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.

Battling over the facts

A fascinating interview between historian Norman Finkelstein and Israel’s former Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami. Such honest debates are rare on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

8 comments ↪
  • orang

    An essential read for those who are under the impression that the Pali's turned down peace offerings by Israel.

    Also interesting are the various little titbits of information, suach as,

    "Let's turn to an ancillary issue: the issue of torture. Now, the estimates are, up to 1994-1995, that Israel tortured — and I’m using the language of Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem — Israel has tortured tens of thousands of Palestinian detainees. Israel was the only country in the world, the only one, which had legalized torture from 1987 to 1999. The record on torture, on house demolitions and on targeted –"

    Mr Dershowitz we see you now.

  • edward squire

    That was a really good debate. Very civilised, very intelligent, and very reasonable. If only academics had a greater say in things. (Note: I don't classify Professor Dershowitz as an Academic – I classify him as merely an employee of a university.)

  • Addamo

    An excellent debate and very infomrative on all counts. I have kept this as a personal source of information.

    Shlomo Ben-Ami is a breath of fresh air and the most powerful representative Israel and Zionists could have. As Filkestein says during the debate, that if the Palestinians had Shlomo Ben-Ami to negotiate with, there woudl very likely be a peaceful settlement. What he also points out however, is that what Shlomo Ben-Ami has to say would be soundly rejected in the US, which is very sad.

  • rhross

    Ben-Ami sounds as a voice of reason from the other side until it gets to the issue of torture and State sanctioned terrorism against the Palestinian people … as Finklestein said, there is no justification for torture.

  • Addamo

    That's true RhRoss,

    But given that Ben-Ami defines himself as an ardent Zionist, I take my hat off to him for his preparedness to engage in a reasoned discussion and his restraint without reaching for the safety switch of inflamatory language about the Holocaust, the desire of Hamas to drive Israel into the sea and accusation of anti-Semitism.

    As I said before, what is most alarmign is Filkensteins observatino that if Ben-Ami's moderate position about Israeli withdrawl from the occupied territories were voiced by a Grentile, it would be labelled anti-Smitic by the ADL.

  • orang

    Yes but people like him are only "academics" until they can influence the folks back home to reject the US based zionist fanatics and seek a just peace with the Palestinians.

  • Leo Braun

    Without any doubt, such a vital debategenerated climate, has been auspicious for the Jew lesser brethren to have our say on the matter and to seek an amicable resolution. Concerning an early 20th century Zionist influx from the host of nations around the globe into the Middle East, with a sole purpose to invade the lands which for 1,300 years (or so) had been universally known as "Arabia". Yes indeed, Arab homelands. Even under the Ottoman (Turkish Empire) they were still known and called as "Arabia", and not "Turkey". Yet Zionists "justified" an unprovoked armed invasion of the Palestine with a claim that Palestine was their homeland, which they were only taking back, what is "rightfully" theirs!

    It's sort of how the Florida's inhabitants might feel for example if their thinly-populated, a non-industrial nation to face suddenly moving in Spaniards. Some with passports and visas along with others illegally sneaking in. Who to start terrorist attacks on the Floridians, like bombing major hotels full of people. Not mentioning armed, genocidal raids on the rural communities. Solely based on a claim that Florida is their homeland, which they have a right to it, so they are only taking back what is "rightfully" theirs. Nonetheless for some peculiar reason no one could figure-out why nobody in the entire world comes to Florida's aid?

    Whilst a major world nation (say Russia) does secretly give the Spaniards billions of dollars in financial aid and military assistance. Under such circumstances, wouldn't the rest of Americans to become mad as hell? Because no other nation in the world to stand-up for the Floridians, let alone helped them? Could such frustration with these nations for the lack in standing by, or even contrary to, be helping the invading party, get so furious that American might go after some of those treacherous rascals, as Floridians homes and lands were taken and their friends and family members were slaughtered? Could Floridians feel a need to take revenge?

    Well, in the Arab's eyes, Zionists in Palestine are like these Spaniards in "what if". Except for the fact that the Zionist zealots weren't even a second ethnic group in Canaan / Palestine! It is a fact that Spaniards occupied Florida before Anglos did, but that doesn't make Florida the Spanish homeland! Because Amerinds were there for a few thousand years before the Spaniards came there! Likewise Canaanites were in Palestine more than 4,000 years before the first Jews ever set foot there! Remember, it was originally named "Canaan". Which is not where Zionists originated, thus proving that they cannot honestly claim it as their "homeland"!

    By definition! There are both, the epistemological sense of the word and by historical (human) practice, only two conditions (criteria) that have been accepted as validating a claim of / to a "homeland", and one of those two conditions is (as the present case will show) very "iffy". So let's look at the history of Canaan / Palestine to see if there is any possible justification / validation for the Zionist claim to Palestine. Let's see if there is any way the Zionists could have been right, and the rest of the entire world has been so badly wrong for 1,300 years as to what people have a "rightful" claim to Palestine, and what people do not!

    First it is critical that we go over the meaning of the word "homeland". Since that is the word upon which the Zionists have based their "moral" claim to Palestine, for two reasons. Reason (1) it is (literally) impossible to "ratiocinate" (to think logically) accurately, let alone communicate with another person accurately, if the true meaning of every word used, is not correctly understood by both parties. And reason (2) the oldest and most often used tool of the Zionist propagandist-miasmais to "twist" the true meaning of the words they use in a such way that they can make a person believe in the end that white is black and vice versa.

    Needless to say that the Zionists have been propagandising an entire world with the word "homeland" for more than a century! "Homeland" is defined in the dictionary as: "(1): native land: Fatherland". There is a second, lesser definition that has to do with a geographical area that has been set aside by an invader-nation as a place where the indigenous natives can live together and can to a limited extent, run their own lives. Such as was it done by the British once upon a time for the native people in the Union of South Africa.

    "Native land" (as used in the definition of "homeland") can mean either the place where an individual was born or the place where a race of people, a nation, "was born": originated. And the use of the word "fatherland" in that definition of "homeland" shows that the second definition of "native land" is the one that applies to "homeland". Ethnic / racial "homeland" is the geographical area where said group originated! The second (and far less compelling) traditional criterion for a claim to some specific "homeland" is the successful armed defeat of the existing inhabitants and the takeover of what had been their land.

    The reason this "claim" is so "iffy" is a self-evident logic that if, that is a valid "claim", then any subsequent nation that comes along and through conquest vanquishes a former conquerors, then the land under discussion is now indisputably the latest conqueror's "homeland", while the prior conqueror's political claim to / on that land has been invalidated, right? By their own standards! In the point of fact, starting with WWII, that "iffy" condition has been rejected (except in the case of the Zionists) by agreement by the major nations of the world. Witness the fact that neither Germany, Italy nor Japan was allowed to "keep" any of the lands they had conquered. In fact, they lost some!

    Now let's have a look at the Zionist's claim. What follows is necessarily very "sketchy". The history of Canaan / Palestine and the Jewish people is closely intertwined with that of the entire Middle East, and even a "just hit the high points" recitation of the history of the Middle East and the Jewish people's place in it, runs into many pages of data. The known (written) history of the Middle East extends back in time for more than 4,500 years! Compare that to the less than 500 years of Anglo history of America. And that history of the Middle East shows far more ethnic / cultural "ferment" than almost any other known place in the history of the world. There was almost constant migration, back and forth, with an occasional conquests, by various people.

    Apparently of all those peoples, the Hebrews were the worst. In fact, scholars say that the very word "Hebrew" was not a racial / ethnic denomination, but comes from an ancient Middle Eastern word, meaning "wanderers". Which was applied to any and all kind of people, regardless of race. Who lived a pronouncedly "vagabond" lifestyle! Synonymous with Jewanderthal species (taboo even to mention) who seemingly vanished even from history. If not for a core to evolve into Solomonic blood aristocracy. With its cradle found in Abyssinia, of the "almighty chosen" to rule the world by the "best" as a monarchy. Courtesy of the isolationist psychopaths induced interbreeding. A rife speculations of which, tainted the Jews as a whole. Who always faced collateral ravage fallout consequences.

  • Leo Braun

    Well, to keep this paper to a practical length, I will just "hit the high points". Though be forewarned that it will take you some time to digest it. Basically, after more than 2,500 known years of the Canaanites living peacefully by themselves (and even earlier 2,000 years lacked a written history), the Zionist henchmen invaded Canaan and conquered them. It wasn't easy, as it took a century or two to get the "conquering" done (above all by the proxies for Elders of Zion). Even then, modern historians contend that the Zionist "conquest" of Canaan / Palestine was accomplished in part through the Jews intermarrying with the indigenous Canaanites in combination with a virtually simultaneous decline of the Egyptian, Hittite and Sumerian empires … than it was through the Zionist military might.

    More by default than by conquest. While being autonomous, the Canaanites had been under the suzerainty of the Egyptian empire for around a thousand years. Other nations – such as the Amorites, Hittites, and Hurrians – invaded Canaan regularly, but the Egyptians always defeated each invader, while Canaanites absorbed the survivors. "Shortly after 1000 BC" the Israelites (as the Hebrews now called themselves) under King David, finally defeated the Philistines and took control of the recently re-named "Palestine". Upon the death of King Solomon (David's son and heir) in 922 BC, the internal dissensions led to the "splitting" of Palestine in two, with the northern part retaining the name "Israel", while the southern part which encompassed a lousy 775 sq miles, took the name of "Judah" (big deal 775 sq miles is no "nation", that's a community).

    So such a "nation" of Israel lasted for less than 78 years (from "after 1000 BC" to 922 BC). Big deal! An awful lot of individuals live longer than that! Whereas in a proof of the fact that the "nation" of Israel which controlled all of "Palestine", no longer existed after it split in two, 20th century historians unequivocably state that the next couple of centuries became a "series of wars between petty states". As named Israel, Judah, Moab, Edom, and Damascus entities represented some of those "petty states" (means "minor, subordinate: having little or no importance or significance"). Their statement also shows that at least two of the "nations" that the original Israel conquered (Moab and Edom) had won back their independence from Israel! The "great nation" that ruled the entire area of greater Palestine was no more and never to be seen on the world stage again for some 3,000 years!

    Less than 78 years in a more than 6,500-year history of the Middle East is merely a passing "blip" that isn't even discernible in the history of the world! It most certainly does not establish an eternal "claim" on anything! In 734 BC "little" – petty – Israel was conquered by Assyria (even "pettier" Judah still claimed "independence" but it paid tribute to the Assyrians regularly as the price for being able to claim the fiction of "independence"). Then in 539 BC, Judah unarguably fell to Babylonia along with all the others. From 539 BC on, Palestine was under the continuous domination of one empire after another: the Persian Empire in 539 BC, the Greek Empire in 333 BC, the Roman Empire in 63 BC, the Muslim (Arab) Empire in 638 AD, and the Ottoman (Turk) Empire from 1517 AD to 1917 AD, when they lost it (back) to the Arabs during WWI.

    The Arabs controlled the area for 879 years: far longer than any other group, including the Romans. Most certainly longer (more than 11 times as long) than the Jews, who controlled it (and themselves) for a piddling less than 78 years! Some "empire"! So the Zionists have no legitimate claim to Palestine in their own right. No claim of the exclusive "homeland" for Jews, no claim of "domination", nothing! Their 20th century invasion and takeover of Palestine from the Arabs (via British proxy) was nothing but a pure, unprovoked, unjustifiable, naked aggression!

    By the dictionary definition of "homeland", Palestine was never the homeland of the Jewish people, Zionist or otherwise. And by 20th century standards, it still is not the Zionist's "homeland"! Mind you that in 1910, new Oxford University graduate Thomas Edward Lawrence (later to be famed as "Lawrence of Arabia") joined British Museum archaeological expedition to the southern Turkey, after which he travelled to the Sinai Desert, where he lived with the Arab nomads, learning their language, ways and customs and gaining their deep friendship and respect in the process (Arabs do not give their friendship and respect lightly).

    At the outbreak of WWI in 1914, Jew Lawrence joined the British Military Intelligence in Cairo, Egypt. Under orders from the British Government and accompanied by a British relief column, he travelled to the Hejaz (a stretch of desert on the Red Sea coast) to give Prince Faisal the message. Which said that in return for the Arab tribe's help in driving the Turks out of Arabia, the British government would promise them the control of their own lands. Likewise Lawrence then visited all the Arab tribes, taking to them the same message.

    In January 1916, in letters exchanged between the British government and Hussein Ibn Ali, Grand Sharif of Mecca, the British government promised that, in return for the Arab's help in driving the Turks out of Arabia, the British government would guarantee the independence of all Arab lands south of a line roughly corresponding to the northern borders of present-day Syria and Iraq (south of present day Turkey).

    The Arabs, true to the Jew word, fought valiantly (and effectively). What the Arabs didn't know was that the Elders of Zion were already carrying out plans, initiated a quarter of a century earlier … for taking over Palestine in the 20th century! When Zionists started infiltrating Palestine in the 20th century, they did so walking over the bodies of dead Arabs who had freed Arabia from the Ottoman control! Nobody did anything to stop them! There is no record or evidence of Zionists ever fighting (and risking death) to drive the Turks out of Palestine. Courtesy of the Jew Lawrence executed Zion Brit's plot, culminating in a stab in the back.

    No wonder for patriotic Arabs to abhor British and American regimes. Especially in reflection on May 1916 act of betrayal, just four months after British government sent Hussein Ibn Ali such a notably signed letter, which guaranteed Arab's independence, if they would help fight the Turks … treacherous Britain and France (Elders of Zion) signed moreover Sykes-Picot agreement. In which, it was agreed that most of the Turkey-occupied Arab lands would be split between Britain and France. With a France getting today's Syria and Lebanon, while Britain were getting today's Palestine and Jordan!

    That didn't end (Elders of Zion) British betrayal of Arabs as on November 2nd, 1917, just 22 months after Britain's signed "guarantee" to Hussein Ibn Ali, another British bureaucrat Arthur James sent a letter to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild (yes, of the Rothschild's clan), Lord of the realm, billionaire Jew banker, member of Parliament and radical Zionist bankroller, which said in part: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object" (the British shortly after that letter rewarded Jew James by making him a Lord Balfour of the realm).