What the hell happened there?

    OK here foes again

    ========================

    Captain Cretin

    Every country regulates the intake of new immigrants on a variey of criteria.

    Israel is the ONLY democratic country that bases thsi policy on religious denomination. Hence it is blatantly racist.

    There is no segway between Israel’s immigration policy and whether people are equal under the law. In Israel they certainly are.

    Except when you want to return and bring your family with you, such as when you are not Jewish.

    You are right Addumbo, I am not allowed to go to Saudi

    In case you forgot Captain, it was you that insisted those who have not been to a said country are not entitled to speak about it right? Hence according to you, you have no right to speak about Saudi Arabia right?

    I want to see all of those people getting their hands chopped off for stealing and I want to witness real discriminations first hand.

    Of course, you do. As someone who thinks that using Palestinian children for target practice is the sport of gentlemen, you could probably get a thrill from it all.

    He is only concerned with the transgressions of Israel in a manner that is asymmetrical against the human rights record of the other 191 countries.

    Wrong and wrong. The thread was not about the 191 other countries, but about one that proclaims to be a free country and a democracy. How many of those other 191 countries hold themselves in such high esteem and Israel?

    Worse still, he intellectualises his hatred to the point where even he forgets what is driving his bigotted attacks.

    Wrong again Captain. He joins the discussion just like you and every one here does. That’s why it is called a blog. You’re obsessive need to jump in these topics could be perceived as evidence that you feel the need to defender Israel’s racist and appalling human right’s record, which would male you a defender to cruelty and murder.

    The real curiosity is that before the Iraq elections, Israel was the only democracy in the middle east.

    Still is. There is nothing democratic about a country under occupation.

    Of course the jew haters find this particularly distasteful and must somehow try and level the playing field and create a moral equivalence.

    Ah so all of a sudden, this is about Jews is it? It’s about a country called Israel Captain. Getting confused again I see.

    Always easy to cry Jew hater when you have run out of arguments right?

  • Comical_Ali

    Every country regulates the intake of new immigrants on a variey of criteria.

    Israel is the ONLY democratic country that bases thsi policy on religious denomination. Hence it is blatantly racist.

    Rubbish. Germany for example, has a “aussiedler” (resettler) system of preferential ethnic immigration. Germany’s constitution confers automatic citizenship upon persons “of German origins,” as well as a generous social welfare package to soften their absorption into society.

    Germany is just one example and there are countless many others.

    If Israel did not have a specific policy of a "right of return" than the very concept of creating a Jewish state in the first place, would have been defeated. As with the German example, there is nothing unusual with having this sort of policy.

    In addition, Israel fulfills its UNHCR obligations by opening up its borders to asylum seekrs – from vietnamese boat people, to hundreds of refugees from war Africam torn countries, to hundreds of Kurdish and Albanian MUSLIM refugees. Israel does not discriminate in that regard. Additionally, over the past 10 years it has accepted (NON-Jewish) skilled and non-skilled workers into the country and is granting many of them citizenship and permanent residency. Considering the tiny size of Israel and its population, it fulfills its portion of foreign immigrant intake – from refugees to workers – just like any other western country.

    Wrong and wrong. The thread was not about the 191 other countries, but about one that proclaims to be a free country and a democracy. How many of those other 191 countries hold themselves in such high esteem and Israel?

    Syria, Egypt, the Palesitnian Authority and even (before it ceased to exist) Saddam Hussien's Iraq, also claim to be democratic and hold themselves in very high esteem. Whats your point? Perhaps Israel may have a right to claim a certain moral edge over these countries because it does indeed grant its Arab population citizenship and the civil rights that go with that – free speech (including the right to openly preach Israel's destruction), sit in parliament, claim unemployement benefits, recieve free education and claim quality health care. Contrast this to its democratic neighbours who don't allow Jews to live in their countries, execute anyone who sells property to Jews and make it a capital offence (or at the very least passes a prison sentence) on anyone who marries a non-muslim or happens to be a homosexual among a billion other things.

    Neverhtless, the fact that Israel does have this "certain edge," does not give one the right to overlook the obvious facts of its neighbours where they are thus permitted to judge Israel to a different standard and then ironically and quite hypocritically single it out as a pariah nation with crude & offensive hyperbole like "nazi," "facist," and "apartheid".

    As someone who thinks that using Palestinian children for target practice is the sport of gentlemen, you could probably get a thrill from it all.

    "Straw man" is your middle name.

  • Addamo

    Germany’s constitution confers automatic citizenship upon persons “of German origins,” as well as a generous social welfare package to soften their absorption into society.

    Germany however, does not distinguish between Christian, Buddhist, or Jewish Germans. Nor does Germany exclude those who it has displaced.

    If Israel did not have a specific policy of a “right of return” than the very concept of creating a Jewish state in the first place, would have been defeated.

    The German law of ethnicity is no different to any other country giving preference to it’s own citizens and nor does it stop anyone from becoming a German citizen. Germany's identity was decied a long time ago and is undisputed, thus there is no concept of occupied territories in Germany.

    Also, according Israel has imposed an effective ban on marriages between Israelis and Palestinians, which was imposed by Israel's Supreme Court. Haaretz described the judges' decision as "shameful."

    The highest court in Israel ruled that an amendment passed in 2003 to the Nationality Law barring Palestinians from living with an Israeli spouse inside Israel – what is termed "family unification" – did not violate rights enshrined in the country's Basic Laws.

    What other "democratic" country has such blatantly racist laws, other than what we saw in apartheid SA?

    Opening borders to asylum seekers is admirable, as it is that Israel accepts non Jewish workers into the country. That is what is expected of a democratic and modern society is, which is why it’s racial and religious laws are stick out like a sore thumb.

    No one is overlooking the issue of Israel’s neighbors, but nor does the standards set by of Israel’s neighbors mean that the issue of human rights in Israel can be overlooked by simply pointing to more extreme examples, especially when they enjoy the protection of the US.

  • Comical_Ali

    Germany however, does not distinguish between Christian, Buddhist, or Jewish Germans.

    Ethnic Germans from Poland, Suddetenland and the former Soviet republics, are unlikely to be Buddhist or Jewish for that matter. This law was specifically designed for these Germans.

    like Germany and other countries, Israel has a similiar law in addtion to a naturalization procedure for foreigners (in this case non-Jews) no different to those in other western countries. The fact that you and Squires previously ignored this and claimed that Israel has only one criteria for accepting immigrants is a complete lie.

    Nor does Germany exclude those who it has displaced.

    Concidentally, the above mentioned German laws were primarly designed for displaced ehtnic Germans who were transfered and forced out of their homes from Poland, Suddetenland and the USSR after the second world war. Even more concidentally – most of these Germans were displaced from territory that once belonged to Germany. I guess thats the commonly accepted consequence of starting and losing a war of aggression. It seems to be so accepted in the German case, that no-one is demanding a "right of return." The same can't be said of the Palestinians.

    Like the German law, Israel's law of return was in many ways designed to accomidate and house over 1 million Jews who were displaced from their homes in Arab countries, not to mention areas which are now under the Palestinian Authority. Yet no-one is demanding a "right of return" or compensation for these Jewish refugees. The same cannot be said of the Palestinian case.

    Germany’s identity was decied a long time ago and is undisputed,

    Jewish identity – naitonal/ethnic & religious – predates german identity by a few thousand years. Indpendent Jewish statehood – in Israel of all places – predates German statehood by a few thousand years.

    thus there is no concept of occupied territories in Germany.

    Ironically, this once again takes us back to your "displaced" example. Yes there is no concept of "occuppied territory" in Germany today. However Germany itself happened to lose territory as a consequence of starting and losing a war. The Germans who lived in that territory were subsequently transfered out and resettled in Germany. They lost territory fair and square and as a result are not barking about "occuppied land" or a "right of return".

    Also, according Israel has imposed an effective ban on marriages between Israelis and Palestinians, which was imposed by Israel’s Supreme Court. Haaretz described the judges’ decision as “shameful.”

    The highest court in Israel ruled that an amendment passed in 2003 to the Nationality Law barring Palestinians from living with an Israeli spouse inside Israel – what is termed “family unification” – did not violate rights enshrined in the country’s Basic Laws.

    "An effective ban on marriages between Israelis and Palestinians?" This once again shows how you like to apply the usual hyperbole and distort the situation, misleading people into thinking that Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians are prohibited from marrying .

    One only has to read a few sentences down to discover that its not the case – there is no effective ban on Israelis marrying Palestinians. Israeli-Arabs are not banned from marrying Palestinians. In light of the security situation and hositilty between Israel and the PA however, Israeli-Arabs who marry palesitnians would have trouble bringing their spouses over into Israel.

    An Arab-Israeli & Palestinian married couple can however – as patriotic Arabs and muslims – move to the Jew-free areas of the Palestinian Authority and live there rather than under the zionist enemy ( claiming all the perks that go with living under a hostile enemy – i.e. free speech, social security benefits, free education and hospital cover)

    No one is overlooking the issue of Israel’s neighbors,

    Oh yes, you are.

  • captain

    Addumbo: Judaism is a religion, not a race. One small fact that you and fast eddy seem to forget. Jews come in all races. It makes no sense therefore to call the immigration policy racist.

    Secondly, the immigration policy has no bearing on the rights of Israeli citizens and their equality before the law.

    You have not demonstrated at all that Israel lacks any tenet of democracy.

  • Addamo

    Captain,

    You need to getyour talking points straightened once and for all.

    Judaism is a religion, but you yoursewlf continue to conflate the issue by insisting that critcism of Israel is anti-Semitism and Jew hatred, whcih implies hatred of a nation or race.

    Comical's statement is proof enough of the aprtheid regime sugar coated:

    An Arab-Israeli & Palestinian married couple can however – as patriotic Arabs and muslims – move to the Jew-free areas

    Hear that Captain? Jew free areas. Does the US or the UK or Australia have any such area?

    Besides, Comical's denial is undermined by the article in Haaretz. The descions of the Isaeli supreme court is for all intentsn and purposes, a ban on marriages between Israelis and Palestinians. No other democracy has anythign like this law in place.

    As there is no principle of equality in Israeli law, human rights groups who challenged the government's amendment were forced to argue instead that it violated the dignity of the families. Mixed Israeli and Palestinian couples are not only unable to live together inside Israel but they are also denied a married life in the Occupied Territories, from which Israeli citizens are banned under military regulations.

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_i

    Case closed.

    As for the generosity that Israel bestows on Arabs, it goes without saying that "as the occupying power, Israel is responsible for their welfare, though it has happily passed on that burden to international players with deeper pockets."

    Everyone knows that this law is all tied directly to Israel's plans for aneexation.

  • Comical_Ali

    Comical’s statement is proof enough of the aprtheid regime sugar coated:

    An Arab-Israeli & Palestinian married couple can however – as patriotic Arabs and muslims – move to the Jew-free areas

    Hear that Captain? Jew free areas.

    Lol, what on earth are you talking about? How is my pointing out that the Palestinian Authority has a policy of preventing Jews from living in areas under their direct control (including a policy which makes it a capitol offence to sell property to Jews) an example of Israeli apartheid?

    Your straw man (or whatever the hell that was) has completley collapsed on you.

    And the fact that you can't provide an adequate response to my previous argument comparing the situation to say Germany (with its lost territory and resettlement policy), other then to ramble "occupation," "occupation," pretty much speaks for itself.

    Captain, in regard to Jews not being a race, I'll have to respectfully disagree with you. The term "semitic" was coined for a reason. The fact that we are descendent from the ancient Israelites and share a common culture, language and history, makes us a race of people – Judiasm encompasses both race and religion. When I lived in the USSR the Soviet government stamped the word "Jew" on my passport under the "nationality" section for good reason, I guess.

    There is nothing unsual in Israel's law of return policy, which is no different to that of most other countries. If not for the policy, than there would have been no point in creating a Jewish state in the first place.

  • captain

    Addumbo, you really should read what you write. Jews and non-Jews can marry.

    Where someone can live is determined by immigration policies and security. Arab countries on the other hand have many Jew free areas. There are no arab free or non-Jewish free areas in Israel at all. Lets hear you complain about all those countries that do not allow Jews any rights at all.

    Antisemitism is synonymous with Anti-Israel statements when the latter are unbalanced and asymmetrical. People who hold Israel to a standard that does not apply to Israel are merely intellectually masking an age-old tradition of Jew hatred. Puny intellects such as your own may be unable to appreciate this i.e. the concept that racism/bigotry can be masked by intellectual argument. As you friend eddy, he does this almost as second nature. Ant on the other hand has much deeper issues.

    Anti-semitism is used as anti-Jew. It has been more recently appropriated by Muslims to try to dilute its meaning by seizing on the semantic meaning rather than the conventional meaning. Therefore you should take little comfort in what I wrote. It does not support your illogical bigoted position.

    People write op-ed pieces to Haaretz all the time. It does not mean they are statements of fact. By nature, they are merely opinions.

    Case open and then closed in your dhimmitude face.

  • captain

    Comical, the russians were wrong about many things and Jew as nationality was one of them. I disagree with you within a respectful framework.

    I am fundamentally a doctrinaire scientist. Jews can be as black as the Ethiopians or as white as many Russians or somewhere in between like me. Races are defined by shared phenotypic characteristics.

    People cannot change races if their beliefs change. On the other hand someone can change their religion and become Jewish. I think what you may be more inclined to accept is that the Jewish people are a nation rather than a race. Nu?

  • edward squire

    captain May 30th, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    Judaism is a religion, not a race. One small fact that you and fast eddy seem to forget. Jews come in all races. It makes no sense therefore to call the immigration policy racist.

    You really can't get your concepts straight, can you. Judaism is a religion. Being Jewish is not a religion.

    If you think a Jew is by definition a follower of Judaism, then you'd better get on the phone to all the Atheistic Jews and let them know that they are not in fact Jews at all. Perhaps you should write a nasty letter to, say, these Jewish people too – no doubt imposters in your book.

    But let's think through the disturbing implications of your non-thought: for all those Jews who became atheists during the horrors of the Nazi extermination campaign, according to your definition, ceased to be Jews, and so were not subjected to genocide at all. Hell, by your bizarre view of the world, Hitler wasn't really a racist after all!

  • captain

    Its amazing how far you can go down the wrong track. To get to the point where you say that Hitler wasn't a racist is utterly bizzare. To try and attribute this to me is perhaps the weakest argument I have ever heard. Addumbo included.

    Did I say that a Jew is a follower of Judaism? No. So why put words in my mouth. The technical definition of a Jew goes well beyond what an individual may consider of him or herself. Theologically, even an atheist Jew would be considered Jewish even if he did not agree with this.

    As you are the master of non-thought, I wonder where you come to the view that Israel is racist when its tenets are based on religion and not race.