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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.
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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.
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ABC interview on BDS, Palestine and far-right love affair with Zionism

The ongoing blind establishment embrace of Israel and condemnation of BDS as akin to Nazi Germany shows no sign of abating in Australia.

Yesterday’s ABC Radio National Breakfast featured a story on the issue and included a brief interview with me explaining the growing alliances between the fascist right and Israel; a mutual hatred of Islam is joining these forces.

Note the comments by Zionist lobbyist Danny Lamm, President of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, who denies there is even an occupation of Palestinian lands and demands Palestinians be grateful for Israel bringing universities to the occupied Arabs. Such is warped Zionist “logic”:

4 comments ↪
  • Guest

    Yesterday, the current administration in Egypt killed a number of christains. Why is it there is no call for the stopping of this ethnic cleansing. Why no bds against Egyption businesses. No call for no contact with Egyption universities.

  • Mememe

    Uh… Maybe there are organizations and individuals calling for a boycott against the Egyptian Government. Why don't you search for them? If you're asking why Palestinian Civil Society and Palestinian Solidarity Groups boycott Israel and not Egypt, the answer is simple… it's because they are PALESTINIAN.

    I recommend you contact some Pro-Tibetan groups which are boycotting China and ask them the same question. ;)

  • Shingo

    Dr Danny Lamm's commments are equally dishonest.

    1. If the boycott of Israel is odious, how does he feel about the blockade of Gaza, which is far worse that any boytcott?

    2.What does he know about apartheid that Nelson Mandella and Desmond Tutu do not? There are published interviews that are part of the US Congressional record in which Ariel Sharon outlined his plans for establishing inland strips of Jewish settlements to break-up the contiguity of Arab population centers. See the table of contents: http://www.loc.gov/law/find/hearings/pdf/00139297

    The practice of creating Bantustans is, by definition, one of the constituent acts of the crime of apartheid. See the Human Rights Commission, Study Concerning the Question of Apartheid from the Point of View of International Penal Law, E/CN.4/1075, 15 February 1972, pp. 51 – 52.

    The blacks in South Africa were crowded into a handful of small Bantustans. They were established as "autonomous" nation states for South Africa's black ethnic groups to prevent them from living in areas expropriated by whites. Four of them became nominally independent states: Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei. The situation of the people living in refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank is completely analogous, with the caveat that the South Africans never erected security fences, walls, or remotely operated weapons systems in pillboxes surrounding their Bantustans.

    Second, apartheid is not a matter of taste or degree (a little discrimination not nice, a lot of discrimination apartheid). There are legal definitions, which do not require precise equivalence to the situation in apartheid South Africa. The relevant question is does Israel – in any part of the territory under its control – fit those definitions? You have not seriously addressed the actual legal arguments contained in the report, or cited any counter sources. Do you have an opinion on “the pillars of apartheid”, or are you only prepared to dismiss them in general terms because you don’t like the politics of ICAHD (or the HSRC, or the experts it consulted)?

    120 other nations adopted the definition of apartheid contained in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and 119 countries have subsequently ratified that definition, i.e. a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of these or similar acts committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime:
    *a) Murder;
    b) Extermination;
    (c) Enslavement;
    *(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
    *(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;
    *(f) Torture;
    *(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
    *(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.
    *(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
    *k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

    Apartheid is defined as an institutionalized form of racism in which states enact laws which function as the apparatus to commit inhuman acts for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them. The practice of apartheid is a crime under international law.

    3.His claim that the occupation will somehow end once a settlement is negotiated is an insult to people's intelligence. If Israel ever planned to withdraw from the OT, they would never have built the massive settlements that exist there today. His claim is as believable as the suggestion that the US invaded Iraq to being democracy to the region.

    4.His claim that the Palestinians have not “crated the mechanisms” to create a state and that the reason there is no state is that they don't want it is false. Over 100 countries already recognise the state of Palestine. Furthermore, the UN and the Quartet have already agreed that the PA have satisfied the requirements for statehood.

  • Shingo

    Eric Abetz's comments are so grossly dishonest as to border on infantile:

    1.BDS began as a Palestinian movement in resistance to occupation. Unlike the events in Germany in 1939, the Germans in Germany at the time were not occupied.

    2.His claim that the lesson of history teaches us that one thing leads to another. The boycott of South Africa did not lead to the persecution of white South Africans.

    3.There was n BDS movement against Gadaffi because there was no occupation or apartheid in Lybia. Mind you, it would be interesting to hear Abetz's thoughts on NATO stepping into Palestine on behalf of the Palestinians.

    4.Abetz's claim that because there are Jews associated with business that might be boycotted borders on pathetic. Such businesses are not forced to do business with Israel, they do so out of choice. Does he believe that Australian Jews should be granted immunity from Australian laws when they break them, in case the prosecution of these individuals would be anti Semitic?

    5.The fact that some racists might chose to associate with the BDS movement in an ad hominem. Israel itself after all, is an extremely racist state.