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.

Getting tough over "evil"

I recently commented that Jews are sometimes their own worst enemies when attempting to blindly support Israel, spewing vitriol in an attempt to defend the indefensible. We now have another specimen for examination.

Andrew Klavan is a crime novelist. His recent piece in the LA Times is a classic piece of kicking an own-goal style of writing. Titled “Why God chose the Jews”, enjoy this sample of Klavan’s prose:

“There is one good thing about anti-Semitism: It lets you know who the bad guys are. Right, left, black, white, freak or straight, the minute someone starts rattling on about the evil Jews, you know your train just pulled into Slimeball Station.

“All bigotry is wrong, of course, but there’s something about this particular form of prejudice that is weirdly reliable as a sign of deeper wickedness. Perhaps it’s because the Jews contributed so much to humanity’s moral code that to hate them as a race is to despise the restraints of morality itself

“Whatever the reason, true, virulent anti-Semitism is such a good indicator of the presence of evil that I’m tempted to believe that when God made the Jews his chosen people, this is what he chose them for: to be a sort of Villainy Early Detection System for everyone else.

“Unfortunately, in his infinite love for his creation, I suspect the Big Guy may have overestimated our intelligence. Maybe he thought that after Hitler we’d just, you know, like, get it. Instead, we still see apparently intelligent people appeasing, making excuses for and even embracing the sorts of stinkers who ought to set off the Big Alarm.”

Is that clear? There are evil people everywhere, hiding in Iran and Venezuela and South America, determined to destroy Jews and Israel. Any criticism of Israel is therefore a sign of this evil and must be eradicated (ideally by military force.) Furthermore, Jews are the moral inspiration for the world, “chosen” by God for a special purpose, namely to warn others about, er, evil.

Does the boy who cried wolf sound familiar?

63 comments ↪
  • RHRoss

    addamoit's just another distraction. ignore him/her. There is never any reasoned argument or evidence. It's just a ploy to get people talking about nothing.

  • Wombat

    Excellent point RH,I did read Fisks article, and it was an interesting piece.I think there's much truth to the saying, you become what you hate. It's understandable that Israeli's are so fervent about their security and autonomy, but until one accepts responsibility for their actions, they are destined to repeat the mistakes and suffer the consequences.When it comes to non Jews, the subject of Israel is aking to walking on cracked eggs. If you don't want to be on the receiving end of a personal attack, the only safe option is to declare unconditional support for Israel, as if it were some secret password for receiving acceptance.

  • Ibrahamav

    Quit spreading the addamo. Your beginning to sound like your commuting between eddie's ass and AL's ass.The Palestinians didn't have their land taken from them. Most Arab leaders were more than happy to sell their land (And complain afterwards) There was a war, the Palestinians lost. Too bad for them.

  • Ibrahamav

    THIEVES GET NO SYMPATHY by Max Singer We should not be surprised when Europeans, among others, refuse to be moved by Israel's complaints about Palestinian terror and have no patience for arguments about the need for defensible borders. The reason, though straightforward, goes almost unnoticed: Israel talks about its needs; while Palestinians talk about their rights. This is not to say that Europeans and other well-meaning people think it is right to pummel Israel with suicide bombings – although they have become so fed up that they do not visibly object. Even if they agree, on paper, that terror should stop, Israel's fundamental case is seen as a series of excuses to keep land it stole from the Palestinians. Palestinians talk about justice and Israelis talk about violation of agreements. So long as the dispute with Palestinians is seen as a fight between a thief and his victim, a fight about when "Palestinian land" will be returned to its rightful owner, Israel's talk of its security needs will fall on deaf ears. In emotional terms, thieves don't have rights, even to security. How could we expect support for a "thief's" assertion that the victim shouldn't use illegal means to recover his land, that he, the "thief," needs stolen property to protect his security, or that consideration should be given to the citizens the usurper has settled on the stolen land? Our demand for "defensible borders," for example, is heard as "Israel needs to keep Palestinian land in order to defend itself." This doesn't grab Europeans who don't even worry much about being able to defend themselves, much less Israel. The Palestinians, by contrast, are heard as saying, "we are a proud and ancient people; our land was stolen by colonialist foreigners, and we will fight until we get it back." The reply that they are fighting too dirty, or that Israel needs the land to protect its security, doesn't carry much emotional weight. Of course European and other opinion and policy is also affected by other factors besides the basic moral sense of the citizens, but the great wave of anti-Israel feeling that has been built on this moral misjudgment has a momentum which must be countered to make a change in policy possible. Israel needs to concentrate on making Europeans and others understand that the Palestinians are not victims of a theft, but rather defeated litigants who refuse to accept the authoritative decisions made against them. Entrenched anti-Israel sentiment will not be moved until we state that we are a proud and ancient people; that the disputed land is our homeland, and was ours historically; that the land was assigned to us by the League of Nations, and we will fight to protect our country. We must distinguish between our willingness to give up part of our homeland – short of making it indefensible – for the sake of peace, and relinquishing "stolen" territory. Further, we should be pointing out that we allow Arabs to live as full citizens on the land that we control while the Arabs expel Jews from any land they acquire, even though there is no other Jewish land and there are millions of miles of other Arab land. Israel has to act as if it believes that its moral, legal and historical claims to the disputed territories are as good or better than the claims of the Palestinians, and that it is as passionate to protect its land they are to acquire it. Only then will the Europeans come to understand that "occupied Palestinian land" is instead disputed territory for which Israel has legal and moral claims that have been formally endorsed by the international community. THE DISPUTED land, we should remember, became available in 1920 when its former sovereign, the defeated Ottoman Empire, was removed. The League of Nations heard the dispute between the Jews, represented by the Balfour Declaration of Great Britain, and the Arabs living in the land, represented by other Arab countries. Aware that the Jews had ruled the land in ancient times, had no other homeland, and were displacing no existing state, the League decided that the Jewish people should be invited to settle the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as its homeland. The Arabs, including the Palestinians, never accepted this decision – which has never been rescinded. Some argue that the League of Nations decision was a "colonial" decision and should not stand against the right of self-determination. But the League decision was the binding legal authority in 1922 and all Jews who came to the land after that date to build a state came on the basis of that authority. And the many Arabs who moved to the land after 1922 came knowing that it had been legally designated as the future Jewish homeland. While this may not be the end of the story it is an essential beginning. Israel's rights are not perfect or exclusive, but they are certainly strong enough so that it does not come to the table as a "thief of Palestinian land." The Palestinians' claims may be strong enough to justify giving them some of the land they want. But since the Palestinians have never been rulers of the land, it could not have been stolen from them. Palestinians, therefore, are claimants, not the victims of theft. Their behavior should be judged as the acts of a claimant seeking land to which he thinks he is entitled, not as the acts of a dispossessed owner.

  • Wombat

    Christopher Hitchens made a swithc to the right long ago Neo. Not surprising seeing as most of your inforkmation is way out of date and irrelevant.How long you going to hapr onthe Nobel Prize thing anyway? Al Baradei got one recently and what he has to say makes a lie of Israel's assertions. Ooooooooooops.BTW. When are you going to start your own blog? The world is depseratly in needs of geniuses like you adn your message of peace.

  • RHRoss

    Max Singer's case for Israel's rights has no legal basis.There is little or no archeological evidence for the sort of ancient Israeli state about which the Bible speaks. But the Bible is of course no more than a collection of myths, stories and writings and has no legal basis in a court of law… in terms of content.But if one wished to pursue this argument and take into account Biblical writings, then clearly, the original owners were the Canaanites who were dispossessed and colonised by the Hebrews.given that those who were not slaughtered were enslaved, and one presumes continued to live on the land, there's a good chance that any non-Jews with historical links to this bit of the world, have Canaanite ancestry and therefore the 'greatest' right to the land.Needless to say such arguments carry little weight. On the same basis the Italians (Romans) have as much right to southern England and London (which they founded) as Jews have to Palestine and Jerusalem.But, at the end of the day, all of this is irrelevant. Any debate about Jewish rights is irrelevant. What was and might have been is irrelevant.The only relevance is this: a State of Israel was established on land which belonged to others, the Palestinians. The world now recognises that State, whilst illegal in creation, should exist.This means the Israelis and Palestinians have to share the land as fairly as possible. This means each should have a viable State. This means the occupation must end and all settlements beyond original borders of Israel must be given back to the Palestinians.This means the Palestinians must have complete control over their air, land, sea space and the same rights that Israelis expect to have in terms of defending themselves.It is called justice and it is about the here and now, not what may or may not have happened a few thousand years ago.

  • Wombat

    Excellent post RH,Let's not forget that if referenes to the Bible have any validity, then the Bible and Torah also speak about how the Jews blew it and that their claims to the land were forfeited more than 2000 years ago.

  • Ibrahamav

    Nowhere does it state that Israel's claim is forfeit. There is an enormous amount of archeological evidence for the sort of ancient Israeli state about which the Bible speaks. That you profess ignorance of such is just more proof of your ignorance.

  • Progressive Atheist

    The Bible is largely a collection of myths and fables. Most of the characters never existed. David and Solomon, for instance, almost certainly never existed, and the united monarchy of Judah and Israel never existed. There is no archaeological evidence for anything Solomon is supposed to have done. No constructions at Hazor, Gezer or Megiddo. No mines. No naval fleet. Not even the temple in Jerusalem. Jerusalem during the 10th century BC was only a Canaanite village.Jewish archaeologists talk about a "second temple period", but there was no first temple built, because Solomon almost certainly never existed. The wailing wall was not the site of the destroyed temple anyway. That is the remains of Hadrian's temple of Jupiter. Jewish so-called archaeology is mostly bunk, designed to feed a Zionist agenda. Since there was no temple at this site, there is nothing worth fighting over.Take heart. Scholarly opinion has it that Mohammed probably never existed either! Consequently, Mohammed never made a night jourmey to Jerusalem. Muslim so-called history is just as fabricated as Jewish so-called history.For what it's worth, Jesus never existed either.The pursuit of truth in these matters is of paramount importance. Once the fables and myths are seen for what they are, the reasons for fighting evaporate, and this should be a cause for celebration by all lovers of peace.

  • neoleftychick

    Progressive athiestJesus never existed, eh? I'll just go and get some popcorn before you begin your own crucifixion on this one. The ignorance of history that is the mark of the modern-day Left is very frightening.

  • Progressive Atheist

    <a href="http://www.jesusneverexisted.comhttp://www.jesusneverexisted.com<br />When you're finished with that site, I'll give you some more references.

  • neoleftychick

    I don't need your dodgy websites. I am more than sufficiently well educated on these matters to debate you off the top of my head if you think you are up to it.

  • Progressive Atheist

    The first gospel written was Mark. It can be dated to AD 70 at the earliest but, from internal clues, more probably to about AD 90.The very earliest Christian writings come from Paul and others. The writings of these earliest Christians, however, paint a dramatically different picture of Jesus from the Jesus of the later gospels.The early Christians corroborate virtually nothing that we have previously taken for granted from the gospels!None of the very first Christians know anything about an annunciation to Mary by the angel Gabriel, a virgin birth, star of Bethlehem, wise men, Herod, slaughter of the innocents or the flight into Egypt. In fact they know nothing at all of a Mary, Joseph, Bethlehem or Nazareth. They know of no disciples, friends or earthly enemies nor of any baptism by John in the Jordan. They don’t mention or quote any teachings, parables or sermons or morals; in fact they attribute no ethical instruction to the earthly Jesus at all.Nor do they seem to know of any healings of the blind or lame or lepers; neither do they mention any of Jesus’ especially spectacular miracles like bringing the dead to life, changing water to wine, feeding five thousand, stilling the storm or walking on water.They know of no temptation in the wilderness or dialogue with the Devil, no exorcisms nor evil spirits falling down in fear before Jesus.The early Christians again know nothing of the times, places or circumstances of the crucifixion. They mention nothing of Gethsemane, no betrayal by Judas (they merely say Jesus ‘was delivered up’ for crucifixion), no denial by Peter or the disciples, no trials, no scourging, no judgement by Pilate, no Roman soldiers, no Golgotha or vigil at the cross, no last words – nothing! Paul appears to have believed that after three days Jesus ascended directly to heaven without any intervening time on earth, and he certainly doesn’t cite any empty tomb. If the very first Christians knew so little about Jesus, what possible grounds do we have for believing he ever existed?Don't mention Josephus. The authenticity of the Josephus passage has been under suspicion for centuries. In light of modern research, it must be dismissed as a clumsy Christian forgery inserted into Josephus’s work.Another Jewish historian of the same era, Justus of Tiberias, made no mention of Jesus whatever and yet he, like Josephus, came from Galilee.You need contemporary historians to build your case, but what have you got? Nothing, only a forgery.I don't need your dodgy websites.How do you know it's dodgy if you won't even look at it? Hmm? Nice try. Jesus never existed. Get over it.I am more than sufficiently well educated on these matters to debate you off the top of my head if you think you are up to it.Prove it!