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.

Land grab

So much for Israel’s “security” fence being about security:

The main consideration behind the route for “numerous segments” of the separation fence was settlement expansion, according to a report published Tuesday by the human rights groups B’Tselem and Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights. 

The report also concludes that in most of the cases in which the fence route was pushed eastward from the Green Line, this was done to include settlements within the fence and not out of security considerations – the main reason the state gives for the route of the fence in most areas and the main reason accepted by the courts. 

Meanwhile, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offers the best comment of the week about Iran’s leader:

“Ahmadinejad is an anti-Semite, a racist, and an Israel-hater, but there’s no point in holding a competition of inflammatory statements with him.”

38 comments ↪
  • Chris

    It appears that the main reason is securuty. Not just for those Israeli citizens who live behind the 1949 temporary truce lines, but also those citizens who choose to live in israeli administred lands which have not yet been annexed into Israel formally.

  • edward squire

    Of course it's about security! Especially the security of racist fundamentalist settlers and "their" land.

  • Addamo

    It doesn't appear to be security at all. Otherwise, teh fence would respect recognised boundaries.

  • Chris

    There are no rcognized borders except with Lebabnon, Egypt and Jordan. Therefore, there is no need to respect the former temporary truce lines of 1949. Nor does the UN require Israel to do so.

    So security appears to be the overriding concern.

  • Addamo

    The fence goes beyong the 1949 borders and pre 1967 borders.

    The fence has already been demed to be illegal under international law and it does indeed eat further into existing paelstinain land, not to mentino that it barricades off most of the fresh water supplies in teh region.

    There can be no doubt that the wall is a blatant attapt to ganer more territory, while further encroaching on Palestinian land and seekeing to further isolate Pelstinian enclaves.

  • Chris

    Those are not borders. They are armistice lines which are temporary. Even the UN recognized that those lines were not going to be Israel's borders.

    The fence (the vast majority of border material is fence, not wall) is a blatant attempt to restrain terrorists from killing Israel's citizens.

  • captain

    Where is the proof that it was not Jewish/Israeli land? Israel has only pulled out of lands for pragmatic reasons. Where is the proof of palestinian ownership?

    But what is really funny is the way Edward refers to "settlers" as racist and fundamentalist. Hopefully that is not creaping into your rhetoric Edward!! Of course for many Muslims the entire land of Israel is settled. This is certainly the view of the bigotted, racist and murderous organisation, Hamas.

  • edward squire

    Chris

    Those are not borders.

    You're right Chris. Israel has no Nothern border. Does that mean it just pours out across the whole of the occupied territories as being all Israel, or does that mean the occupied territories pour into Israel so that there is effectively no Israel at all – only occupied territories? The latter, of course. A country that is, as you say, formally without a border isn't really a fully-fledged country. It's all 'contested area' – the whole lot.

  • Addamo

    That's a very good point Edward.

    Non existent borders are not just a 1 way issue. if the border is not defined by Israel, or if Isael refuses to aknowledge such borders it means that all of Israel becomes an extension of disputed terriroty.

  • Chris

    It just means that there is no formal recognized border.

    Hamas believes Israel doesn't exist at all.

    But that is a reflection of the bias in Hamas, not a reflection of reality.

    The Syrian border is still not settled. Both sides acknowledge it. But until Syria comes to the table without its baggage, the border may never be settled.

  • Addamo

    Hams stated recently that they are prepared to recognise israel as soon as Israel recognised the 1948 borders, which are the only leghalyl recognised borders.

    Israel has refuised to recognise Palestinine. Doe sthat make them just as bad as hammas? probably.

  • Chris

    Israel has no need to listen to anyone's preconditions to recognize a country recognized by the UN.

    There has never been a nation named palestine. There is no nation named palestine in existance today. The UN does not recognize a nation named palestine. Does that make the UN as bad as Hamas.

    That, in and of itself, no.

  • Addamo

    Of course they have no nee to listen to the UN, if they want to be regarded as a rogue state. Does isrel want to be recognised in the internatinal community and be part of that community?

    Only countries tha the US and Israel want the US to attack on it's behaldf have to listen to the UN.

    So long as Israel prevents palestinians from forming a stae, the idea of a nation of palestine will remain un recognised.

    I never said that israel were not clever.

  • Chris

    Israel has no need to listen to anyone’s preconditions to recognize a country recognized by the UN. Nothing was said about listening to the UN.

    The Palestinians are the ones who have not formed a state. They have been offered the opportunity many times, but the offer wasn't good enough. No one ever said the Palestinians were clever.

  • Addamo

    The Jewish state was created in an area which was overwhelmingly not Jewish. In 1906 there were 700,000 Arabs, 55,000 Jews, and even of those 55,000 Jews, only a handful were Zionists.

    Israeli historian Benny Morris, said there are only two ways you can resolve this dilemma. One, you can create what he called the South African way, that is, create a Jewish state and disenfranchise the indigenous population. That's one way is what he calls the way of transfer. That is, you kick the indigenous population out, basically what we did in North America.

    Under the cover of war in 1948, Israel expelled the indigenous population. The Palestinians were ethinically cleansed and have never been offered what they were entitled to ever since.

  • Chris

    Let's try it again:

    Israel has no need to listen to anyone’s preconditions to recognize a country recognized by the UN. Nothing was said about listening to the UN.

    And it has still not been proven that the main function of the Security fence is anything other than for the protection and well being of the citizens of Israel.

  • Antony Loewenstein

    Did you read the latest report on the fence? Clearly not. It states that the reasons given by the israeli govt are disingenous and provided evidence to back this up. It's a land grab, pure and simple.

  • orang

    Chris, you are so right in so many things. "Israel has no need to listen to anyone's…" etc etc. is pretty obvious. They've never done it before. They are exceptionally good at getting their own way.

    However, the propaganda you ooze is falling on deaf ears. And your humour..Oi

    "No one ever said the Palestinians were clever."
    Hahaaaa. That's really funny!!

    You line that there was never a Palestine, give it up. Another bunch of fucking lies which came out of your heroes' gobs;

    "There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed." Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969.

    You are championing a racist, land grabbing bunch of thugs. I see you.

  • Chris

    Antony, "according to a report published Tuesday by the human rights groups B’Tselem and Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights."

    Not a report that from an objective group. Read, but worth reading. Reminds me of a court decision by a judge who refused to consider the compelling and truthful evidence presented by the opposing side.

    Please tell Orang to keep his petty insults at home. Or not, it's your blog. It's your rules to violate.

  • Addamo

    Chris,

    You really need to develop a thicker skin.

    Orang did not insult you. Perhaps you should lighten up a little bit mate. Don't take things so personally. These are hot topics we are discussing. There is bound to be a bit of heat now and then, but Orang's heart is in the right place.

  • Chris

    Doesn't appear to be. The rules are quite clear. And please allow Antony to speak for himself.

  • smiths

    chris,
    when you made a statement about palestine not existing orang obviously felt very upset,
    however,
    neither
    Another bunch of fucking lies which came out of your heroes’ gobs
    or
    You are championing a racist, land grabbing bunch of thugs. I see you.
    constitute a breaking of the rules
    since they are not racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, sexist or way off topic
    furthermore antony wants a healthy and challenging debate and ideas to be tested and provoked

    dont make provocatory statements and cry like a baby when someone responds quite reasonably
    personally i would have banned you for the gross stupidity and pointlessness of the comment

  • orang

    smith, you are prince (princess?) amongst menposters.

  • Chris

    Smith, the statements you highlighted are not such that encourage healthy and challenging debate and ideas to be tested and provoked.

    They are useless attacks which encourage the same.

  • Addamo

    Chris,

    Smiths was right on the money my friend. You really need to qeustino your hyper sensitivity and consider that by the standards you apply to others, your comments can also be reagrded as offensive.

    After all, you did say that "Real people admire Israel. Real people do not admire Palestinians".

    What makes one a real person? Are you not implying that those you disagree with are not real people?

  • Chris

    Are you stating that those who agree with me are not real people? Do you have a definition of real that is outside the norm? Are there unreal people who support Israel?

  • Addamo

    nee I remind you that "Real People" was the term you introduced. Perhaps you should be the one to offer a definition, no?

    You stated that real people admire Israel and that rela peopel do not admire Palestinians. The terms "real people" is meanigless until you come up wioth a notioon of what constitues and unreal person.

    Seems you have become trapped inside the logical mess of your own making.

  • Chris

    And real people means real people, not made up people. Do you know made up people? Intimately? Some of your friends? Seems you've made a hole and fell in it.

    But that is not the essence of this thread. The essence is that dispite any paper put out by B’Tselem, the purpose of the Separation Fence is the protection of the citizens of israel, whether they are in Jerusalem or the parts of judea that have large numbers of Israeli citizens living in them. It is one of the few legitimate actions that a government is charged with, protecting its citizens.

  • Addamo

    So`based on your initial statement, you are asserting that all pelpel "admire Israel`and that all peoepl `do not admire Palestinians. Wow, and you call my statements outlanding. Your logic is in an entorely new universe – inhabbited by unreal people no doubt.

    If the purpose of the Separation Fence is the protection of the citizens of israel, then it woudl not have intrided further into land inhabbited by Paelsitians.

    I have no dispute with the legitimate actions of the israeli government to protect it`s citizens, but security has been used cynically and to great effect to grap land that israel is not entitled to. If the demoltion of 10 thousand homes had anything to do with security, then Israel woudl not have built settlements on those plots of land.

    If security had anything to do with ethnic cleansing or moving peoepl out of their olive groves, tehn Israeli`s woudl not be inhabbiting those groves.

    Security is being used to legitimize theft and it has been for decades.

  • Chris

    I'm sorry but you are lapsing into an incomprehensible typing phase. And you are not comprehending anything else. No one wrote 'all'. So don't make up scenerios in which some one did.

    The purpose of the fence is to protect Israeli citizens where they live. That you don't approve of where they live is of no concern to the Israeli government.

  • Addamo

    Yes i can see how you woudl interprest logic to mean incomprehensible typing phase“

    Ar e you goign to retract your absurb and assiniane statement that `Ral people admire Israel` and that `real peopel do not admire plaestinains`when you have already admitted that the term real peoepl is meaningless given that there are onyl one kind of people in our present reality.

    it`s not me who disaproves of where eh fence is. The World Court has foud it to be in breach of legality.

  • Chris

    No one here but you is attempting to confuse poor typing with logic. Real people as opposed to unreal people. What ever the world court has found, it is unenforcible and inapplicable.

    You wish a factual statement retracted because you don't like the terms used? Talk about petty.

  • Addamo

    What is factual about saying that “real people admire Israel and real people do not admire Palestinian people”?

    Can you give me an answer for the 10th time without skirting around the issue, or running away, from explaining what this is supposed to mean? You just admitted there is not such thing as unreal people so what exactly were you trying to say?

    I promise. No one will think less of you if you admit this was a brain fart.

  • orang

    Addamo, give up. (have you noticed how these types have a lot of stamina?)

  • Chris

    There is no reason to answer you since you don't seem to understand the words. Real as opposed to unreal.

    Facts as opposed to made up stories. Do you understand now? I don't care how much stamina orang feels you have. Your demand is ridiculous.

    Again, the purpose of the fence is to protect Israeli citizens where they live. That you don’t approve of where they live is of no concern to the Israeli government.

  • Addamo

    Oh I see. So you make the dumbest statyetment that even you are too embarrassed to admit and now rather than being a man and owing up to it, you are runing away like a stupid, petulant little child by insisting that I am not worhty of an explanation.

    My demand is not rediculous. You made a stupid statement. do you want me to repeta it or are you admitting that your comment was rediculous?

    I dont; expect my opinion to be of concern to the Israeli government. It still doesn't make it moral or legal. And it doesn't mask the fact that it has been used to steal more land from the Palestinians and further isolate the encalves.

  • Chris

    Lets try to go on track one more time:

    The purpose of the fence is to protect Israeli citizens where they live. That you don’t approve of where they live is of no concern to the Israeli government.

  • orang

    Such logic. The purpose of taking a dump is to maintain good health. That you don't approve of me taking a dump on your head is no concern of mine. – Now THAT'S good logic.