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.

Taking on the rabid

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Back in 2002, cartoonist Michael Leunig submitted this cartoon to the Age newspaper but was rejected by then editor Michael Gawenda. I thought the work was provocative, and probably offensive to many Jews, but nonetheless an important perspective on the Israel/Palestine conflict. After all, international law condemns Israel’s brutal occupation.

Leunig is currently embroiled in controversy surrounding his anti-war stance and critics who believe that questioning the “war on terror” is tantamount to treason. Long may he prosper.

Australian Jewry, as reported by the Australian, have little sympathy for Leunig, and accuse him of stirring up racial hatred. Journalist Cameron Stewart interviews Zionist lobbyists AIJAC and implies that this group is representative of the whole community.

It should be noted that Cameron recently travelled to Israel on a trip sponsored by AIJAC. Upon his return, he told the Australian Jewish News (January 6):

There is nothing like seeing and getting a better understanding of the geography of Israel and its borders. It took all of three minutes to fly [by helicopter] to the security border and I think it gives a very good example of the security issues that Israel faces. It was a really fascinating time to be there because there were so many changes. While we were there, there were lots of political defections. There was a suicide bombing in Netanya and some rocket attacks.”

Cameron sounded like a little kid, close to the military hardware and convinced that Israel’s “security” – rather than the Palestinians right to self-determination – was the key to the conflict. A number of other journalists joined Cameron, including reporters from the Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review, Courier-Mail, Herald Sun and Network Ten.

The Murdoch broadsheet today editorialises about the current Leunig controversy and seems to believe that the cartoonist has nobody to blame but himself. After all, the Age readership is of the “hard left”. In the Australian’s worldview, little more is needed to justify ridicule.

Leunig’s work is often controversial, sweet and innocent. Leunig has chosen to portray Israeli brutality against the Palestinians and many Zionists would rather see him fired from the Age for this “crime” alone.

UPDATE: Michael Leunig offers his perspective on “resisting the rise of fascism.”

11 comments ↪
  • Interesting that 'The Australian' takes the same approach to this issue as the RWDB on the blog, that is that Leunig deserves all he gets if he dares to step out of the so called 'mainstream'.

    This is relevant not because of Leunig being rightly pissed off because of the hoax, but how the 'mainstream' is defined. Leunig has not shyed away from offending 'left' groups like feminists before, but he is seen as way out by the right. Not mainstream but totally outside the 'view of the majority of Australians' and therefore deserving punishment.

    The fact that 'The Australian' describes 'The Age' as 'hard left' would be laughable if it did not come from supposedly a major Australian broadsheet newspaper.

  • John Ryan

    What would you expect the Australian to say its owned by a man who as hes got older he has got sillier,and a news organization that employs people like
    Ackerman,Bolt and the rest of the RWDB.

  • Edward Squire

    Where oh where are the defenders of free expression now?

  • John Ryan

    I full support a free press ect but a extreme right wing paper calling the AGE hard left is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

  • captain

    Leunig is only upset because the world's most dangerous antisemitic despot embraces his work. Despite the Nazification of Jews by Leunig, you don't see Jews rioting in the street or boycotting products.

  • Progressive_Atheist

    Leunig's cartoon is offensive to Nazis too.

  • It might interest you folks that in a case of life imitating art, the human rights group Jews against Genocide recently spray painted the Nazi slogan 'Arbeit Macht Frei' (Work Makes You Free) on a sign reading 'The Hope of Us All' at a degrading Israeli Army checkpoint in the Gaza Strip. Why? Not to simplistically equate Ramallah with Auschwitz, but to highlight what they saw as the "many disturbing parallels between the tactics used by the occupation (of Palestine by the Israelis) and those used by the Nazis".

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