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.

Israel’s new borders

The following excerpt is from a recent interview of acting Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert. (Haaretz, 14 March 2006; by Aluf Benn and Yossi Verter; title: “A country that’s fun to live in.”)

Q: Will you build in Area E-1, between Jerusalem and (Jewish Settlement) Ma’aleh Adumim, despite the U.S. objections?

A: (Olmert) Of course. After all, it is unthinkable that we will talk about Ma’aleh Adumim as part of the State of Israel and leave it like an island or an isolated enclave. It is completely clear that the contiguity between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim will be built up. This is clear to both the Palestinians and to the Americans. In my opinion, on this matter there is a full consensus in Israel…

Q: And the Jordan Valley?

A: (Olmert) In any case, our security border will be along the Jordan. There are strategic considerations for this that we cannot relinquish.

And when was this decided? 1948? 1967? 1993? 2006? How long will the two-state charade persist? Especially the notion that it is the Palestinian side that is rejecting it, or its meaningful implementation?

19 comments ↪
  • edward squire

    There is only one thing for it: HAMAS must recognise Israel. Which Israel? Greater Israel – the whole kit-and-caboodle including Occupied Territories.

    Then the question can be answered once and for all by how the Israeli government responds: will it

    1. give Palestinians, as people of Israel, equal political and civil (and thus human) rights;

    2. deny Palestinians, as people of Israel, equal political and civil (and thus human) rights; or

    3. ethnically cleanse the territories completely.

    That is, Israel would be compelled to openly choose whether to be a normal, civilised state, an apartheid state, or worse.

  • Chris

    As the palestinians of the disputed territories are not people of Israel, #1 and #2 are not on the table.

    Why you placed #3 on the table is anybody's guess, but it is not anything that is being discussed by the Israel govrnment, nor does it appear that any government agency has any reason to consider it.

    Ethnic cleansing is a specialty of the Arab regimes. No reason for Israel to borrow that skill. I don't know why you would even bring that up as an option for a civilized western society. What is wrong with you?

  • Edward Squire

    Chris Mar 16th, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    As the palestinians of the disputed territories are not people of Israel, #1 and #2 are not on the table.

    If HAMAS recognised all the occupied territories as being "Israel", the Palestinians would then be "people who are living in Israel". The question would then be:

    will the Israeli government remove them on the grounds that they are not Israelis (that is, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians option)

    or

    allow them to stay, but not accord them the full political and civil rights of Israeli citizens (that is, the apartheid state option)

    or

    allow them to stay and accord them the full political and civil rights that Israeli citizens enjoy (that is, the civilised state option).

    Why you placed #3 on the table is anybody’s guess

    By ethnic cleansing, I don't mean mass murdering; I mean physically ejecting Palestinians from the occupied territories. This is an option that is discussed in Israel.

    Ethnic cleansing is a specialty of the Arab regimes.

    Ethnic cleansing is not a "specialty" of anyone. Many ethnic groupings around the world have engaged in it to some degree or another at various points in time. There is no need to be racist. I don't know why you would slop around in that particular gutter.

  • Chris

    Hamas is not the identifying authority for Israel. So #1 and #2 are not on the table.

    The Arab regimes have the most experience with performing acts of Ethnic cleansing. Why you believe that to be racist is puzzling. Perhaps the use of the word 'specialty' bothered you.

  • Addamo

    So it's official then.

    Chris is opposed to giving Palestinians, equal political and civil (and thus human) rights and thu sin favour of denying Palestinians, equal political and civil (and thus human) rights.

    Thankls for showing us your true colours Chris. I thoght you were a biggot, and now we knwo it for a fact.

    "The Arab regimes have the most experience with performing acts of Ethnic cleansing. "

    Fact or is that your opininon? are you making this up or is these any evidence of this you woudl care to shre?

    Does this mean that because others are guilty of enthinic cleansing, that it is perfectly aceptbale for Israel to adopt this practice?

  • Chris

    Nothing of what you stated was official. But thank you for showing all of us your unique ability to invent 'facts'.

    I would say the best example would be the Jordanian law concern the right of Jews to live ther along with the historical etnic cleansing of Jerusalem.

    Iraq's history of ethnic cleansing should be helpful to you as well.

  • Chris

    For your edification:

    Why I Support JIMENA – A Perspective From the Left

    By: John Erlich

    If you are on the Left and sympathize with the Palestinians, there are many good reasons to support JIMENA's and other efforts to address the issue of

    Jews from Arab Lands:

    1. If Israel is guilty of "ethnic cleansing" for the expulsion or flight of 590,000 Palestinians during the War for Independence, so much more so are

    the Arab States guilty of ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Arab lands.

    Despite the flight of 590,000 Palestinians and discrimination against the those who remained, the number of Palestinian Arabs within Israel's 1967

    borders has actually increased since 1949 to the point that there are more Arabs there now (900,000) than in 1947 (650,000). Jews in the Arab world numbered about 856,000 in 1948 and 7,800 in 2001, with the only remaining significant communities being in Casablanca, Morocco (6,000) and the Tunisian island of Djerba (1,500). Which is the more egregious example of

    ethnic cleansing?

    3. Unlike the Palestinians, who were expelled from or fled a war zone, under war conditions, the Jews of Arab lands were expelled from or fled areas which were not in a war zone, and, for the most part, after the first

    Arab-Israeli war was over.

    4. The issue of the Jews of Arab lands constitutes a significant "blind spot" for the Left. The second strongest denunciation on the Left that I can remember ever reading regarding the expulsion of the Jews called it, ".playing in to the Zionists' hands." The first strongest denunciation called it, "reactionary." The Left typically denounces Israel's policies toward the Palestinians in the strongest terms, using phrases such as, "crimes against humanity." Where is the moral courage of the Left? One Leftist American scholar wrote a book examining in excruciatingly minute detail the Jewish community of Egypt and its dispersion in the late 20th Century. However, the most significant event in the post-1949 history of that community is mentioned only in one short, passing sentence, with no discussion or elaboration offered: In 1967, virtually the entire male Jewish population of Egypt (500 men and boys), from teenagers to elderly great-grandfathers, was arrested, imprisoned, and tortured for 3 years.

    To put it simply, I support JIMENA because the expulsion/flight of the Jews of Arab lands was a larger and more decisive movement than the Palestinian case; the Jews were a small minority that hardly posed a credible threat to the Arab world; they were not expelled during wartime nor from war zones; and, finally, the issue is the subject of too much denial and obfuscation on the Left.

    Hazzaq u'barukh, JIMENA!

    John Erlich

    Berkeley, CA
    http://www.jimena.org/Erlich.htm

  • Addamo

    More meaningless blather from you Chris.

    When someone presents facts, you declare that they don’t know all the evidence. When someone presents evidence, you declare they don’t know all the facts. You are indeed an expert in the art of blowing smoke, hence such meaningless comments as "Nothing of what you stated was official."

    So are you therefore saying that you cannot refute it other than to say such series of events has not been recognized by governments?

    "But thank you for showing all of us your unique ability to invent ‘facts’."

    Evidently, it is you that is using creative arguments to distort the facts here.

    "Iraq’s history of ethnic cleansing should be helpful to you as well."

    if you were to go back far enough, almost all countries in the East and West have a history of ethnic cleansing in one form or another.

    The issue is what is happening today? Do you approve of Israel’s accepted though unofficial policy of ethnic cleaning?

  • Chris

    Leave your petty insults at home. The remarks are not mine, i am merely posting the opinion of another.

    Yes, I'm am sure there are supporters of Palestinian neofascism who have invented facts as you have. It appears there is nothing unique about you.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 16th, 2006 at 11:03 pm

    Hamas is not the identifying authority for Israel. So #1 and #2 are not on the table.

    Ahhh – but the Israeli government has stated it will negotiate with HAMAS if it renounces violence and formally recognises the state of Israel to exist. So, to be clear, all HAMAS has to do is chuck its home-made bombs, its guns, and its rocks away, recognise the sovereignty of Israel over the entire land known as Greater Israel, and then wait and see whether Israel is in fact a normal, humane, liberal democratic state as both it and its supporters claim. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

    The Arab regimes have the most experience with performing acts of Ethnic cleansing.

    Now, now – no need to toss the racist chips into the pot (again). When are you doing realise those chips can't be cashed-in around here?

    Why you believe that to be racist is puzzling. Perhaps the use of the word ’specialty’ bothered you.

    Very good! I think you'll find that most regimes around the world have engaged in ethnic cleansing. No regime can lay claim to "specialising" in it. If however, you throw together a collection of regimes on the basis of their ethnicity – say, "Arab regimes" – and say they are the "specialists", thereby claiming they are worse that all other ethnicities as an ethnicity, then you are being racist. Rocket science, I know.

  • Chris

    As Israel doesn't recognize any such political entity, it has no bearing on israel's actions. hamas may as well recognize the planet Mars for all of the legal implications that puts upon Israel, which is none.

    No one particular Arab regime was mentioned as being the top in that field. I'm sure there are many who can place their chip in the pot, but i'm not sure of the purpose of the bragging rights.

    However, in the Middle East, the Arab regimes have the upper hand in experiance with ethnic cleansing their political boundaries.

    Exactly what was racist about that? Are Arab regimes no longer allowed to be called Arab regimes? I am using the same common terms as the Arab League itself does. I must assume from your inference that they are a racist organization if only in name and not substance?

  • Addamo

    And on goes the rhetoric from israel that it demands to be recognised before it is prepared to negotiate, then when that happens, Israelis appolgists can simply insist Hamas has no validity or legal status and therefore is not a worhty partner in the peace process.

    How much longer are we goign to hear this bullshit?

    Of course, no post from Chris would be complete without an unsubstatiated platitude, devoid of any meaning such as,

    "However, in the Middle East, the Arab regimes have the upper hand in experiance with ethnic cleansing their political boundaries."

    Israel is the only country ion the world that talks openly discusseds enthnic cleanising, devoid of any shame. it just goes to show the level of moral degradation that country is sinking to.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 17th, 2006 at 4:45 am

    As Israel doesn’t recognize any such political entity, it has no bearing on israel’s actions.

    Oh, Chris. We're not talking about what is happening right at this very moment. Trying to explain this to you is embarrassing. When I say, "Since it is raining, you should get an umbrella," a response of, "But I don't have an umbella right now," is beside the point.

    The same goes for the statement that HAMAS should renounce violence and cede sovereignty over the occupied territories to Israel; saying that Israel will not currently negotiate with HAMAS is beside the point. It is a conditional point – in fact, it is much like this statement by Prime Minister Olmert of Israel:

    “The state of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian administration if even part of it is an armed terrorist organization calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” (12:22 a.m. ET Jan. 27, 2006, The Associated Press and Reuters, MSNBC.com. Note the conditional ("if") nature of the statement.)

    Or maybe what you are really trying to say is that you hope Israel never, ever will negotiate with HAMAS – even if HAMAS completely disarms, recognises everything as Israel, and throws itself on the mercy of the mighty state. But why? This is a mystery to me. Why are you so studiously avoiding the obvious? Why don't you say the decent thing: "Well, if HAMAS really did throw itself on the mercy of the Israeli state, then I would hope that Israel would behave like a civilised state – like a beacon to all nations – and accept the Palestinians as normal human beings and citizens." Why not say that? (I mean, that wouldn't stop you then railing on about how HAMAS is an evil terrorist organisation will never in fact negotiate for peace, and so on and so forth.)

    Is it because you don't regard this as the decent thing?

  • Shingo

    Do you really expect Chris to give you a frank and honest answer Edward?

    All you;re going to get is a another question fired back at you because he knows he cannot say whathe really believes.

  • boredinHK

    An interesting exchange .

    Thanks Edward.Very reasonable from you .

    Haven't read this blog for a while but it seems that the same conversation is going on ?

  • Chris

    Obviously my missive was misunderstood "As Israel doesn’t recognize any such political entity, it has no bearing on israel’s actions" had to do with "Greater Israel".

    The government does not recognize the term as having a legitimacy. Therefore, Hamas recognition is worth as much as Hamas recognizing Mars.

    Forgive me for forcing you to waste so much time refuting a misunderstanding.

  • Shingo

    Chris,

    You appear to be hiding behind some policy that Israel has which essentially is an open admissino that Israel is nto prepared to negotiate with anyone, recognise any independent body, respetc any agreements they have ever made or observe international law.

    I hear a lot of "overnment does not recognize" which is another way of saying ISrael refuses to meet anyoe half way.

  • Shingo

    In othr words, you are using a lot of smoke to avoid answering the question.

  • Chris

    I'm not hiding, but I don't really understand the rest of your statement. It appears that you have made it up, not anything that I alluded to.