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.

The rise of fascism

Professor Avraham Oz lectures at Israel’s Haifa University. After last week’s attack by an Israeli extremist that killed four Israeli Arabs, Oz sent the following email to his worldwide network:

I deplore the comparisons sometimes made between Israel’s treatment of its Palestinian dependents – whether citizens or conquered non-citizens in the occupied territories – and what happened in Germany during the Nazi period. There are no state agendas for extermination, and the cold blooded, sadist, evil mechanism which dominated Germany has no equivalents in Israel. Such comparisons miss the mark, and are certainly counterproductive.

The despicable act of terrorism perpetrated yesterday by a young Jewish deserter – who deserted his service, but not provisions and regalia; and, clad in his army uniform and using his army weapon blindly shot innocent Palestinians on a bus in the town of Shfara’am (Shfa’amer), is no different from any other terrorist act in London, New York, or Tel Aviv. The young terrorist was not a lunatic, as the settlers’ and right wing propaganda machine has already started to spread out. He was a brainwashed young man incited by cynical right wing terrorists, who pulled the trigger of a young troubled soul.

With one exception, though. Rather than a fanatic, or brainwashed member of a deprived section of society, marginalised by the state, he was a member of the dominant sector of Israeli society: its Jewish population. It was his innocent victims who belonged to a deprived minority, marginalised by the state.

In Germany of the 1930s, acts against the Jews and other marginalised minorities were directly inspired, or officially carried out by the state. This is not the case in Israel. I do not share the simplistic view as if the Israeli government has any direct complicity in yesterday’s abominable act of murder of innocent civilians, riding on a city bus.

But terrible events are composed of seemingly isolated factors, incidents or policies. Hundreds, no, thousands detailed factors constituting the Israeli national consciousness today add up to the brainwashing which led to this act of murder. A Parliament which passes, or prepares at this very minute, a host of racist acts, depriving the Arab population, and creating apartheid-like legislation, sends a message. A police force which treats differently Palestinian and Jewish demonstrators, sends a message. A media, spending tedious hours sympathising with the alleged grief of settlers about to be evacuated (from their wealthy villas built on stolen Palestinian property, confiscating Palestinian water resources, destroying their olive trees, and getting large sums of money as compensation for being evacuated), but goes on airing an Israeli soap opera while the Palestinians are being murdered on the bus, sends a message.

A chief of staff who states he is not troubled by targeted killings even if civilians are killed, sends a message. A university, 20% of whose students are Palestinians (and less than 1% faculty), which promotes racist conferences on “the demographic problem” (meaning too many Arab babies spoil the figures of a Jewish state), closes its university theatre for mounting plays in Arabic, would not officially recognise the Arab students representative body, denies Christian Arabs to place a Christmas tree in the main building of campus, or would rather pay a lawyer to prepare a legal defence why it is not obliged to put signs in Arabic on campus, rather than invest the money in putting those signs sends a message. An academic community the utmost majority of which doesn’t see itself obliged to take a public stand, not even those who, well conversed with fashionable jargon, publish “progressive” academic stuff to impress their colleagues abroad, sends a message.

A group of law professors, who refrained from petitioning when Palestinians were killed, injured, or denied basic rights, but suddenly become aware of human rights when Jewish minors of the settlers persuasion, who break the law are put in jail, sends a message. Theatre managers who would produce mainly commercial theatre for the consumption of the masses, but will not recognise cultural resources or conflicts related to the society they operate in, send a message. A Mini-Stress of Education and Culture who vetoes a school program about multiculturalism, since its bibliography included, among many others, entries by Edward Said and MK Dr Azmi Bishara, and who would create havoc if poems by Mahmoud Darwish were offered as part of the curriculum, but would have the “legacy” of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians promoted by former Minister Ze’evi thoroughly studied, and have the Israeli flag put in any classroom, sends a message. A Minister of Finance who, beside ruining the social fabric of Israeli society by favouring the rich and famous, and obviously the Jewish sector to the Arab minorities, openly supports the lawbreaking settlers and votes for the postponement of the Gaza pullout, sends a message.

Murderous and hooliganic settlers, and their rabbinical supporters calling the soldiers to refuse evacuating the few settlements about to be evacuated, who coined the battle cry “A Jew does not drive out a Jew,” implying that a Jew is most welcome to drive out anyone who is not a Jew, and now deny responsibility for creating that shooting monster, send a message. A government building a wall of hatred in the middle of Palestinian villages and towns, making the daily life of their inhabitants misery; which still endorses the policy of targeted killings, and house demolishing, and destruction of villages, towards the Palestinians, while manifesting leniency towards lawbreaking settlers and their supporters; and above all, does not dismantle the illegal settlement but rather divert a fortune for building more settlements in the occupied territories, sends a message.

A Prime Minister who is about to evacuate 8000 settlers, while massively building more houses on the West Bank settlements, sends a message. A nation living in the Middle East, which fosters orientalism only to the extent it is the most vulgar folklorist superficial tissue of popular culture, but ignores Muslim cultural values – or for that matter, the profound Jewish legacy created in negotiating with the Islam, sends a message. A culture whose major resources are directed to promote its exclusionist concerns, oblivious to the existence of the other among us; one which instead of writing the experience of its holocaust as a constitutive part of its humanistic consciousness, demeans its memory by waving it as an alibi for ignoring, or contempting the other, shuns all sympathy to the sorrows of the others, regards the Palestinian Naqba a dirty word, and denies its Armenian minority the proper commemoration of its genocide, lest it will diminish its own enshrined trauma, sends a message.

Over twenty years ago, I translated into the Hebrew C. P. Taylor’s play “Good,” which tells the story of a German professor of literature back in the 1930s who gradually finds a way to rationalise every act of the Nazi regime as compatible with humanistic values, until he becomes the personal assistant of Adolf Eichmann. When I heard the major Israeli actor who played the part at the Cameri Theatre of Tel Aviv, I shuddered to realise that the idiom I have instinctively chosen for the part was similar to my own. I think I, my colleagues at the academy and in the theatre, and all around Israeli society have a lot of shuddering to do today.

For better days,
A. Oz

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