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.

Sri Lanka and Israel should get a room

Sri Lanka and Israel use terror in similar ways: the “war on terror” they’re both fighting causes nothing other than mass destruction and hatred. Some victory.

The relationship is murky and ever-deepening. This headline is revealing:

S.L. Govt. uses Israel to soften American pressure

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Australian Jewish academics pray for peace (but urge no action)

The saga of holding Israel to account continues. Following the recent call for a campaign against apartheid Israel, played out in the media and online, comes this response by some of Australia’s best-known Jewish academics:

We write in response to the two letters published in The Australian on Monday 21 September by Anthony Loewenstein and Jake Lynch, supporting the call for a boycott of certain Israeli universities as part of a more general Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
In our view, the call for a boycott and the entire BDS concept is counterproductive, marginalises and disempowers the forces for moderation and compromise within Israel, and reinforces the position of the rejectionists on both sides.
It is simply incorrect for Loewenstein to state that Palestinians “overwhelmingly” support the BDS strategy. The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, for example, has been careful not to adopt a position on BDS because of its potential adverse consequences for Palestinian workers.
If people want peace with justice for BOTH the Palestinians and Israelis, then positive measures based on an understanding of the narratives of both peoples are needed. These include co-operative ventures of the kind that currently exist between the Israeli and Palestinian Trade Union movements, an end to all racist incitement against Jews in Palestinian schools and media, stopping new settlements encroaching into the West Bank and the removal of the illegal hilltop settlements by the Israeli government, progressive removal of checkpoints (which is already happening), improving the freedom of movement of Palestinians in the West Bank and a return to negotiations.
The moral authority of movements like BDS is undermined by their very one-sidedness. They highlight the suffering of civilians on only one side of the conflict, to the exclusion of the suffering of civilians on the other side. This has been the approach of Lynch’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, which invariably promotes the ferociously anti-Israel views of people like Loewenstein and John Docker. Both of these commentators make no bones about their desire for Israel to cease to exist but have been conspicuously silent about the likely fate of the Jewish majority now living there if that were to happen. It is probably futile to hope that Lynch will take a more balanced approach when he organizes his Centre’s “peace research” conference for 2010.
For over 60 years international law has called for the existence of two states for two peoples. Israeli and Palestinian polling over a sustained period consistently indicates that this is also what a majority of Israelis and Palestinians want. The denial of self-determination and sovereignty to either people has no international legitimacy at all.
Inaccurate, polemical and emotive statements of the kind made by Loewenstein and Lynch merely serve to polarize people and create a climate of hate. As such, their statements are impediments to the cause of peace with justice which they purport to promote.
Associate Professor Suzanne Rutland, OAM, University of Sydney
Associate Professor Mark Baker, Monash University, Melbourne
Doctor Yoke Berry, University of Wollongong
Professor Allan Borowski, La Trobe University, Melbourne
Professor Andrew Markus, Monash University, Melbourne
Doctor Julie Kalman, The University of New South Wales

We write in response to the two letters published in The Australian on Monday 21 September by Anthony Loewenstein and Jake Lynch, supporting the call for a boycott of certain Israeli universities as part of a more general Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

In our view, the call for a boycott and the entire BDS concept is counterproductive, marginalises and disempowers the forces for moderation and compromise within Israel, and reinforces the position of the rejectionists on both sides.

It is simply incorrect for Loewenstein to state that Palestinians “overwhelmingly” support the BDS strategy. The Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions, for example, has been careful not to adopt a position on BDS because of its potential adverse consequences for Palestinian workers.

If people want peace with justice for BOTH the Palestinians and Israelis, then positive measures based on an understanding of the narratives of both peoples are needed. These include co-operative ventures of the kind that currently exist between the Israeli and Palestinian Trade Union movements, an end to all racist incitement against Jews in Palestinian schools and media, stopping new settlements encroaching into the West Bank and the removal of the illegal hilltop settlements by the Israeli government, progressive removal of checkpoints (which is already happening), improving the freedom of movement of Palestinians in the West Bank and a return to negotiations.

The moral authority of movements like BDS is undermined by their very one-sidedness. They highlight the suffering of civilians on only one side of the conflict, to the exclusion of the suffering of civilians on the other side. This has been the approach of Lynch’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, which invariably promotes the ferociously anti-Israel views of people like Loewenstein and John Docker. Both of these commentators make no bones about their desire for Israel to cease to exist but have been conspicuously silent about the likely fate of the Jewish majority now living there if that were to happen. It is probably futile to hope that Lynch will take a more balanced approach when he organizes his Centre’s “peace research” conference for 2010.

For over 60 years international law has called for the existence of two states for two peoples. Israeli and Palestinian polling over a sustained period consistently indicates that this is also what a majority of Israelis and Palestinians want. The denial of self-determination and sovereignty to either people has no international legitimacy at all.

Inaccurate, polemical and emotive statements of the kind made by Loewenstein and Lynch merely serve to polarize people and create a climate of hate. As such, their statements are impediments to the cause of peace with justice which they purport to promote.

Associate Professor Suzanne Rutland, OAM, University of Sydney

Associate Professor Mark Baker, Monash University, Melbourne

Doctor Yoke Berry, University of Wollongong

Professor Allan Borowski, La Trobe University, Melbourne

Professor Andrew Markus, Monash University, Melbourne

Doctor Julie Kalman, The University of New South Wales

I’ve written many times before about this spurious call for “balance” between Israel and the Palestinians, as if one isn’t under occupation (a point conveniently ignored by these “experts”). The solution proposed by those above is essentially to do nothing and hope and pray that Israel will come to its senses, end the occupation and allow a Palestinian state. How’s that theory worked out for them? It’s a call to do nothing and hope for the best.

Outside pressure is the only way for Israel to recognise that its behaviour is both illegal and immoral. I care deeply for Israeli Jews in Israel but they are living like kings compared to those in the West Bank and Gaza.

If this is the best Jewish academia can do, let them come out strongly and openly to condemn Israeli occupation. But they can’t and they won’t. For them, Zionism remains a romantic ideal. Reality is too uncomfortable, especially when viewing the Holy Land from Australia. They refuse to acknowledge what Israel has become with their backing and blind support.

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Sri Lanka attempts to talk about joy instead of death

I reported in February the Galle Literary Festival in Sri Lanka and its apparent attempt to white-wash or ignore completely the brutal civil war then taking place in the country.

Now, as the government continues to imprison hundreds of thousands of Tamils, those wily cultural ambassadors are back at it:

Sri Lanka will host the second Galle Film Festival from December 2-6 in the eponymous host town.
GFF is presented in association with the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Tourism and will open with Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundera’s “Ahasin Wetei,” which was in competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival. GFF is a non-competitive festival and hence won’t include a jury.
In addition to promoting tourism and film opportunites in the country, GFF’s main focus will be on Sri Lankan and South Asian cinema with participating films including, among others, India’s “Firaaq” from actress and director Nandita Das. Further programming details are being finalized.
As part of its schedule of fundraisers, event galas and workshops, GFF will include “Shooting For Change” which will include documentaries designed to inspire social change. Also featured will be eight short films produced in August during a 10-day film camp for children, hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka and run by American acting coach Constance Tillotsonm with Sri Lankan directors Anoma Rajakaruna and Kasinathar Gnanadas. The 40 participating children came from post-war Sri Lanka’s different ethnic backgrounds.

Sri Lanka will host the second Galle Film Festival from December 2-6 in the eponymous host town.

GFF is presented in association with the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Tourism and will open with Sri Lankan director Vimukthi Jayasundera’s “Ahasin Wetei,” which was in competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival. GFF is a non-competitive festival and hence won’t include a jury.

In addition to promoting tourism and film opportunites in the country, GFF’s main focus will be on Sri Lankan and South Asian cinema with participating films including, among others, India’s “Firaaq” from actress and director Nandita Das. Further programming details are being finalized.

As part of its schedule of fundraisers, event galas and workshops, GFF will include “Shooting For Change” which will include documentaries designed to inspire social change. Also featured will be eight short films produced in August during a 10-day film camp for children, hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka and run by American acting coach Constance Tillotsonm with Sri Lankan directors Anoma Rajakaruna and Kasinathar Gnanadas. The 40 participating children came from post-war Sri Lanka’s different ethnic backgrounds.

This is highly suspicious. Like Israel, Sri Lanka wants to be seen as a normal country that runs film festivals and literary events, while the world forgets its blatant crimes.

We will not.

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If a Rabbi can be a humanist, what about the rest of us?

American Rabbi Brant Rosen is an outspoken defender of Palestinian rights.

Here he is in the Chicago Tribune this week on the occasion of Judaism’s holy day:

On Sunday night, the Jewish community will begin our annual Yom Kippur fast.
The physical deprivation is a crucial element of the day, but as with many faith traditions, the fasting itself isn’t really the point. Going without food and water is, rather, a device, intended to sharpen our senses and lead to reflection.
This reflection is notably, pointedly, not a personal pursuit. All through the Yom Kippur prayers, we’re called to do “cheshbon nefesh,” a moral accounting, as a community: “We have sinned,” we pray. “Forgive us.”
But though the rituals are ancient, they’re never far removed from modern life. Between our prayers, American Jews are sure also to discuss the current events that touch our community most deeply: the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, President Barack Obama’s recent meetings with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the United Nations’ recent Goldstone Report, in which both Israel and the Hamas government are accused of war crimes. To my great sorrow, however, many in the Jewish community have already rejected the latter out of hand.
Rather than jointly consider Israel’s acts in Gaza, carry out real cheshbon nefesh, and accept our communal responsibility, it has proven easier for many of us to employ communal defense mechanisms, and insist that in this particular case, there’s no need for reflection.

On Sunday night, the Jewish community will begin our annual Yom Kippur fast.

The physical deprivation is a crucial element of the day, but as with many faith traditions, the fasting itself isn’t really the point. Going without food and water is, rather, a device, intended to sharpen our senses and lead to reflection.

This reflection is notably, pointedly, not a personal pursuit. All through the Yom Kippur prayers, we’re called to do “cheshbon nefesh,” a moral accounting, as a community: “We have sinned,” we pray. “Forgive us.”

But though the rituals are ancient, they’re never far removed from modern life. Between our prayers, American Jews are sure also to discuss the current events that touch our community most deeply: the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace, President Barack Obama’s recent meetings with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and the United Nations’ recent Goldstone Report, in which both Israel and the Hamas government are accused of war crimes. To my great sorrow, however, many in the Jewish community have already rejected the latter out of hand.

Rather than jointly consider Israel’s acts in Gaza, carry out real cheshbon nefesh, and accept our communal responsibility, it has proven easier for many of us to employ communal defense mechanisms, and insist that in this particular case, there’s no need for reflection.

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Moving from a Jewish state to fascism in a few steps

A headline in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper:

Israel is teetering toward theocracy, with the rise of the Haredim

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Helping start World War III

Discussion in America about a military strike by Israel against Iran has moved from “if” to “when”.

Fox News continues the charge:

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True justice over Gaza won’t happen on its own

Last week America told the world that the UN Gaza report was terribly unfair to Israel and should essentially be ignored.

This week, in yet another sign of Washington’s “seriousness” over Middle East peace, we have this:

The United States called on its close ally Israel on Tuesday to conduct credible investigations into allegations of war crimes committed by its forces in Gaza, saying it would help the Middle East peace process.

Michael Posner, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, said that Hamas leaders also had a responsibility to investigate crimes and to end what he called its targeting of civilians and use of Palestinian civilians as human shields in the strip.

The UN Human Rights Council was holding a one-day debate on a recent report by Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist and former U.N. war crimes prosecutor.
His panel found the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian militants committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during their December-January war. Israel did not cooperate with the UN inquiry and has rejected the report as biased.
“We encourage Israel to utilize appropriate domestic [judicial] review and meaningful accountability mechanisms to investigate and follow-up on credible allegations,” Posner said in a speech to the Geneva forum.
“If undertaken properly and fairly, these reviews can serve as important confidence-building measures that will support the larger essential objective which is a shared quest for justice and lasting peace,” he said.
The United States joined the Council, set up three years ago, for the first time earlier this year.
Posner reiterated Washington’s view that the Council paid “grossly disproportionate attention” to Israel, but said that the U.S. delegation was ready to engage in balanced debate.
The UN Human Rights Council was holding a one-day debate on a recent report by Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist and former U.N. war crimes prosecutor.

His panel found the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian militants committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during their December-January war. Israel did not cooperate with the UN inquiry and has rejected the report as biased.

“We encourage Israel to utilize appropriate domestic [judicial] review and meaningful accountability mechanisms to investigate and follow-up on credible allegations,” Posner said in a speech to the Geneva forum.

“If undertaken properly and fairly, these reviews can serve as important confidence-building measures that will support the larger essential objective which is a shared quest for justice and lasting peace,” he said.

The United States joined the Council, set up three years ago, for the first time earlier this year. Posner reiterated Washington’s view that the Council paid “grossly disproportionate attention” to Israel, but said that the U.S. delegation was ready to engage in balanced debate.

Goldstone himself outlined the reasons why it’s vital the international community holds guilty parties to account:

Earlier, Goldstone said a lack of accountability for war crimes committed in the Middle East was undermining any hope for peace in the region.

“A culture of impunity in the region has existed for too long,” Goldstone, a former UN war crimes prosecutor, told the UN Human Rights Council.

“The lack of accountability for war crimes and possible war crimes against humanity has reached a crisis point; the ongoing lack of justice is undermining any hope for a successful peace process and reinforcing an environment that fosters violence.”

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Of course Israel should attack Iran and soon

This is mainstream American news television, a discussion about how Iran should be bombed, when it should happen, if Israel should be assisted and if Israel should assassinate Iranian leaders to bring regime change. Can you imagine the outcry if Iranian television had the same kind of program, discussing the ways in which Israeli leaders should be murdered and how Israel should be bombed? Shameful:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

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The Palestinians should tell their 1948 story

A new book, Rosemarie M. Esber’s Under the Cover of War: The Zionist Expulsion of the Palestinians, presents 1948 history as it really happened as opposed to how Zionists would like to white-wash events:

During this civil war period, Esber writes, “Zionist Jewish military organizations forced more than 400,000 Palestinian Arab inhabitants from their homes in about 225 villages, towns and cities in Palestine.” That comprises approximately half of the total number of Palestinians made refugees during the creation of the State of Israel, as well as half of the depopulated Palestinian cities and villages, the latter largely destroyed as part of the systematic campaign to erase Palestinian society.
Israel’s official narrative has long held that the “refugee problem” was the result of a war sparked in the wake of Israel’s 14 May 1948 “declaration of independence” on the eve of the British withdrawal, and what Israel describes as an Arab invasion designed to extinguish the nascent state. The implication of this claim is that had the Arab states not invaded on 15 May, Palestinians might not have become refugees. But given the sheer scale of the expulsions prior to May 1948, the Arab intervention might more accurately be described as a long overdue and ineffectual attempt to halt a well-planned campaign of ethnic cleansing that had been proceeding unchecked for months.

During the civil war period [early 1948], Esber writes, “Zionist Jewish military organizations forced more than 400,000 Palestinian Arab inhabitants from their homes in about 225 villages, towns and cities in Palestine.” That comprises approximately half of the total number of Palestinians made refugees during the creation of the State of Israel, as well as half of the depopulated Palestinian cities and villages, the latter largely destroyed as part of the systematic campaign to erase Palestinian society.

Israel’s official narrative has long held that the “refugee problem” was the result of a war sparked in the wake of Israel’s 14 May 1948 “declaration of independence” on the eve of the British withdrawal, and what Israel describes as an Arab invasion designed to extinguish the nascent state. The implication of this claim is that had the Arab states not invaded on 15 May, Palestinians might not have become refugees. But given the sheer scale of the expulsions prior to May 1948, the Arab intervention might more accurately be described as a long overdue and ineffectual attempt to halt a well-planned campaign of ethnic cleansing that had been proceeding unchecked for months.

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If Israel calls itself a democracy it has to act like one

Following my letter in last week’s Australian supporting the targeted boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel, Labor MP Michael Danby responds:

Antony Loewenstein and Jake Lynch (The Australian, Letters blog, 22 September) criticise Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth for their opposition to the campaign for “boycott, disinvestment and sanctions” directed at Israel. But they fail to address the central issue pointed out by Mendes and Dyrenfurth – the hypocritical and one-sided nature of this campaign.

Sudan has killed at least 400,000 civilians in its genocidal war in Darfur. Russia killed about 40,000 people in its two brutal wars against Chechnya. Millions of people are suffering under dictatorships in Burma, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Syria and others. Protesters are being shot down in the streets in Tibet, East Turkistan and Iran.

Are Loewenstein and Lynch calling for academic, cultural or communications boycotts against these countries? No, they’re not. Only Israel is so uniquely evil that it merits such treatment. The Israel-Palestinian conflict, which over the past 20 years has caused approximately 8,000 deaths (a third of them Israelis), is apparently worse than Darfur and Chechnya, worse indeed than anything else in the world.

Loewenstein and Lynch’s attack on the Australian columnists do serve a useful purpose in drawing out their real purposes. Firstly the perversity of the Director of Sydney University’s “Peace” Institute, which backs boycotts of Israeli academics rather than enhancing peace between the parties, could now not be starker.

Loewenstein’s support for the elimination of Israel coded as support for a one state solution shows that he was trying to sucker the few hundred who signed his Independent Jewish Voices “two state declaration”. Either way no serious Australian policy maker takes seriously ideas of boycotting Israeli academics and universities.

Michael Danby MHR is Federal Member for Melbourne Ports

My original piece addresses many of the issues inherent in this letter. Always remember the first rule of dogmatic Zionism: change the subject, never talk about the occupation and ignore the gross human rights abuses in the occupied territories.

UPDATE: Here’s Jake Lynch’s response:

I picture apologists for Israel’s serial breaches of international law, like Michael Danby, huddling together in an overheated room somewhere, getting terribly excited when they feel they’ve hit upon a particularly convincing argument, and sallying forth into the real world, certain it’s going to prove persuasive, only to stumble over the one obvious point they forgot.
I’ll let him down gently, then. He may be amazed to learn that, when I was going around, persuading people to boycott South Africa in the 1980s, I was not wholly oblivious to the human rights abuses being endured by the people of Iraq, El Salvador and many others.
In the words of Naomi Klein, boycott is not a dogma: it’s a tactic. The reason for trying it on Israel is that it might work, which is why Danby and his ilk are getting so uptight about it.
Israel presently enjoys impunity for its crimes, which incentivises repetition. End the impunity through BDS and it becomes clear that carrying on the brutal and illegal occupation of Palestinian territory is not in Israel’s interests. That would be a first.

I picture apologists for Israel’s serial breaches of international law, like Michael Danby, huddling together in an overheated room somewhere, getting terribly excited when they feel they’ve hit upon a particularly convincing argument, and sallying forth into the real world, certain it’s going to prove persuasive, only to stumble over the one obvious point they forgot.

I’ll let him down gently, then. He may be amazed to learn that, when I was going around, persuading people to boycott South Africa in the 1980s, I was not wholly oblivious to the human rights abuses being endured by the people of Iraq, El Salvador and many others.

In the words of Naomi Klein, boycott is not a dogma: it’s a tactic. The reason for trying it on Israel is that it might work, which is why Danby and his ilk are getting so uptight about it.

Israel presently enjoys impunity for its crimes, which incentivises repetition. End the impunity through BDS and it becomes clear that carrying on the brutal and illegal occupation of Palestinian territory is not in Israel’s interests. That would be a first.

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The right to fight injustice in Palestine

Jewish Israeli academic Neve Gordon – who recently called for an academic boycott of Israel due to “apartheid” in the Palestinian territorieswrites:

A simple Google search with the words “Palestinian violence” yields over 86,000 pages, while a search with the words “Palestinian civil disobedience” generates only 47 pages.

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Fighting the resistance from a young age

Inside a Hamas summer camp in Gaza.

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