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.

Just asking some questions

The following review appears in today’s Australian newspaper:

Scrutinising the conduct of the modern Israeli state raises uncomfortable but necessary questions, writes Peter Rodgers

My Israel Question
By Antony Loewenstein
Melbourne University Press, 340pp, $32.95

There is no better illustration of the cancerous nature of much discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than federal Labor MP Michael Danby’s advice to Melbourne University Press in mid-2005 that it “should drop this whole disgusting project”. Not that Danby had read a word of the book at the time and if he makes good his promise he won’t.

Danby formed his view on the basis of a six-part questionnaire Loewenstein sent him during the book’s research stage. The questions showed an unremarkable if decidedly critical bent towards the policies of Ariel Sharon’s government and the support it received from Australia, both at government and Jewish community level.

Danby’s attack was bizarre, given the vigour of dissent about Israeli policies within the Jewish state. Israel has long dined out on being the Middle East’s only democratic nation. Some of that gloss was taken off last January when the Palestinians freely elected a Hamas government but, that unpalatable fact aside, few countries anywhere can match Israel’s no-holds-barred political life.

The mentality that drove Danby’s outburst is similar to the one that conflates all criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism in a desperate effort to bludgeon non-Jewish critics of Israeli actions into silence. Loewenstein is a harder target as he’s discourteous enough to be Jewish. So he has to be labelled a “self-hating Jew”, whatever that ridiculous term means.

Fortunately, MUP head Louise Adler – also publicly lambasted by Danby – ignored his advice. The result is a highly readable and thought-provoking examination of the nature of the Israeli state and its supporters abroad.

Reared in Melbourne in a liberal Jewish family, Loewenstein supports the right of Israelis “to live in peace and security but not at the expense of the Palestinians”. Those seemingly innocuous words mask a cruel reality. Long before a Hamas Government in the Palestinian territories gave Israel even more reason to dislike its neighbours, Israeli-Palestinian dealings had the mentality of a cockfight: only one party could walk out of the ring alive.

Loewenstein rightly decries the absolutism of such thinking. Among his various targets are the Zionist lobby in Australia and the Australian Government’s “Israel-first doctrine”. The former “patrols the boundaries of public debate, aiming to silence anyone who occasionally strays from the accepted line”. The latter was on display in July 2004, “when Australia became just one of six countries that voted against a UN resolution ordering Israel to destroy the security wall through the West Bank”. The other five nay-sayers were the US and Israel, plus the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.

Defending Australia’s vote, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said it was reasonable for Israelis to protect themselves from suicide bombers. That fair comment is seriously weakened by the fact that, snaking around illegal Israeli settlements, the security barrier lops off 9per cent of the territory of the West Bank.

It is also not helped by remarks such as that by Isi Leibler, one of Australia’s most prominent Jewish leaders, that Palestinian society was “no less suffused with evil than were the people of Germany under Hitler”. Mutual contempt and dehumanisation clearly should be ranked with terrorism and settlements as one of the great impediments to any resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Loewenstein observes that neither side “has a monopoly on suffering”, arguing that denying Palestinians “their dignity and humanity is one of the great failings of contemporary Judaism and no historical calamity justifies it”.

Loewenstein, who visited Israel for the first time in researching this book, is profoundly disillusioned with the Jewish state. So are some Israelis and others in the Jewish Diaspora. A former member of the Israeli Defence Force recently wrote that anyone who believes that the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal intelligence agency) do their best to minimise violations of human rights “is naive, if not brainwashed. One need only read the testimonies of soldiers to be convinced of the depth of the immorality of our actions in the territories.”

How, Loewenstein asks, “could one still have blind faith in a country that enacts citizenship laws to prevent Palestinians who marry Israelis from living in Israel with full rights? How could one idealise a nation with an army that, despite Sharon calling it ‘the most moral in the world’, frequently engages in war crimes in the occupied territories, collectively punishes the Palestinian people, and destroys and steals Arab land for expansion of settlements”?

Towards the end of the book, Loewenstein argues that the creation of an independent Palestinian state is inevitable. Sooner or later, he writes, Israel and the Palestinians will have to meet face-to-face and negotiate with honesty: “Only then – and on the condition that both Israel and the Palestinian states achieve safety and security – will this conflict be resolved.” Unfortunately, the past and the present give no cause for any optimism about the future.

MUP has used as a marketing ploy Danby’s injunction to the Australian Jewish community that if “God forbid” the book is published, don’t buy it. We can only hope – pray may be a better word – that the book-buying public, Jewish and non-Jewish, will treat that demand with the contempt it deserves.

Now that it is out, the book will draw fire from others besides Danby. In a recent television debate with Loewenstein, Ted Lapkin from the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council accused him of falsely describing Israeli-only roads in the West Bank as “Jewish-only” ones. Lapkin pointed out, correctly, that Israeli Arabs also can travel on these roads.

Lapkin also noted that the map early in the book has serious errors.

Despite this, My Israel Question still deserves a strong readership, precisely because it makes us uncomfortable.

* Antony Loewenstein will be a guest at the Melbourne Writers Festival (August 25 – September 3).

* Peter Rodgers is a former ambassador to Israel and author of Herzl’s Nightmare: One Land, Two Peoples.

46 comments ↪
  • Ian

    Israel does not have to withdraw from land with guarantees of peace.

    True. The occupation of the West Bank is illegal So Israel just *has* to withdraw. It was to put an end to colonialism that we fought the Japanese in WW2. Anyone who condones it now is denigrating the memory of those brave soldiers, sailors and airmen who died for that principle!

    Do you condone colonialism, ‘captain’?

  • Addamo_01

    Long before a Hamas Government in the Palestinian territories gave Israel even more reason to dislike its neighbours, Israeli-Palestinian dealings had the mentality of a cockfight: only one party could walk out of the ring alive.

    Intesrrting analogy. I always found it very troubling that politicians were expected to be pro Israel (sounds reasonable), but that to be pro Israel meant having to be ani-Palestinian.

    So mcu hfor Israel wanting a aprtner for peace, when it's lobby refuses to tolerate acceptance of Palestinians in any way.

  • Captain

    Just asking questions? I thought you were just self promoting.

    But the pals are such a happy children loving bunch. No sooner has Israel left Gaza and left it completely clean of Jews, in a way that Hitler would have been proud, then they start pounding Israel with missiles and kidnap a soldier.

    The truth is that the pals cannot accept Israel in any way. They hate Jews so much they they would elect a group dedicated to killing Jews. Thats real tolerant and loving.

  • Addamo_01

    Nice of you to forget that somewhere in that timeline, Israel killed 8 Palestianians on a Gaza Beach, withheld tax revenue, thereby starving eh Palestinians, and shelled Gaza with 9000 sheels, killing 80 people.

    Teh truth is that Israel will go to any lenghts to prevent Palestine becomming an inddependent state in it's own right. This is the reason why Israel has refused to declare it;s birders, even while stating that it wil ldo so unillaterally. If the do make those borders official, it stops them expanding them.

    Thats real tolerant and loving.

    Do you think the kids get to put loving lessages on their wepoans the way the Israeli kids do? It might catch on.

  • Addamo_01

    Hey Captain,

    I wonder how many Israeli childern have ended up looking liek this over the past two weeks:
    http://static.flickr.com/68/194355143_ed6ed852bc….

    And on a lighter note, here's an illustration as to why the Israeli plan (whatever that might be) is not going swimingly.
    http://static.flickr.com/60/196675571_cfbb2f978d….

  • Suze

    Raising the spectre of Hitler and the holocaust whenever anyone offers even mild criticism of Israeli actions in the West Bank and Gaza strip is, apart from anything else, an abominal insult against those who suffered in the death camps. It weakens the essential collective memory of those events to misuse it in this way.

  • M.Mayes

    then they start pounding Israel with missiles and kidnap a soldier.

    Lets extend this statement captain to give it some perspective.

    A soldier was captured that was involved in an illegal cross border raid into Palestine to "capture" 2 Palestinians. So there will be no sympathy for you there.

    As for moving out of the Gaza Strip, I think you'll find that Israel still has quite a remote monopoly on the region.

  • Gustov_deleft

    I'm concerned for Captain. He believes the withdrawal from Gaza was some sort of god given gift, but forgets Israel is still in breach of UN resolution 242 which required withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank in 1968.

  • Captain

    Yes Suze it is. Which is why most of these contributers have done this time and time again. I am a Jew and I find it incredibly offensive that the Hamas charter explicitly calls for the killing of EVERY JEW. This is the Nazi agenda.

    An historically informed Jew would not allow this forum to be over run by Jew haters who do so under the guise of hating Israel. Contributors such as

    What weakens the memory of those deceased are ignorant, decontextualised statements such as yours that are in complete denial about the Jewish population. Those who lived through this say "never again" and yet in the lifetime of Holocaust survivors we have these groups whose agenda of a palestinian state is merely the means to an end.

    Illegal cross border raid? Firstly tell us which legal constructs you are relying on and secondly tell us what Israel is supposed to do with relentless missiles being fired into its territory with only collusion from the PA about this. Hamas has clearly facilitated the missiles from Gaza and has made no effort to stop its perpetrators. This is indeed illegal. It is against international law to make unprovoked attacks on a sovereign entity.

    I would of course expect no sympathy for the kidnapped soldier nor any other Jewish victims of Islamist violence.

  • Captain

    Gustov, you are incredibly ignorant. 242 calls for land for peace. Israel does not have to withdraw from land with guarantees of peace.

  • Captain

    that should be "without guarantees for peace"

  • M.Mayes

    An historically informed Jew would not allow this forum to be over run by Jew hater

    Captain, you keep calling us jew haters, yet at my request you still have not presented even 1 statement by me that would back up your claim.

    If you can do this, I promise you that I will post on Tim Blair's parasite of a blog that I am wrong and give an apology to you and all esle who have been offended.

  • M.Mayes

    Illegal cross border raid? Firstly tell us which legal constructs you are relying on and secondly tell us what Israel is supposed to do with relentless missiles being fired into its territory with only collusion from the PA about this. Hamas has clearly facilitated the missiles from Gaza and has made no effort to stop its perpetrators. This is indeed illegal. It is against international law to make unprovoked attacks on a sovereign entity.

    Gladly.

    Illegal cross border raids – it is illegal for a state to send troops into another sovereign state. It is also illegal to kidnap citizens of another state that are on their territory.

    Missile attacks – in Lebanon as well as in Gaza given that they are fighting a militant group not the state of Lebanon, they should have (as their right to self defense) sent troops into the country to disarm the militants rather than causing massive structural and economic damage to an innocent sovereign country by using bombs in civilian populated areas. (I'll give partial credit as they are sending in ground troops aswell)

    As for "It is against international law to make unprovoked attacks on a sovereign entity." then justify Israel making an unprovoked attack on Lebanon (Hezbollah provoked Israel not Lebanon)

  • Captain

    Hezbollah are part of the Lebanese government. Lebanon did not stop firing from its borders so Israel had to. You have the temerity to dictate how that should be.

    It is illegal to be sending missiles into Israel from Gaza. This was done with the collusion of the government. The pals have this nice trick where they claim the left and rights hands don't know what each other is doing ie the militant wing of hamas v the political wing. They are all the same thing. If they were not, the political wing couldn't negotiate a peace for the military wing. They would simply have no authority to do so. If they did have the authority they didn't stop them and are therefore responsible.

    It is not illegal for Israel to try and stop the missiles at all. Please point to the statute that says countries cannot engage in self defence. Please also show me where it is legal to fire on another state from civilian areas. Also please show me in the rules of war where it is legal for combattants to blend in with civilians.

    These dogs have openly shown pleasure at the civilian casualties. it seems that you are more concerned with the Lebanese than Hezballah, whose objectives are to totally eradicate Israel.

    Your antisemitism is palpable. You hold Israel to a different standard. You denigrate the israeli casualties and dismiss intent of both parties. You rationalise this to yourself that it is merely zionism that you have a problem with. You are ignorant of the historical continuity of the same form of argument over many generations. The final conclusion is that Jews deserve to be killed. You would have Israel be defenseless. You say nothing for instance about the explicit aims of Hamas and their sponsors.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    It is not a matter of being "anti-Palestinian." For starters, the identity label of "Palestinian" only emerged in the 1970s as a propaganda tool. Not even Yasser Arafat cliamed there was such a thing as a unique Palestinian identity.

    I think you will find that the opposition is to the ideology of Islamofascism and a people/culture/religion/ideology that brainwashed their children to kill themselves.

  • viva peace

    Ian

    Could you please tell us what "legal" authority has declared "the occupation" illegal?

  • Gustov_deleft

    Gustov, you are incredibly ignorant. 242 calls for land for peace. Israel does not have to withdraw from land with guarantees of peace.

    I'm aware of the conditions captain, and completely aware of the fact that Israel is in breach of 242. Their continued occupation is probably the most dangerous threat to mankind currently.

    By the way captain, your race baiting is obnoxious. I couldn't give a flying fuck if the Israelis were Jews or Martians. Their actions threaten MY security, and I resent that.

  • Captain

    Race baiting? You may not care what religion Israelis are but Hamas and Hezbollah certainly do. You are selectively ignoring what is distasteful to you. It is all about religion.

    How is Israel in breach? Who has offered a secure peace in return for land? Hezbollah sees every inch of Israel to be occupied and hamas want to kill every Jew. The resolution was complied with in relation to Egypt and Gaza was given to the PA. 242 does not define boundaries and did so intentionally. It merely talks about a land for peace equation. There is simply no one to have peace with. The pals just cant get over their blood thirsty hatred of Jews.

    Gustov, you are incredibly naive to not see this within a historical context. People having been trying to get rid of Jews forever. Jews have always been considered the greatest threat to society. Your claims are nothing new. You are merely the 21st century sucker who is repeating them.

  • M.Mayes

    Captain once more, if you can find an example of me being anti-semetic I'll give you and your friends an apology for it.

    I by no means condone what hezbollah do to Israel, I think it's deplorable that they fire out of civilian ares and if it's true i find it deplorable that they get off on civilian deaths.

    That being said Israel's actions are equally deplorable as are their tactics for fighting a guerilla style militia.

    The Hezbollah dont have F-16's and Apache helo's and because they know Isreal will use them, they dig into civilian areas, otherwise Israel could just wipe them off the map and would essentially be able to dictate whatever changes they want for the region.

    It is not illegal for Israel to try and stop the missiles at all. Please point to the statute that says countries cannot engage in self defence. Please also show me where it is legal to fire on another state from civilian areas. Also please show me in the rules of war where it is legal for combattants to blend in with civilians.

    No but I didnt say that I said it was illegal for them to kidnap palestinians from palestinian territory.

    I acknowledged Israel's right to self-defence.

    It is highly improper that israel is so anal retentive about Palestine breaching international law, when israel is just as guilty of breaching it aswell.

    If Palestinians break international law they deserve to be fucked. But the same must be true for Israel who constantly do it aswell.

  • M.Mayes

    I couldn’t give a flying fuck if the Israelis were Jews or Martians. Their actions threaten MY security, and I resent that.

    Very well put!

  • Captain

    No but I didnt say that I said it was illegal for them to kidnap palestinians from palestinian territory.

    Where is it illegal. It is called self-defense. You bleat about F16s being too brutal, but when the inidividuals are sought who are responsible for these crimes, you bleat about that as well.

    Again, what international law is Israel breaking? Tell me the statute.

    And tell me what Israel is supposed to do in the face of thousands of missiles packed with ball bearings fired into civilian areas. It makes clear military sense to block off all escape routes. It also makes sense to fire back where you are being shot from. You are upset about the civilian deaths? So am I. So why don't you direct your frustration at the Hezbollah who continue to indulge in their fantasy of an Islamic caliphate.

    Oh, and why don't you go to memri.org and see what they are saying about themselves.

  • orang

    "…..who continue to indulge in their fantasy of an Islamic caliphate."

    I kinda like the idea. Imagine a place with no fucking 8m wall. Imagine a place with no fucking check points where you get the shit kicked out you if you look at the racist turds the wrong way.. Imagine that eh? Wonderful!

    You may have a point there cp'n

  • Addamo_01

    Viva,

    For starters, the identity label of “Palestinian” only emerged in the 1970s as a propaganda tool. Not even Yasser Arafat cliamed there was such a thing as a unique Palestinian identity.

    You haven;t answered the question. Most people have an idea of what Palesitnaini is, and what the Palestinian cause is. And do you relaly want to start quoting Arafat?

    The

    I think you will find that the opposition is to the ideology of Islamofascism and a people/culture/religion/ideology that brainwashed their children to kill themselves.

    I thin you'll find that you are entirely wrong. You premise makes no sense whatsoverere, because in typical rascist sand biggoted terms, it assumes all Palestinians are Islamofascissts and thus shodl colelctively be punished.

    There are plenty of counstries throughout history who brainwashed their children to kill themselves. Great Britain and the US come to mind for example. So does Russia.

    It's all abtou how you filter your perception Viva.

    I was listeting to an interview of Edward Peck, former U.S. Chief of Mission in Iraq and ambassador to Mauritania. He served as deputy director of the White House Task Force on Terrorism in the Reagan Administration.

    He said something very poignant:

    In 1985, when I was the Deputy Director of the Reagan White House Task Force on Terrorism, they asked us — this is a Cabinet Task Force on Terrorism; I was the Deputy Director of the working group — they asked us to come up with a definition of terrorism that could be used throughout the government. We produced about six, and each and every case, they were rejected, because careful reading would indicate that our own country had been involved in some of those activities.

    After the task force concluded its work, Congress got into it, and you can google into U.S. Code Title 18, Section 2331, and read the U.S. definition of terrorism. And one of them in here says — one of the terms, “international terrorism,” means “activities that,” I quote, “appear to be intended to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping.”

    Yes, well, certainly, you can think of a number of countries that have been involved in such activities. Ours is one of them. Israel is another. And so, the terrorist, of course, is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Addamo_01

    Captain,

    You are so out of your depth on this topic, it's not even funny anymore:

    So why don’t you direct your frustration at the Hezbollah who continue to indulge in their fantasy of an Islamic caliphate.

    Hezbollah has no charter or goals about an Islamic Caliphate, and if you had any knowledge of he region, you would be ashamed to make such an overtly ignorant statement.

    Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization. It is a nationalistic movement that was born out of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon in the's and 90's. The Lebanese military was pathetic and easily overpowered, so men in their early 20's, too young to remembered Israel's impressive victories in 1967 and '73, refused to take advice form their elders (to remain passive) and formed resistance groups to stroke back a the Israelis.

    In fact, under international law, that was completely legal and justified. Hezbollah does not operate outside Lebanese boundaries because it is a nationalistic movement. Contrary to propaganda, it does not take it's orders from Syria or Iran, and certainly not Al Qaeda.

    Israel has has it's own equivalent groups to Hezbollah. Need I remind you of the Irgun, the Haganah (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/haganah.html), and the Stern Gang (http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9069635). Need I remind you that Israel is celebrating (as opposed to commemorating) the killing of 90 Brits and the Kind David Hotel (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/741434.html).

  • M.Mayes

    but when the inidividuals are sought who are responsible for these crimes, you bleat about that as well.

    Refresh my memory, what was this bleat your on about. Try and note what it has to do with F-16's and cluster bombs too, just for kicks.

    Again, what international law is Israel breaking? Tell me the statute.

    I'll give you that one, I wouldnt have a clue, but you know as well as I do that it is Illegal (regardless of whatever Article it was stated in) to send troops into another sovereign state without the consent of that state. If I am wrong here I invite you to correct me.

    And tell me what Israel is supposed to do in the face of thousands of missiles packed with ball bearings fired into civilian areas.

    Captain, I keep telling you, you cant fight a guerilla war from 30,000 feet, go in on the ground!

    But I suppose then IDF soldiers might die right? The IDF are the ones taking the action (therefore they should be the ones risking their lives, as they knew they would have to), but Israel is protecting it's armed forces at the expense of hundreds of civilians (who did not join the army knowing full well they could die.)

    Now I'll anticipate a response here something along the lines of 'These civilians made themselves targets by hiding hezbollah and their weaponry', close? well here's a pre-emptive answer, those who are harbouring Hezbollah (beyond their will or knowledge) are (whilst not ideal casualties) the real collateral damage that would be incurred.

  • Addamo_01

    M.Mayes,

    Don't be too easily put off by this question:

    Again, what international law is Israel breaking? Tell me the statute.

    You see, Viva does not believe in international law anyway. Viva's theory is that, since there is no one able to enforce these laws, the law is what the guys with the biggest guns say it is, right Viva?

    Captain,

    And tell me what Israel is supposed to do in the face of thousands of missiles packed with ball bearings fired into civilian areas.

    What is it you have against ball bearings anyway Captain? That’s not even illegal. All munitions have some form of shrapnel embedded to hurt the human target. Hey Captain, would you prefer that they used cluster bombs (which are banned), or depleted uranium, or chemical weapons or even white phosphorous (also banned). Cluster bombs are embedded with razor sharp metal fragments. Would you prefer Hezbollah used those?

    M.Mayes

    Now I’ll anticipate a response here something along the lines of ‘These civilians made themselves targets by hiding Hezbollah and their weaponry’, close?

    There is a simple answer to this. Israel has conscription, sop most Israelis have at some stage. served in the military, which could be used to suggest those neighborhoods harbor the homes of existing IDF soldiers, which in turn makes them all legitimate military targets.

  • Addamo_01

    Hey Viva,

    Care to fill us in on what legal authority can the army of one state order the civilians of another sovereign state out of their homes?

    Moreover, this is a doctrine that, if adopted, would have some rather uncomfortable outcomes in the future. Imagine Lebanese or Syrian forces, say, turning the tables and saying "the Syrian army has given well-publicized notice to civilians to leave those areas of northern Israel that have been turned into war zones. Those who voluntarily remain behind have become complicit." Would Prof. Dershowitz support their right to do so?

    I keep askign Captain and he keeps running away. Maybe you can indulge us?

  • Addamo_01

    Oh look,

    The IDF have pulled back from Lebanon.

    And meanwhile, in Gaza, Israel return to doing what they do best, bulldozing Palestiania homes.
    http://www.news.com.au/sundayheraldsun/story/0,,1…

    All in the nameof security no doubt.

    And for those who are interested, here is a sample of the memories the Palestinians are left with when their homes are targetted for demolition.

    Yet, Captain and Viva assures us that these poliicies do not fuel hatred, but that the real source of hatred is ideological. Pure gold.

  • Addamo_01

    Here is the video link:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/home_dem

    Sorry.

  • Captain

    What is it you have against ball bearings anyway Captain?

    Oh, only that they are designed to maim civilians. Who are Hezbollah fighting? They hide behind women and children like cowards and now they aim and women and children like cowards.

    If you really care about pal homes, you should plead with them not to store munitions in their basements or to allow terrorists to fire from their homes. This would end a lot of misery. I know you care about them so you will do this.

  • Addamo_01

    As we are seeing is Lebanon, Israel are onylo good at one thing, taking on those who are unable to defend themselves. Palerstinains have never been armed sufficuently to engage the IDF, which is how Israel like it.

    Hezbollah don't hide behind men and women, they are in shelters and tunnels. Israle have no idea where they are so they are firing randomly in the hope of hitting them. Forget Engal's description unless you also want to accep the UN's assertyino that Isrlae purposely atatcked the UN buildings.

    The IDF are the greater cowards. They are too scared to engage Hezbollah on the ground, preferring to stick to aerial bombardment where there is little threat of them being mained. Israel has juist pulled back from the Lebanese border becasue they are getting their arses kicked when they engage Hezbollah on the ground.

    As for the Palestianians:

    They hide behind women and children like cowards and now they aim and women and children like cowards.

    Who are the cowards Captain? those that throw rocks or those that crush peopek from the safety of their F-16 cockpits, Apache Helicopters or Abrahms tanks?

    If you really care about pal homes, you should plead with them not to store munitions in their basements or to allow terrorists to fire from their homes.

    That woudl nto stop Israel from treating them like dogs, knowkcing down their houses, stelaing their land and killing their children.

  • Addamo_01

    Only those Lebanese and Palestinians who submit to ethnic cleansing and who, despite their grinding poverty and lack of other possessions, just get up and move away– while, of course, smiling and cheerfully waving at the Israeli soldiers while thanking them for blowing up or bulldozing their homes– can be considered true civilians.

    Unless they do this, they are a terrorist.

    Oh, this applies to Iraqis too, while we're at it. Any Iraqi who expresses even a modicum of anger at the US is hereby to be targeted.

  • Ian

    viva peace wrote

    Ian

    Could you please tell us what “legal” authority has declared “the occupation” illegal?

    The Fouth Geneva Convention provides the framework for a country occupying another's territory during war. It allows a country to occupy the territory of an opponent during hostilities but also applies limits to what the occupier can do during the occupation, its rights and obligations to the people of the occupied territory and set limits on how long such occupation may last.

    Occupation is limited to the duration of the conflict and the settlement of the dispute. As the 1967 War ended long ago and both Egypt and Jordan have signed settlements with Israel, the continued occupation of the West Bank is in clear breach of this requirement.

    That the Geneva Convention applies has been affirmed by, among others, UN resolutions 446, 452, 465, 471, 484, 497, 607, a special UN meeting in Geneva on 15th July, 1999, the ICRC, the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Court of Justice. Even the Israeli government has argued before its Supreme Court that its authority in the territories is based on the international law of "belligerent occupation" and the SC has accepted this and based judgements on this principle.

    UNSC resolution 242 requires "Withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied [in the 1967 war]" and was reaffirmed by UNSC resolution 338. It also emphasizing that the acquisition of territory by war is forbidden as per Article 2, para 4, of the UN Charter and UN General Assembly resolution 2625.

    However, the real kicker in the 4th GC is the ban on citizens of an occupier from settling in the occupied territory. Israel is in clear breech of this and this alone would taint the whole basis of its occupation even without the other factors I've listed.

    In addition to the above there are a whole raft of resolutions and resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem and some regarding the Golan Heights.

  • viva peace

    Ian

    Ho hum, you dreary and uneducated little man. First, the conflict between Israel and Jordan/Egypt is over, but not with Lebanon and Syria. Secondly, the Arab refugees are not parties to 242 and 338 requires any negotiations to be conducted directly between the aggrieved parties.

  • M.Mayes

    Don’t be too easily put off by this question

    Oh believe me I'm not, its just one of those blatently obvious things that sending troops into another country without authorisation is a violation of int. law. So the specifics of which exact one it was are fairly irrelevant in a weblog discussion, unless of course the person wanting to know is a complete moron and thinks it is legal.

  • Captain: "you should plead with them not to store munitions in their basements or to allow terrorists to fire from their homes. This would end a lot of misery."

    A well-armed terrorist knocks on your door and says that if you don't hand over your home to his freedom fighters he will kill you and your family. What do you do?

    Extreme example? Maybe. Unrealistic solution from "captain"? Definitely.

  • Ian

    Ian

    Ho hum, you dreary and uneducated little man.

    Ah, yes the Ad Hominem attack the last refugee of the intellectually lost.

    First, the conflict between Israel and Jordan/Egypt is over, but not with Lebanon and Syria.

    Irrelevant. What do Lebanon and Syria have to do with the disposition of Gaza and the West Bank? They are not parties to either.

    Secondly, the Arab refugees are not parties to 242 and 338 requires any negotiations to be conducted directly between the aggrieved parties.

    I never claimed the refugees were. As they are not mentioned in 242/338 there is no obligation for them to do anything. UN resolutions only apply to nation states. Egypt and Jordon have forfilled their obligations under 242 and 338, Israel has not.

  • Captain

    A well-armed terrorist knocks on your door and says that if you don’t hand over your home to his freedom fighters he will kill you and your family. What do you do?

    Well, so Israel must then allow the terrorist to keep munitions there, fire from there and use the human shields at his disposal. Or you could have a responsible government implement UNSC 1559 and enforce the law. Or you put everyone in danger by allowing it to go on under your nose.

    Oh but of course there are a bucketful of reasons why the Lebanese could not enforce law and order. Hezblooah are part of the government!!

    So leftvegdrunk, you tell me what Israel should do: a) ask them to stop b) throw roses and chocolates at them c) ask them to stop again d) ummm, ask the UN to implement UNSC law? e) allow your citizens to be kidnapped and shelled or f) respond militarily and be called disproportionate from the second day of the offensive.

  • M.Mayes

    Well, so Israel must then allow the terrorist to keep munitions there, fire from there and use the human shields at his disposal.

    I keep telling you, time and time again, (you know its idiots like you who have slaughtered rational debate in this country, you argue like a petulant child), that Israel has a right to defend itself and should get rid of these munitions BUT NOT FROM THE AIR. Come in on the ground and take out the Hezbollah individuals, then the civilians havent lost there homes.

    or you could have a responsible government implement UNSC 1559

    If the Lebanese govt. was to try take on Hezbollah itself there would be civil war. And stop crapping on about specific UNSC resolutions, because Israel is just as guilty as anyone of not fufilling their obligations.

    f) respond militarily and be called disproportionate from the second day of the offensive.

    Funny that. It only took Israel 2 days to do more damage than it took Hezbollah to do prior to the invasion. You're an idiot if you never stopped to question why they were being accused of a disproportionate response.

  • Addamo_01

    The US is sending Israel more supplies with which to kill Lebanese Arabs. Great stuff:
    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,1995853…

    So yeah, we're sorry about the 50 dead civilians, blah blah blah. Hey George, how are those bombs and that gas comming along?

  • M.Mayes

    The US is sending Israel more supplies with which to kill Lebanese Arabs. Great stuff:

    And with the Left-hand the bastards are now calling for a cease-fire (funny that I could have sworn it was only because of the US that the UN hadnt already acted)

  • Addamo_01

    M.Mayes

    As I said in another post, I am wondering if the bombing in Qana was not in some macabre sense, a way to enable Israel to accept a cease fire without losing face. This "aerial ceasefire" could be a backhanded offer to Hezbollah for a comprehensive cease fire. It also allows Israel to rub Nasrallah’s face in it because if he dos break the cease fire, it wil be exploited by Israel to prove that Hezbollah can;t be trusted. Sick I know, but that's war and propaghanda.

    If Hezbollah stops its rocket attacks, then the Israelis won't have any excuse. They really will have to observe an aerial cease fire. Of course, this will allow Hezbollah to get on with its resupply. And a resupplied Hezbollah would be an even more formidable Hezbollah.

    Even worse for Israel's hard liners, is that it would reinforce the perception that the group is fighting the Jewish state on equal terms, whcih woudl give it legitimacy in the eyes of the world. Giving thathat legitimacy to a purported terrorist organization, would drive the Israelis crazy.

    Israelis could always start bombing again, but then Olmert would have to accept responsibility for the resumption of the rocket attacks, and for making the IDF launch an offensive against a Hezbollah ground defense that had been given two glorious days by the Israeli Air Force to get ready. Political suicide, in other words.

  • M.Mayes

    Indeed, I cant understand these people who dont stop to question motive behind decisions.

    It certainly does give Olmert to give a cease-fire (which he has been pretty adament about not giving previously) and still appear strong.

    I will give credit here though, Israel are very smart in their international image/dealings exploiting loopholes and keeping up a legitimate facade (funny, hitler did something very similar).

    One can only hope that Hezbollah isnt the one to break the cease-fire so that Israel's Govt. can be exposed for the snakes they are.

    I also wonder if Olmert will be as lucky as Sharon and die before he can get tried for war crimes at the end of his reign.

  • orang

    "The US is sending Israel more supplies with which to kill Lebanese Arabs. Great stuff:

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,,1995853…

    Oh please please Santa, can they crash and burn when they land at their destination.

  • Pingback: Who’s Choosing Who » | Antony Loewenstein()

  • Pingback: Who’s Choosing Who » | Antony Loewenstein()