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.

Saddam offered to go, but neo-cons opted for carnage

Think of the trillion dollars that could have been saved, the million lives saved, the tens of thousands of dead and injured U.S. soldiers. It has now been revealed that this could so easily have been averted were it not for the war loving psychopaths in Washington.

Saddam Hussein offered to step down and go into exile one month before the invasion of Iraq, it was claimed last night.

Fearing defeat, Saddam was prepared to go peacefully in return for £500million ($1billion).

The extraordinary offer was revealed yesterday in a transcript of talks in February 2003 between George Bush and the then Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at the President’s Texas ranch.


Blackwater Fever – The Symptoms

A common disease among international contractors working in Iraq, Afghanistan and various other 3rd world hellholes. Frequently attacks young men with only one war or enlistment under their belt, State Dept agents, Former LEOs, anyone associated with an Ambassadors detail and occasional poseurs. BKWF has many symptoms; if you have the following you may be infected:

1. Large amount of primping, i.e. mousse in your hair despite the
fact you live in a war zone.

2. Your forearms break out in tattoos, often tribal or USMC related

3. All your shirts are skintight “Under Armor” T-shirts

4. Have used, currently using or consider using steroids

5. Refer to yourself as a “Shooter” or “Operator for Blackwater”

6. Look down upon all other PSD teams that are NOT on the
Ambassadors Detail, to include other Blackwater employees.

7. Grow a beard to blend in with the locals, even though you are a
6ft tall blonde with a “Death before Dishonor” tattoo.

8. Think the UN pool is a good place to pick-up chicks

9. Are arrogant and condescending to people with more experience,
training and who make more money than you.

10. Forget that doing a mission that has been performed in the past
by Tier 1 assets does not make you a Tier 1 asset.

11. Truly believe you look good in Speedos

12. Despite the fact there are laundry facilities available you
insist on wearing a dirty brown T-shirt with your blood type in black magic
marker to work.

13. You wear a shemagh as an ascot to fit in with the locals

14. Because you are a “High Speed-Low Drag” PSD guy you think long
hair and an unkempt beard looks professional.

15. You are familiar with doing “high threat PSD with CAT team and
Air assets”.

16. Look puzzled when someone refers to the pool as a “Sausage Fest”

17. You carry a drop-leg holster, wear a Federal Agent Badge, flash
bangs, 5 or more pistol mags, asp, handcuffs, surefire light , leatherman,
on your belt and a Gerber mark II strapped to the outside of your boot, in the
embassy complex.

18. Thursday night is your favorite night of the week.

19. A drunken, naked, Englishman has pissed on the air vents of your trailer

20. You have excellent kit.

21. When your advance goes out on mission, Army MPs secure your

22. Believe by running locals off the road you are winning their
“hearts & minds”.

23. Despite earning a six figure income you wear a ragged ball cap
that has not ever been washed

24. Your 9 man PSD team consists of 34 men, 6 armored SUVs, 2 Army
Stryker vehicles, an MP company, 2 “little birds” and 2 AH-64
gunships. With an AC-130 on call!

25. Your entire wardrobe can be purchased at Brigade Quartermasters.

26. You have a Blackhawk credit card.

27. You refer to Myock as “The Farm”

28. You know what color the boathouse at Hereford is.

29. The girls talk to you because you “make the big bucks”

30. You have a Bear paw tattoo

31. The most dangerous thing you have ever done is: PSD!

32. You blouse your Royal Robins 5.11 pants into your boots

33. Often email pictures of yourself in body armor, weapons and kit
to all your friends, family and anybody that you have their email address.

34. Believe people really give a shit about seeing multiple pictures
of you in your body armor, weapons and kit.

35. If you have ever gotten drunk and pointed loaded weapon at your
best friend and thought it” was FUN!”

36. You demonstrated your “quick draw” technique to your girlfriend.

37. You have been seen wearing a black boonie hat, black shirt,
black pants, black boots, black body armor, black ammo pouches and a MP5in
a desert environment when its 110 degrees

38. You refer to yourself as a “rock n’ roll mercenary”

39. Despite having tons of assets-you have not left the Embassy Compound
since July.

40. As it has gets colder instead of wearing a long sleeve shirt,
you wear long underwear with a short sleeve golf shirt. But the golf shirt
has your company logo on it.

41. You have ridden a bicycle off the diving board into a swimming
pool and thought you were impressing people.

42. You spray paint your weapon into a desert camo pattern, though you
only operate in a urban envoirment

43. An MP5 is your primary weapon

44. All your T-shirts have a police, military, weapon, or SWAT
school logo on them

45. Chasing pussy is more important than your job performance

46. A chap from CRG has had to give you a lesson in manners, after
you pushed him out of your principles way. Even though the lad had
already stepped aside.”

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Us noble, you savages

After Ahmadinejad’s performance at Columbia University – and the dressing down he received from the institution’s President – it’s curious to note that seven chancellors and presidents of Iranian universities and research centers have posed some questions of their own to Columbia. A sample below (and they’re all eminently sensible):

Why, in 1953, did the US administration overthrow the Iran’s national government under Dr Mohammad Mosaddegh and go on to support the Shah’s dictatorship?

Why do America’s closest allies in the Middle East come from extremely undemocratic governments with absolutist monarchical regimes?

Why does the US administration support the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) despite the fact that the group has officially and openly accepted the responsibility for numerous deadly bombings and massacres in Iran and Iraq? Why does the US refuse to allow Iran ’s current government to act against the MKO’s main base in Iraq?

Revealingly, despite the rantings of the Zionist lobby in America, Iranian Jews have released a statement deploring their President’s treatment at Columbia:

The constant disrespect and disturbance demonstrated…prove once more that those claiming to be peace loving people have no real grasp of the concept.

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Australian politics 101

If only our media practitioners found a sense of humour.

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Death for pussies

America believes in the rule of law so long as it allows America to break the law. Noam Chomsky explains it eloquently in his forthcoming release, What We Say Goes:

The United States is a leading outlaw state, totally unconstrained by international law, and it openly says so. What we say goes. The United States invaded Iraq, even though it’s a radical violation of the United Nations Charter…In a well-run society, you don’t say things you know. You say things that are required for service to power.

This story certainly proves his point:

US President George W. Bush threatened nations with retaliation if they did not vote for a UN resolution backing the Iraq war, according to a transcript published Wednesday of a conversation he had with former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.

In the transcript of a meeting on February 22, 2003 — a month before the US-led invasion of Iraq — published in the El Pais daily, Bush tells Aznar that nations like Mexico, Angola, Chile and Cameroon must know that the security of the United States is at stake.

He says during the meeting on his ranch in Texas that Angola stood to lose financial aid while Chile could see a free trade agreement held up in the US Senate if they did not back the resolution, the left-wing paper said.

The confidential transcript was prepared by Spain’s ambassador to the United States at the time, Javier Ruperez, the paper said.

Prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, Washington unsuccessfully lobbied the 15 members of the UN Security Council for a second resolution paving the way for military action against Iraq if Saddam Hussein failed to comply with demands to disarm.

But during the meeting with Aznar, Bush made it clear the US would invade Iraq by the end of March 2003 whether or not there was a UN resolution to authorize it, El Pais reported.

“We have to get rid of Saddam. There are two weeks left. In two weeks we will be ready militarily. We will be in Baghdad at the end of March,” Bush said in the transcript which was translated into Spanish by the newspaper.

Victory would come “without destruction”, he added.

Let nobody say that the US President isn’t a canny reader of Middle East politics.

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The Iranian liberals

My Iranian friend Bozorg Sharafedin, a newspaper editor in Tehran, has written about Ahmadinejad’s visit to Columbia University:

While many Iranians feel ashamed and humiliated after Ahmadinejad’s scandalous speech in Columbia University, a new wave of propaganda has been started inside the country praising the president for his new international achievements. Even while I am writing this commentary, the First Television Channel of Iran is replaying the censored copy of the lecture to prove the popularity of Ahmadinejad in the world. Of course many reformers has called Ahmadinejad’s lecture a disgrace for Iran but their voice is too weak to be heard…

Today Kayhan (the official newspaper of the government and the conservative party) published a picture of mass protests against Ahmadinejad in the NY. But the first title of the newspaper was: “Shock in NY; The Logic of Iran Enlightened”.

By the way, Ahmadinejad with his “Cheshire cat smile” (as Tony Karon has described him in TIME) gained what he wanted from this meeting: the victory of being on the stage, having microphone for the best part of an hour, becoming the first news of Yahoo and the 7th top searches of the day. 

Of course, the US Senate is far more interested in threatening Iran.

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The MSM’s struggle with reality

New York Times columnist David Brooks personifies the disconnect between the Beltway and the American public.

Thus, this is what we hear: The Democratic controlled Congress has reached new depths of unpopularity, but what they are doing is politically smart. Most Americans really want us to stay in Iraq. Bloggers are espousing views that most Americans hate. Views held by most Americans are the province of the “radical angry Left.” Democrats can only win elections by supporting the popular President’s policies, avoiding any real differences, and scorning their own base. The only hope Democrats have is to adhere to prevailing Beltway orthodoxy.

That is the only real point of what David Brooks and most of his pundit comrades say and do over and over and over. And as their assertions become more and more transparently false, they just increasingly invoke misleading and deceitful tactics in order to maintain them.

It can’t be easy reading these polls from the spaceship he inhabits.

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Utopia is slipping away

This is encouraging. More and more Israelis are simply not showing up for compulsory military service:

Army statistics show the number of young people who do not enlist for military service has crept up in recent years to more than one in four men in 2007 and more than 43 percent of women.

Some, but far from all, are starting to recognise what is eloquently explained by this professor of Psychology at Tel Aviv University:

My point is simple: the day we are no longer judged by the standards of the West is the beginning of Israel’s end, because it means that the West has decided we are no longer part of it, and hence will not be committed to Israel’s existence. The day may come when Israel will, as W&M [Mearsheimer/Walt] suggest, be seen as just another troublesome country that destabilizes the world.

Behaving in a manner befitting the standards of the Western world is far more important for Israel’s long-term survival than gaining a few square miles here and there, by building the security wall through Palestinian territories, tearing apart villages, homes and schools, and expanding settlements. Every such act is not just a moral outrage; it pushes Israel one step closer to being disqualified from belonging to the West.

My argument is not just about being loved by the world – though this factor must not be dismissed. Many of us believe that Israel’s moral fiber has been fatally harmed by the occupation and by the two Lebanon wars. The result is that both morally and strategically, the continued occupation and subjugation of the Palestinian people has put us on the wrong side of history.

This is something that Zionists simply refuse to see. For them, the world either understands the wonders of Israel or they’re inherently anti-Semitic.

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Robbing another’s prize

This is a debate to relish. Former head of the US Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan discusses world affairs with author and activist Naomi Klein:

NAOMI KLEIN: Well, I’m just wondering if it troubles Mr. Greenspan at all that wars over resources in other countries are actually illegal. Mr. Greenspan has praised the rule of law, the importance of the rule of law, in his book. But in his statements about the reasons why this has not been publicly discussed, he has said that it’s not politically expedient at this moment. But it’s not just that it’s not politically expedient, Mr. Greenspan. Are you aware that, according to the Hague Regulations and the Geneva Conventions, it is illegal for one country to invade another over its natural resources?

ALAN GREENSPAN: No. What I was saying is that the issue which, as you know, most people who were pressing for the war were concerned with were weapons of mass destruction. I personally believed that Saddam was behaving in a way that he probably very well had, almost certainly had, weapons of mass destruction. I was surprised, as most, that he didn’t. But what I was saying is that my reason for being pleased to see Saddam out of office had nothing to do with the weapons of mass destruction. It had to do with the potential threat that he could create to the rest of the world.

NAOMI KLEIN: Yes, I realize that, but he was not simply deposed. The US invaded Iraq, occupied it and took control over its resources. And under international law, that it is illegal to wage wars to gain access to other countries’, sovereign countries’, natural resources.

ALAN GREENSPAN: Yes. No, I’m fully aware of the fact that that is a highly, terribly important issue. And as I said in other commentaries, I have always thought the issue of what essentially amounts to what is often called pre-emptive, preventive action on the part of some countries to secure resources or something else like that, it’s an issue that goes back to the Cold War, when we had the very difficult moral dilemma of what do you do when you think a missile is coming in our direction and you’re not sure whether it’s an accident or not an accident. And that is a problem which I think is a deep moral problem in civilized society. And the issue is one which I don’t think we’re going to resolve very easily. And as you point out, yes, I am a believer in the rule of law, and I think it is a critical issue, not only for domestic economies, but for the world economy as a whole.

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Mahmoud, lover of rights

In the faux outrage over the US visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – and read here what a real Iranian dissident thinks of the Bush administration’s attempts to “liberate” his country and the intolerable human rights situation in his country –  let’s not forget to examine the fringe. Over to you, boys:

Natorei Karta spokesman Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Weiss on Tuesday called Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “an advocate of peace,” prior to the group’s meeting with the controversial leader in New York.

Weiss said in a statement that “this will be the third time we’re meeting with [Ahmadinejad]. … Every time, we stressed to the Iranian leadership that despite … the declarations by Jews who don’t understand the essence of the matter, we have found the Iranian people and their leaders friendly and respectful.”

He added that Natorei Karta members believed Ahmadinejad was a very religious man who was dedicated to world peace based on mutual respect and dialogue.

Regarding Israel’s relations with Iran, Weiss said that “Judaism seeks peace. Unfortunately, many Jews who are influenced by Zionism – a philosophy less than 100 years old – feel that the proper response to their enemies, be they real or imagined, is aggression. They call for violence and, to our great misfortune, try to drag other nations into war.”

Weiss expressed chagrin that few world officials had tried to talk with Ahmadinejad or to follow the real opinion of Iranian Jews, who, he said, live peacefully in the country.

“We want to meet with the man who has proven again and again that he is interested in the welfare of the Iranian Jewish community and that he has a deep respect for the Jewish world … The Zionist attempt to isolate this man and his people is immoral and tragic,” he said.

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Baiting the insurgents

Another ingenious idea of targeting insurgents in Iraq.

A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of “bait,” such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.

Of course, we can rest assured that only an insurgent would stop to look at plastic explosives and ammunition.   It’s not like Iraqi people, particularly children, are curious by nature.

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Please somebody, anybody, love Israel

Following my Crikey article last week discussing the inability of the Australian Jewish establishment to tolerate honest debate on Israel/Palestine – and yet condone every Israeli “security” policy against the Palestinians – a wonderfully delusional response appears in today’s Crikey:

16. There’s vibrant debate within the Jewish community

By Assoc. Prof. Douglas Kirsner, chair of the Public Affairs Committee of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission

It’s hard to imagine Crikey finding a less appropriate, less representative, less objective or less well-informed commentator on the internal affairs of Australia’s 120,000-strong Jewish community than Antony Loewenstein.

What universe does Mr Loewenstein live in? He doesn’t like Israeli policies but makes no attempt to debate them or their context, except to hurl epithets. And it’s not just Israel that is in the gun but the Australian Jewish community, which supports Israel’s rights to exist and defend itself.

It’s disingenuous of Mr Loewenstein to accuse Israel and the Australian Jewish community of not wanting a two-state solution. Most Israelis and most Australian Jews want a Palestinian state alongside Israel, as shown in poll after poll. But the Palestinian leadership, particularly Hamas, want a Palestinian state instead of Israel. The Israelis have made many offers of land for peace, most recently the Barak-Clinton plan of 2000, which the Palestinians have answered with suicide bombers and rockets.

Mr Loewenstein tries to present the Jewish community as a monolith in which the sinister “Jewish leaders” permit no debate. This is a bizarre caricature. There are many vibrant debates in the Australian Jewish community about how the Middle East problems can be solved.

The Middle East conflict is a tragedy for both Israelis and Palestinians. The question is, how do we move on and solve the problems that hurt both populations so much? Ordinary Palestianians and ordinary Israelis want peace and a normal life. But Mr Loewenstein is not concerned with the complex problems of the region, he is concerned only to blame one side. He places all the blame on Israel, for daring to exist and to defend itself from attack.

Mr Loewenstein has not a breath of criticism for the extremists of Hamas, who since they took control of the Palestinian Authority have plunged Gaza into civil war and sought to provoke war by abducting Israeli soldiers from Israeli territory. Does not Mr Loewenstein think that Hamas TV in Gaza broadcasting a three year old Palestinian child talking about Jews as “pig and apes” (and shown last week on SBS TV last week as an example of prejudice) bears at least part responsibility for the current impasse?

Mr Loewenstein clearly wants Israel simply to give up and succumb to the demands that it cease to exist. He wants not a two-state solution, but the dissolution of the Israeli state. He asks Israel literally to commit national suicide. Apart from this, he has no solution at all.

There is no compromise, no negotiation, no moving on, no imagination of a future in which two states can exist side by side, no criticism of Hamas, no desire to build partnerships between two peoples who have a right to normal lives. He demonstrates no empathy for Israeli points of view other than those who support his own extreme one.

Mr Loewenstein’s reading of the Bulletin article on the ALP and the Jewish community reeks of this extremism. The Jewish community, like many others, is divided in its party allegiances and perspective, and many discussions in the Australian Jewish News are testament to this robust debate. But Australian Jews appreciate that Liberal and Labor offer bipartisan support of Israel’s right to exist.

ALP policy is firmly in support of the existence of Israel within secure and defensible borders, alongside a Palestinian state. The ALP takes this position not because they are afraid of sinister “Jewish leaders”, but out of conviction. Has Mr Loewenstein ever heard of Dr Evatt or Bob Hawke? There are a few hyper-critical elements in both parties who share Loewenstein’s views, but they have no influence. The Australian Jewish community gets along with both sides of politics.

The Liberal Party’s views on terrorism obviously sit comfortably with most members of the Australian Jewish community, but the anti-terrorist legislation passed with bi-partisan support. Moreover, Rudd’s strong stance on Iran may not fit in with the Loewenstein-Pilger-Fisk world-view. Rudd commented in last weekend’s The Weekend Australian that he was concerned about Iran because of its consistent support for terrorist organizations, principally Hezbollah; its nuclear program; and the fact that it is led by Ahmadinejad, “whose bellicose statements about Israel are not just fundamentally repugnant but inherently destabilising”. Rudd added that the world community, including Australia, needed to “maximise every form of diplomatic leverage against the Iranians to bring them to the negotiating table. It’s very difficult to have business as usual with the Iranians when Mr Ahmadinejad refers blithely to wiping Israel off the map”.

It may be news to Mr Loewenstein, but like other Australians, Jews vote mainly in response to local issues, not international ones, and support parties as do others of their individual socio-economic status. It’s a pity that the Bulletin article didn’t mention Kevin Rudd’s recent announcements on funding for Jewish schools and on school security, which have been widely welcomed in the Jewish community, and not matched by the Liberals, at least as yet.

I’m disappointed at the mildness of the piece. I had hoped to be compared to Hitler, or at least Mussolini, for talking about Israeli misbehaviour in the occupied territories. Instead, we’re treated to an updated version of Leon Uris’ Exodus. Those noble Jews against the barbaric Arabs. Just why doesn’t the world understand us, despairs Kirsner? It must be rampant anti-Semitism. As a woman told me a few days ago at a public forum in which I participated, the world has always hated Jews and always will. Ipso facto, any criticism of Israel is unjustified and anti-Semitic.

Memo to Kirsner: it may feel liberating to portray the Israelis as peace-loving, but most of the world simply doesn’t believe you. Many of us intend to continue convincing the stragglers why the Jewish state remains a danger to the world.