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.

Obama and Zionism

The rise of Barack Obama as the next potential US President (highly unlikely, in my opinion, but anything can happen in the next 18 months) has already upset our poor Prime Minister:

“If I were running al-Qaida in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats.”

Once again, John Howard’s allegiance isn’t to the US/Australian alliance, but to the Bush administration alone. If a Democrat does win in the 2008 US election, and John Howard is still Prime Minister, our relationship with Washington will be decidedly cool, and rightly so.

There is also talk that a win for Obama will shift the US relationship with the Middle East. While I don’t fully agree with the idea that, “if Obama succeeds, Zionism will lose its hold on Jewish-American intellectual life“, the US establishment is undoubtedly experiencing a welcome examination of the ways in which Zionism has skewed its priorities in the region. American Jews – the savvier ones, anyway – are starting to wake up to this fact.

Dissenting Jews are having an effect like never before.

37 comments ↪
  • i dont know if you answered my last comment.. not sure which post it was on..

    but i'll put it this way.. in israel we have a very pluralistic debate that ranges from public voices that go directly against the state at the MP level all the way to those who go for a very centralised extremist anti libertarian approach..

    nevertheless we have a spectrum.. and when we weave in our heavy left wing views its to face the heavy right and they are all voiced to try and best map out our political reality..

    i think it is a shame that some people think that one-sided debate is productive.. that unbalanced presentation of issues is helpful to anyone.. like some political version of the aitkins diet mostly provided to people to who dont have the benefit of a balanced nutritional intake anyway..

    it seems so brave and so progressive.. but really its a cheap form of heroism.. "Dissenting Jews" – what a weak stand point.. being jewish has always allowed you to disagree.. you dont need to be a "dissenting jew" to disagree – au contraire mon frere.. you ironically need to be a "dissenting jew" to agree.. our very culture is one of internal dissent..

    here in israel we have genuine issues.. we are not an intellectual yoga session but rather we live real life dilemmas..

    while what you write is your business.. i would encourage you to take a broader perspective and leave room for thought and debate in your ideas that spans all concerns.. because that way it can contribute to global awareness of dire situations and perhaps contribute to resolution..

    alternatively.. one always has the option of self-labelling a "dissenting jew" and joining the misinformation machine and the propaganda celebration.. it is great time to conduct an early buy-in to the new trend of unbalanced debate.. it will make its founder famous.. 🙂

    there is no consensus in israel.. anywhere.. so there is no consensus to shatter.. if onereally wants to be creative and inventive and say something fresh then one should try to find the spots of light.. these are rarely noted.. try to find the foundations of bridges between communities and reinforce them.. these are rarely protected..

    there is so much work to do here in order to help everyone involved and no clear vision on how to get there.. unfortunately the thicker the cloud of confusion the more lost and hopeless the cause of peace becomes..

    i do not salute these dissenting jews.. they do not help anyone..

    wishing peace on my country and to my neighbours and even to my dissenters..

    shalom

    lirun

    telaviv

  • Obama's certainly an exciting prospect and the media seems to love him, so far. But yes there's still a long road for him to go. Did someone just whisper Howard Dean?

  • davey

    My guess is that Howard has a very strong relationship with Bush, and just parrots whatever Bush says to him…. so, we are in fact hearing the actual Bush opinion of Obama thru the mouth of Howard.

  • Addamo

    To describe Howard's relationship with Bush as strong is an understatement. Howard is a Bush sycophant.

    Personally I think that Obama is a case of style over substance, but the excitement he is generating among the young is unique. Unfortunately, when politicians announce their candidacy, they tend to become mute and overly cautious with their policies.

    I'll reserve my judgment about Obama until he lays his cards ont he table.

    In the mean time, a very disturbing trend has emerged from Clinton and Edwards. Both have spent as much time courting Zionist interests as they have the American public. Things have become so distorted in the US that one could be forgiven for thinking the 2008 election was for the leadership of Israel.

  • Waddy

    Despite Democrat / Obama / Clinton posturing over Iraq, I remain sceptical that any in the US political establishment can see a way out of the mess they have created in the Middle East.

    But for a bit more point-scoring, Obama could remind Howard that al-Quaida has already marked a circle on the calendar – back in March 2003 when the Coalition invasion and occupation gave al-Queda its main chance in Iraq.

  • Addamo

    I just saw Obama's response to Howard. He pointed out that the US had 140,000 troops in Iraq while Australia has only 1400, and that Howard should either step up to the plate and send another 20,000 troops to Iraq or shut up.

    Bullseye.

    Howard sounds like he's getting his talking points directly from Karl Rove, but there is no doubt he has made himself a laughing stock politically.

    It may be wishful thinking, but how priceless would it be to see Howard have to kiss Obama's arse if Obama won the 2008 election?

  • Dick fitzgerald

    Obama and israel: He is not opposed to a US attack on Iran, which is just what Israel prays for.

  • got to watch those zionists.. each and every one of us runs the USA hehehe.. this is hilarious..

  • randy

    Obama is an ardent Zionist who gets his foreign policy direct from AIPAC. I'm not sure what all the hype is about, apart from the color of his skin.

  • Addamo

    got to watch those zionists.. each and every one of us runs the USA hehehe.. this is hilarious..

    Yeah hilarious indeed. Hillary and Edwards have been tripping over one another the last week or so, pandering to AIPAC.

    But on a more serious note Lirun, it has long been established that debate within Israel is common place, whereas in the US, the UK and Australia, it is severely stifled. Paraphrasing statements from Haaretz and B't Salem will attract accusations of anti-semitism. If you want proof of that, consider Carter's book, which puts nothing controversial forward and merely includes subjects that you would consider to be
    self evident. Nonetheless it attarcted the ire of Israel's most vocal defenders.

    If we are to have open and public debate in the US and Australia, we need these door to be opened by dissenting jews, so yes mon ami, they are an enormous help.

  • silkworm

    This passage from mondoweiss is worth repeating:

    In a Zionist history I was reading the other day, I read that the purchases of land in Palestine by Jewish agencies in the early part of the last century had covenants on them. The covenants said, This land can only be sold to Jews.

    Israel is an apartheid state.

  • suze

    and when we weave in our heavy left wing views its to face the heavy right and they are all voiced to try and best map out our political reality..

    This is hilarious "our heavy left wing views". So you are here to protest AL writing stuff that is readily available from Gush Shalom etc because you are left wing? I doubt it. If there is so much diversity in views in Israel then this blog would not be anything you hadn't already seen so why complain about it?

  • Addamo

    Good point Suze,

    Why indeed would Carter's book have attracted any attention at all if it was so "old news" and mainstream?

  • Cynthia

    Quite Suze & Addamo & in addition, Lurin, is it OK to oppress & kill another people, demolish their houses, steal their land & water, imprison them behind walls & checkpoints, obstruct their economy etc etc as long as you debate it fully, openly, even vituperatively among yourselves in your parliament & society?

    Is that what you are saying? That as long as there's plenty of shouting & handwringing and argument and anguish in Israel about the way Palestinians are treated, it's justifiable or that it lessens the offence? that's what it sounds like.

    No, I guess you're trying to imply that the above presentation of the Palestinians' predicament is unbalanced. But in that case you have to show, fact by fact, how this is so. Recourse instead to mention of the splendid or whatever level of debate among (I assume Jewish) Israelis is sleight of hand indeed.

  • no its a silly cherrypicked point.. i live in the context of your debate.. sorry "suze" but one-upping on semantics is really offensive and childish..

    i dont know where you are from and what your perspective is.. but while you can philosophise and engage in trendy discussion of foreign affairs – for me this is my reality and core of domestic issues ie its home.. if you have something to say – make it substantial.. commit to it.. dont just throw verbal sticks and stones over the fence..

    i have no problem with views.. i have a problem with having them glorified as some new discovery smothered in glitter across the international media as the next big thing and presented without the other half of the debate..

    being jewish and presenting views as dissenting jews gives the impression that these people may in fact even have a qualified opinion..

    i think its irresponsible..

    a week or so ago i presented antony with some questions.. i wanted to know how well he spoke arabic and hebrew.. how long he lived in our region.. what he knew specifically about each confrontation we had had with our internal and cross border neighbours.. i dont learn anything about these things from his blog or site.. (unless ive missed them).. all i can get from the bio is that he is an avid and noticed communicator..

    and what i ask of this avid communicator is not to misappropriate his talents without due consideration of all sides..

    the mainstream media is very consistent about discussing jewish people attacked as settlers even though it may be a baby slaughtered while terrorists who are shot in the act have been called palestinians killed.. everyone knows that each of us.. blogger and journalist alike.. has extensive gatekeeping powers..

    what concerns me is that rather than labelling his views commentary/feature/opinion he has made the very fact of him having the views into his newspitch to the media and created some reality-journalism.. ie "watch me recycle views i believe in.. ps im jewish" as a headline.. in israel we dont say "hey watch me blog! look at me say stuff!" these dissenting jews or whatever they seek to call themselves however have gone on a roadshow.. im not protesting the blog at all.. im protesting the look-at-me-ness of it all..

    anyway.. its ironic that in the core of this left-ist avante garde idea factory i am not being met with genuine and meaningful discussion but rather ignored and/or ridiculed..

    the nature of my welcome (or lack of it) i think strongly supports the ideas i am submitting..

    take care

    shalom

    telaviv

  • suze

    So the core of your argument is that although you welcome people having lots of different views you don't want them to append those views with the tag "dissenter"?? Whose resorting to semantics now? I think it is pretty clear that in the context of international perspectives on foreign policy that anyone who criticises the policies of Israel is labelled with far worse tags than just a "dissenter". If you want to express an opinion go ahead. But You seem to be exhorting AL not to express his. That is not welcoming different views – that is attempting to silence them.

  • no that is not my point..

    good luck and take care..

  • Addamo

    The point is lirun that you are falling for the very trap that has given cause to the term "dissenting" jews.

    Has it not occurred to you that unless you are Jewish, critics of Israel run a great risk of being accused of anti-Semitism. So the being Jewish is one of the first things that is required of a critic of Israeli policy.

    So no. it's not irresponsible, it is necessary because of the rules set down by Israeli Gatekeepers,

    What relevance is it whether Ant speaks Arabic and Hebrew? Alkl news sources from Israel are published in English. What importance is it whther he has lived in the region, when nothing Ant is saying is controversial, but indeed supported by Israeli news sources and human rights groups?

    What specifically is there to know about each confrontation that has not been studiously documented by historians and news sources? Ant does not purport to be an investigative, so why should you expect to learn anything about these things from his blog or site. For that matter, since when are blogs the source of such news items?

    the mainstream media is very consistent about discussing jewish people attacked as settlers even though it may be a baby slaughtered while terrorists who are shot in the act have been called palestinians killed.. everyone knows that each of us..

    Similarly, every time an IDF soldier pumps a clip of bullets into a 13 year old girl, we are reminded that this is necessary in the name of Israeli security.

  • pumps a clip of bullets? that is revolting.. (except to the extent that it shows how reckless and careless you are with topics so sensitive tous..) that is beside the point..

    my point is that people who have no real attachment to our region.. no real understanding of what is going on and no real channel to listen to the true words of our respective governments and the various opposing entities whether governmental or militia based are basically pondering a hyper-reality.. they are analysing a report derived from a report derived from a report gatekept by a tv station and programed between advertising slots and they take these shreads of highly processed so-called information and slap on a "made in a jewish mind" label of origin and click "send to the world" asserting that this is a jewish opinion.. it is not.. it has no halachic basis.. it doesnt analyse any facts.. it just grabs tidbits and pumps out rhetoric (deploying your phraseology but without the ghore) to appeal to opinions that are equally as uninformed..

    so whats left? nothing.. nothing is left..

    you want to corrode or fight against israel's support thinking that if we make mistakes we are not worthy of any support at all from the diaspora? then by all means.. you live under the pretext of a free country.. so free that you are able to spout uninformed views and mismarket them as genuine jewish beliefs.. pretending that a tidal wave of dissent is washing israel..

    antony may be an entirely different person from that which i am depicting.. i am not judging him.. i am merely questioning where this stream is coming from and what its motivations and sources of information are..

    i am interested in debate and real thought.. but moreso by those who have verily taken the opportunity to ingest the issues as they pertain to our region as a whole complex dilemma..

    information is a tricky commodity.. you can slice and dice it into infinite meanings and convince very unsuspecting people of the most unimaginable ideas.. simply by slightly pushing your frame/perspective.. even by a single intellectual "mm"..

    in this case the "camera" has been totally smashed off the tripod and i think its unfair.. and i am protesting.. not as a "kill em all/we are always right" israeli but rather as someone who actively seeks peace and dialog but also knows that we have no monopoly on wrong doing.. far from it..

    so if the dissenters think that we as israelis need to be collectively punished and disparaged because our handling of our conflict is not perfectly elegant then yes i do invite them to learn our tongue and that of our neighbours.. to live in our houses.. to step aside from their macchiattos and side-glass of water on campbell parade for five seconds and come smell the humous.. because it smells very different from over here.. even to those of us lucky enough to freshen our senses with frequent getaways..

    and if instead they want to tell me that remotely – without using a single human sense let alone genuine faculty (because they dont need to know the facts before judging)- they are able to consider and judge all.. then i will respond by saying that these dissenters may well have an ulterior motive to their israel bashing.. because even my palestinian friends – and i have a fair few – know as well as i do that blame is the most useless of activities in our region..

    and our solution will come through shared acknowledgement and empowering the moral forces rather than blindly cutting eachother down..

    ie these dissenters are certainly not part of our joint solution..

  • suze

    Lirun you used the phrase "baby slaughtered" and then get defensive about addamo saying "every time an IDF soldier pumps a clip of bullets into a 13 year old girl, we are reminded that this is necessary in the name of Israeli security." What is the point of sensitivity here? It is indisputable that children are being killed by the IDF.

    I am trying to take on board what you have said but I think you are mistaking attacks upon the strategies of israel in relation to the palestinians and its other neighbours with "Israel bashing".

    What is your situation do you go and observe the checkpoints do you visit in the west bank are you an activist who protests against the wall. What is your position?

  • Addamo

    Yes Lirun, it is revolting when an IDF soldier empties, recklessly and carelesslu, two clips of bullets into a defenseless 13 year old Palestinian girl.

    Yes we know what your point, and it's been made before.

    Those defending Israel’s actions like to insist that the complexities of the region are such that only those who live there can understanding of what is going on, which is absurd. What real channels are there to listen to the true words of your respective governments if not your own media? What do you rely on for such access if not your own news outlets.
    Yes, you may have a point that reports run the risk of being second hand, but to suggest that all of the news reported by Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post or B’tSelem are compromised is clutching at straws.
    The only other means would be first hand experience, and while you have no doubt witnessed such events, I think it’s safe to assume you are unable to be present all of the time. Furthermore, a group of former IDF members have spoken out publicly and revealed that the abuses they witnessed first hand were almost never reported in Israel.
    Facts work both ways, so please stop pretending that if all the facts were to be properly made available, they would exonerate the IDF on every occasion.
    you want to corrode or fight against israel’s support thinking that if we make mistakes we are not worthy of any support at all from the diaspora?
    Who said that? That really is very disingenuous of you. Why would anyone want that outcome? The point here is abtou accountability, as opposed to the Deborah Lippstadt school of reasoning that excuses anything Israel does because of the Holocaust.
    And isn’t it about time that open and free discussion about Israel were allowed to take place? What problem do you have with that if you are so convinced of Israel’s vitue?
    Antony’s information and assessments are not anything new. They are drawn from overwhelming numbers of reports of Israeli crimes in the occupied territories. Why does anyone’s motivation have to be questioned? Are you hoping to find some sinister agenda, because surely, no reasonable person would dare criticize Israel right?
    Yes, information is a tricky commodity, but the interesting things about facts is that they tend to endure the test of time, while propaganda does not. Yet you seem rather alarmed at the notion that Antony’s opinion and his blog might be reaching an audience that might consider what he has to say.
    What is it you are so afraid of?
    There is a fine line between diplomatic and public pressure and collective punishment, though to be perfectly frank, hearing an Israeli defender complain about collective punishment is rather lame given that collective punishment is Israel’s raison d’etre. (See Lebanon)

    And while your point is taken about people benefiting from experiencing your way of life, let’s stop pretending that no one has ever made that journey. For no doubt, someone who learns the Hebrew language will likely be criticized for not being fluent enough and someone who has spent time in Israel will likely be dismissed as not having spent sufficient time there.
    And let’s be reminded that there have been many who have lived the life and experienced what you call life and come away with opinions vastly divergent from your own.
    I do agree however that blame will solve nothing. Mutual empowerment is the key, but until that even begins, there must be sufficient motivation among Israel’s ruling class to initiate this move.
    The motivation will likely come from diplomatic pressure, which in turn can only come from dissenters who are able to create public awareness of the problem, so yes, they are most certainly not part of our joint solution..

  • suze

    my point is that people who have no real attachment to our region.. no real understanding of what is going on and no real channel to listen to the true words of our respective governments and the various opposing entities whether governmental or militia based are basically pondering a hyper-reality.. they are analysing a report derived from a report derived from a report gatekept by a tv station and programed between advertising slots and they take these shreads of highly processed so-called information and slap on a “made in a jewish mind” label of origin and click “send to the world” asserting that this is a jewish opinion.. it is not.. it has no halachic basis.. it doesnt analyse any facts.. it just grabs tidbits and pumps out rhetoric (deploying your phraseology but without the ghore) to appeal to opinions that are equally as uninformed..

    We can listen to speeches of politicians, read the transcripts of what has been said, read the reports in Israeli newspapers and the information supplied by Gush Shalom, Machsom watch B't Selem etc etc. We can and we do.

    How is this any different to your access to "true information". Perhaps you have other sources you can point us toward?

    Do you have an example of a blog outside of Israel that is to your mind a reflection of what you believe such a thing should be?

    you want to corrode or fight against israel’s support thinking that if we make mistakes we are not worthy of any support at all from the diaspora? then by all means.. you live under the pretext of a free country.. so free that you are able to spout uninformed views and mismarket them as genuine jewish beliefs.. pretending that a tidal wave of dissent is washing israel..

    We want to stop unconditional support for an Israeli policy that has lead to the recent actions in Gaza and Lebanon. We want to stop support for a policy in which Palestinians are subjected to systematic human rights abuses. None of that implies that Israelis are the only ones at fault. Uninformed Views? SO reprinting excerpts from Amira Haas, and other Israeli journalists is seen by you as spouting Uninformed views? That is simply a lie Lirun. Why are you peddling it? I suspect you have a beef with the content of those views not their veracity or the legitimacy of their sources.
    And AL is not repackaging it as genuine jewish belief- it IS a genuine jewish belief- held by the jewish people who first expressed it and subsequently accepted as a valid point of view by others. You are salting your words with a lot of insults. Noone pretends there is a tidal wave of dissent – there is growing group of people who are prepared to state their views publicly in spite of the insults that come their way. Anti-semite, self-hating jew etc etc etc.

    so if the dissenters think that we as israelis need to be collectively punished and disparaged because our handling of our conflict is not perfectly elegant then yes i do invite them to learn our tongue and that of our neighbours.. to live in our houses.. to step aside from their macchiattos and side-glass of water on campbell parade for five seconds and come smell the humous.. because it smells very different from over here.. even to those of us lucky enough to freshen our senses with frequent getaways..

    Who is punishing anyone? You think that standing up and saying that we believe something is wrong is punishing Israel? You are very thin skinned. Do you need to speak Farsi before you criticise human rights abuses in Iran. Does one need to live among the Kurds before one holds an opinion about their recent history about their relationships with Iraqis, with Turks? Israel is an occupying force it is subject to international scrutiny and it should be held accountable for its actions both good and bad just as any other country should and is. If you have views and information that you feel we need in order to get a well rounded picture then communicate them. I have had a quick read of your blog and I do not see anything there that is startlingly different to other blogs I read. I did note the headline to one of your posts exhorted the IDF to remember that the world is watching. It doesn't seem to be working Lirun. The world has been watching while the IDF has used phosphorus and cluster bombs, while it has been maiming the innocent with other as yet unidentified types of weapons. None of this is on your blog. This is not blame it is responsibility it is outrage in the face of inhumanity.

  • my blog has a purpose of its own.. and is not for you to decide.. you are welcome to criticise it..

    i for one do not claim to be part of a movement.. had you gone to the earlier posts you perhaps would have understood the angle..

    it appears that you are think skinned if you are so sensitive to what i write but that is besides the point..

    yes i do think that an initimate knowledge of our region is nessecary to be able to criticise it.. yes i do think that presenting the full story of cluster bombs usage is necessary..

    i am certain without a single spec of doubt that we violate international treaties regularly in the eyes of many.. however.. for you to understand the customary international law of our region including its persistent ostensible objection to many defined principles you need to understand the history and current affairs of our region.. otherwise you may be mistaking a friendly looking face for an evil grin or a act of defence for an act of aggression simply because translated into your world it could only possibly carry one single meaning..

    you dont come out squeaky clean of a direct war.. it doesnt happen.. you can send troops 10,000 kms away and prescribe conduct but you cannot defend your home with all the rage and passion that defending your home involves and guarantee that you will correctly ponder and apply the words of high paid intellectuals sitting in UN committees on ergonomically perfect office furniture..

    but at the same time.. if you enter the blame game as you clearly are set on doing.. i am merely urging you to identify all of it.. not just isolate an act and author a judgment on its basis..

    adam – soldiers for us are not people who cannot get into or afford university and want to travel the world.. as they are in many countries or at least as the armies seem to target in many western countries.. they are every single son daughter brother mother father grandparent at some stage or another.. as our society gets deployed through the ranks there will inevitably be some – if not many – that mishandle their duty and assigned power.. just as it happens in the civillian space.. the tragedy is the direct human casualties suffered as a result..

    i am not for a second relieving any soldier of their responsibility to maintain purity of arms and act with a conscience.. but i will also not judge my entire country unilaterally and on a strct liability basis when i know that there are at least two tangoing here.. not to mention our external players in syria iran and lebanon who proactively fuel this romance in every way they can.. making sure that enough people suffer here for you to happily ignore whats happening there..

    and when i say you i mean society.. so stop taking everything so personally.. 🙂

    in any event.. while some of my compatriots are perhaps more resistant to criticism.. many many more are not.. and i said and as you did too.. we voice these ideas just as you do..

    in case my communication skills are truly that appaulling (given my failure after so many words to effectively elicit a relevant response) my problem is primarily the absence of any balance in the views coming out while they are being labelled as jewish..

    the fact that someone's mother is jewish and that person holds an opionion for me (at least) doesnt make it a jewish opinion.. it is merely the opinion of a jew..

    if someone calls themselves a dissenting jew and carries this label with all of its associations then tell us – what jewish principles and halachic decisions are being relied on.. and how do these apply to the whole of the facts at hand.. as a jewish decision would..

    anyway.. been spending too much time on this blog.. and as you say.. you think you understand my point..

    feel welcome to rip my blog to shreads if you like 😉

    shalom

    lirun

    telaviv

    די נמאס לי – שיגידו מה שרוצים

  • Addamo

    yes i do think that an initimate knowledge of our region is nessecary to be able to criticise it.. yes i do think that presenting the full story of cluster bombs usage is necessary..

    So please, enlighten us on what has not been reported that would be so enlightening about the dropping of a million clusters bombs over Southern Lebanon. I take it you have the inside track on what we all missed. What was Israeli trying to achieve by dropping the majority of these in the last 72 hours of the conflict? Why did Israel originally deny doing so, as they so often do, whenever they are caught in a vile act?

    i am not for a second relieving any soldier of their responsibility to maintain purity of arms and act with a conscience.. but i will also not judge my entire country unilaterally and on a strct liability basis when i know that there are at least two tangoing here

    What this article illustrates and is repeatedly repotted, is that such actions are not only condoned, but in fact constitute IDF policy.

    .. not to mention our external players in syria iran and lebanon who proactively fuel this romance in every way they can.. making sure that enough people suffer here for you to happily ignore whats happening there..

    The only time Lebanon has ever become involved with Israel has been when Israel has invaded. Hezbollah would not exist today were it not for Israel’s 18 year long occupation of Southern Lebanon. No Lebanese forces have ever invaded or attacked Israel.

    As for Syria, please remind us of the last time Syrian fighter jest buzzed over the Israeli Knesset as Israel so often does to Syrian air space. What it behind the refusal to talk to engage in peace talks with Syria, even though Syria are begging to hold them with Israel . Would it have anything to do with the refusal to return the Golan Heights, or is that too nuanced for the non Hebrew speaking Goyim to appreciate?

    my problem is primarily the absence of any balance in the views

    coming out while they are being labelled as jewish..

    Balance coming out of where? The mainstream media who are almost entirely pro Israeli, especially in the US?

    These dissenting Jews are not pretending to me the voices of all Jews. At best, they are demonstrating that not all Jews hold to the pro Israeli consensus of events. I suspect that what concerns you, is that until now, Israeli leaders and their proxies in Western countries have regarded themselves as the voice of all Jews, and that these Dissenting Jews have revealed that there is a percentage of the Jews in Israel and the Diaspora, who’s silence on this matter has been wrongly interpreted by the leadership as being in agreement with Israeli policies.

    the fact that someone’s mother is jewish and that person holds an opionion for me (at least) doesnt make it a jewish opinion.. it is merely the opinion of a jew..

    No one is suggesting these voices speak for all Jews, but there is no denying that Jewish people are expected to give unconditional support for Israel. What these people are dispelling is the myth that bodies like the Israeli leadership the ADL, APIAC and the AJL do represent the uniform opinions of all Jews.

    if someone calls themselves a dissenting jew and carries this label with all of its associations then tell us – what jewish principles and halachic decisions are being relied on.. and how do these apply to the whole of the facts at hand.. as a jewish decision would..

    What evidence do you have that Jewish decisions are based on all the facts at hand? Once would be hard pressed to prove that decisions by most human beings are made in the basis of all the fact sat hand, so what is unique to Jews in that regard?

    Why should Israel's actions be judged in the basis of Jewish principals and the like? What is wring with applying humanist principals and international law?

    Why is it that Israel regularly flouts or dismisses international law and UN resolutions as irrelevant or biased when they apply to Israel, but is more than happy to cite these laws as they apply to other countries?

    We have witnessed countless examples of Israeli leaders disseminating lies. The Lebanon war was deceived by Israel’s leadership as an act f self defense, when it clearly was not (ie. War was not the only option available to Israel). The psychotic ramblings of Benjamin Netanyahu, as he drums up support I the west for an attack on Iran, have been a litany of lies upon lies.

    While you a clearly uncomfortable with the term “dissenting Jews”, one could hardly blame these individuals for claiming this mantle given that they will undoubtedly be attacked and labeled self-hating Jews.

  • you dont really want my answers so i wont bother you with my reply.. if you ever change your mind and decide you really care to listen feel most welcome to contact me through the email address on my blog..

    i would be more than happy to discuss your questions through emails or skype if i thought you were genuine.. however.. you are so way off that (a) i dont blame you for your views and (b) whether or not it is a consequence of your misperceptions – you clearly arent interested..

    to my mind all you are doing is showing off that you have listened to some news bulletins and that you are familiar with some terms.. your analysis is phenominally superficial.. i think its a bit embarrassing.. and i dont blame you for your anonymity..

    wondering.. am i supposed to start a movement to free the people in the australian detention camps? i dont know that much about why some people have been there for decades.. maybe you can tell me why? or maybe you can go and protest a cause that you can verify.. maybe raise it on the world's agenda.. may you can tell me why australia's indigenous population has been reduced to sub human in urban ghettos or desert glue sniffing towns..

    i actually do voice my disgust when bad things happen in my country <a&gt ;http://emspeace.blogspot.com/search?q=beit hanoun even if this is not the subject of my blog.. i also write letters to my government and media and i attend rallies – not that it matters..

    what do you do? not that i care 🙂

  • link stuffed up: try this

    😉

    take care

    shalom

  • Addamo

    I am not sure what questions you are referring to that I failed to answer, but by all means, if you can bring yourself to list them I would be happy to oblige.

    You are too obvious lirun. You are repeating the ad hominem argument that the situation in the Middle East is so complexed that no one but Israeli’s themselves are able to comprehend, them. Suze and I have repeatedly challenged you to produce specific examples of where our sources of information have misinformed us. We have also asked you reputedly to explain why a million cluster bomblets needed to be dropped in Southern Lebanon, and how this did not constitute a criminal act motivate by spit.

    Yet rather than answer the question, your only response is to insist that the matter is beyond our comprehension. Poor us.
    If you are more than happy to discuss there questions, why not discuss it here? Surely you are able to outline the argument within the ample space provided. It’s not like your views are being stifled or censored now is it?

    If my analysis is superficial, provide an example of where and why it fails, otherwise, yours is just empty rhetoric. No I am not the least bit embarrassed by the views or opinions I have. If that were the case, I would not be participating in this discussion. This is nothing but a distraction on your part to avoid the debate.

    You grossly underestimate myself and others on this forum. We love our country with a passion, but we make no reservations about criticising the policies of our leadership or the conduct of extremists and shameful elements in our society. In fact, we consider it a sign of maturity on the part of our society that were are able to do so without being branded as anti-Australian.

    I am disgusted by the detention camps in Australia and I would be the first to welcome any move on anyone’s part that would lead to the elimination of these stains on our society. Why are these people being detained? Because they are victims of vile and racist policies of our government, that’s why. I have no problem stating that because simply put, our leadership and our country are not the same thing, though the policies of our leadership are mot certainly a failing of our country.

    Nonetheless, your raising the matter is yet another somewhat pathetic example of changing the subject because it appears, you are aware that your position is indefensible.

    Do you really believe others cannot see right through you? Has it not occurred to you that these tactics you are using are common place among Israel’s amen corner? When someone writes an report or a book critical of Israel, one of the most predictable attacks will include some mention of the “poor scholarship” or “factual errors”, which usually turn out to be miniscule, while those very critics, like Allan Dershowitz and others, write and print outright fabrications that than be dispelled by even a modestly informed individual.

    may you can tell me why Australia’s indigenous population has been reduced to sub human in urban ghettos or desert glue sniffing towns..

    Yes I can tell you why, because like Israel’s polices towards the Palestinian population, the Aborigines had their land stolen, were murdered, abused and the victims of bigotry ethnic cleansing. Australians on the whole have no reservation about expressing their shame about this subject. It is as it would appear to anyone from any other country in the world. It is part of a racists and brutal chapter of our history. You don’t need to speak Australian (English) or any Aboriginal dialect or even life or visit this country to understand it. It is what it is.

    Like you, I also write letters to my government, the media and I attend rallies. But unlike you, I do not shy away from criticism of Australia, because Australia, particularly it’s leadership, needs to be held to account for it’s evils.

    I applaud your efforts to hold your leadership to account, but you nee to move past the indoctrination that compels you to believe that criticism of Israel (by non Israelis) is only motivated by a desire to witness it’s demise.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    What you fail to appreciate is that it is people like Amira Haas, Ilan Pappe and institutions like B’t Selem that are doing Israel the greatest service by proving to the world that the people of Israel are compassionate, support human rights, and advocate justice. These are the voices of balance and hope, not those who insist that the debate is the exclusive bastion of Israelis.

  • do you not see how far your reactions are from my statements?

    this is the main reason i am not engaging with you.. (besides the fact that i have a job and a social life and other activities and you are no one to me.. :D)

    anyway you have received a genuine invitation.. but clearly you like your stage too much though.. so enjoy..

    i must say that i find it particularly entertaining how israelis jews and zionist are supposedly differentiated in your mind while in your words they get so carelessly thrown all over the place..

    די זה כבר ממש משעמם אותי..

    מישהו יכול להחליף אותי פה? בבקשה?

    😀

  • oh my god.. is it seriously 3.07 am for you? hehehehhe 😀 that is so funny

  • oh no its 7.09 but i guess it was 3.07 when you did your writing.. oh no 😉

  • suze

    Well that was pretty revealing. Giggling spiteful and completely unable to come up with any actual argument.

  • Addamo

    Well that was pretty revealing. Giggling spiteful and completely unable to come up with any actual argument.

    Yes, Lirun's dummy spit is very typical. We see it so often don't we Suze? These Zionist apologists begin by pretending to be the empathetic voice of reason and once they are challenged, quickly descend into spiteful invective.

    Poor Lirun seems to be proud of the fact that my post was made at 3 am Sydney time, when in fact I am writing from Montreal Canada, where it was he middle of the day.

    All this huff and puff about this profound knowlegde he had to share with us, yet in the end, pfffffffff, nothing.

    How typical.

  • 🙂

  • montreal is a fantastic town.. you should get out more..

    try morin heights or the creperie at st sauveur about 200m to your left when you get to the eglise au centre ville.. the one with the little footbridge.. thats my favourite.. st agathe des monts has a great old school creperie as well..

    even just a cool bar along st denis or st laurent..

    i am not spiteful at all.. never have been..

    im sure a lot of the non verbal aspects of our respective communication habits are not coming across through these rants.. don't be so quick to decide that they are written in anger/spite.. you dont know me.. 🙂

    the surf is up.. so rest assured that i am as chilled as can be right now..

    shabbat shalom

    יו איזה כבדים..

  • Addamo

    Get out more you say? More than what?

    My work takes me to San Fran 3 or 4 times a year, and to Shanghai.

    We had over 15 inches of snow last night and it's -35 degrees right now with the wind chill. Not exactly getting out more kind of weather.

    I live right off St Denis, and the studio I work at is on St Laurent. My finance also works on th trendy end of St Laurent, so I am more than familiar with the restaurants, bars and cafe's on the Plateau.

    Maybe you're not spiteful, but your childish glee at the idea I was awake at 3 am writing a response to you, which apparently was big enough of a deal to warrant 2 posts form you, certainly appeared spiteful. You posed questions and I answered them at length because I was under the impression you would have appreciated the effort, but it appears you are more concerned with proving a point than sharing information.

    It's true I do not know you, bu then again, I don't need to. Your posts speak for themselves.

    Salut et bon chance

  • i dont understand.. you have invested in the night scene – or are you saying that you are engaged..

    i appreciated the effort.. in terms of being able to assess that you invested one.. however.. i admit that i didnt like the slant.. but these are common affects of digital communication..

    i am sure our discussion would have been less spikey had it been face to face..

    now in respect of the childish comment.. i thank you.. to me that is enormous flattery.. may we all be like children all of the time.. what a blessed predicament.. if after 4 university qualifications i can have an education and still retain my spirit then i am proud to be called childish..

    it would appear that there are many assumptions in your blogging.. which is legitimate.. i dont think they are all accurate..

    for example – just because i dont engage in full argument by argument debate with you doesnt mean i dont have a response to your points..

    or just because i dont respond to your points doesnt mean i concede to your view..

    silence doesnt work as an admission..

    bloggiquette to the best of my knowledge doesnt assume consistent dialog.. for that we have instant messaging..

    anyway yum 15 inches of snow.. id be making the most of whatever is left of bois de liesse or maybe even catching some trails on the mountain with a bit of ski de font.. mtl nostalgia – bitter and sweet 😉

    je te sohaite un bon weekend.. mais sans poutine – c'est pas bon pour la sante..

    and say hi to shanghai.. studied at EUCPL on wan hang du hu lu and love that town.. its been too long..

  • some people only know how to fight 😉