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.

Why let truth get in the way?

Robert Fisk was in Sydney last week and lectured on the responsibility of journalists in times of war. I’ve now been informed that around 1500 people attended the event, with hundreds being turned away. This week’s Australian Jewish News editorialises on his speech and is very creative with the truth:

…”Experts” such as veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk are invited on to campus to deliver (unchallenged) lectures which pour scorn on the United States and Israel.

In a lecture to an audience at Macquarie University last week, Fisk stopped just millimetres short of suggesting that Israel was the cause of the 9/11 attacks. The audience reportedly (and predictably) showered him in accolades.

In fact, Fisk said the complete opposite on many occasions – and during my interview with him afterwards – and stressed that Israel had no involvement in the crimes against humanity on September 11.

Furthermore, the suggestion that Fisk was “unchallenged” implies that his appearance would only have been appropriate with a counter pro-Zionist speaker. Next time a pro-Israeli speaker appears in Australia, I look forward to the paper advocating a pro-Palestinian perspective to ensure “balance.”

The newspaper is also concerned about alleged anti-Zionist bias on universities across the country. The first example:

It is gratifying that the vice-chancellor of the University of Western Sydney (UWS) blasted the university’s student newspaper for publishing a scurrilous front-page article describing Jews as “bloodsuckers”, “money-grabbers” and “thieves”.

But even though such affirmative action is commendable, question marks remain over why the article was published in the first place.

The author says it was intended as satire in response to the offensive Danish cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed. He says the point was to “show how offensive it is when the same things that are said about Muslims are said about Jews”.

But if the assumption was that the article — not to mention the accompanying cartoons — would cause offence, why was it published?

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president David Knoll was right to suggest that the protagonists “followed the example of the Iranian Government, which responded to the Danish cartoons by promoting an international competition for antisemitic cartoons”.

But it is the prevailing zeitgeist that exists on many Australian campuses that creates a fertile breeding ground for such scandalous material.

I haven’t seen the student newspaper, so I can’t comment. However, the AJN then complains about the simulations conducted by Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies (of which I’m a board member), recently stopped by the NSW Education Department (more info on this here, here and here):


…The Middle East history simulation course at Macquarie, which has now been dropped following protests by Jewish groups, was allegedly biased in its presentation of the conflict to high-school students.

In New South Wales a number of public secondary high schools have participated in Arab/Israeli role-play simulations conducted by the Middle East Centre. The simulations have been adapted by teachers to meet the needs of high school participants focusing on the Arab/Israeli conflict. The simulation process has undergone continual evolution to ensure its success in the secondary school context.

The first simulation was conducted in 2001 with students from Killara High School and North Sydney Boys in conjunction with The Centre for Middle East and North African Studies. In 2002 the simulation gained support from the Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre, a collaborative initiative between the NSW Department of Education and Training and Macquarie Uni. Since 2002 both centres have been directly involved with the school simulations and the number of schools participating has increased. In 2005 there were five public high schools.

Teachers have coordinated the school simulations and the coverage and student feedback has been very positive.

In June 2004 the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies contacted the Board of Studies and the Principal of Killara High School to complain, citing perceived bias in the content of the material and that there were too many Arab roles compared with the number of Israeli roles. The results were that the Department of Education conducted a formal inquiry into the running of the simulation and the KHS Principal allowed the Jewish Board of Deputies to talk to the Killara students. Though a Palestinian representative was not given the same access and the other participating school refused to allow any non-educational body to talk to their students. I am also aware that there was a Department of Education delegation to Canberra to speak to the Palestinian representative and we believe Brenda Nelson, who at that time was the Federal Minister for Education (and is now the Defence Minister.)

The inquiry formalized a set of procedures for schools to follow when they participated in any further simulations. Thus in 2005 five schools were involved in a simulation which was extremely successful but again drew complaints from the Jewish Board of Deputies. The issue that they were able to complain about was not educational but that not all the schools followed the bureaucratic guidelines. The Department at the end of last year reassesses the simulation and although all the reviews from the participating school were positive, the Board of Studies, fearful of the political fall out, will now not allow the public schools to participate. Many of the teachers involved are very disappointed with the outcome and would like the Department to be courageous and let the simulations continue.

The Jewish News has reported that the simulations will no longer occur because of bias in their delivery, which are not the findings of the Department. Sadly the Department has not clarified this misinformation with the paper.

The full story is yet to be revealed, though Jewish lobbyists have nothing to be proud of, unless, of course, censoring alternative readings of the Israel/Palestine conflict is their raison d’etre.

111 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    Wrong on all counts Nell. There is nothing to argue because you simply don't have a case.

    You can repeat it all you like but Fisk DID NOT pin the blame for 9/11 and the plight of Palestinians on Israel. He never has and you can go through everything he has written since 911. You won’t find anything, which is why all you could come up with was some error he made in identifying a model of Hellfire missile.

    You have no statements from him, EVER, that state this an you never will. How much clearer can he be than to open the quote YOU YOURSELF provided?

    No, Israel is not to blame for what happened last week. The culprits were Arabs, not Israelis.

    Sound familiar?

    You have no evidence and no rational for your bogus assertions. which is evidenced by your having to constantly change topic from his Eirchman letters, to your assumption that he ALMOST said Israel was responsible for 911, to then going off on an unrelated tangent about Hellfire Missiles. That is the MO of a someone who has no facts, is trying to could the situation by dumping as much irrelevant material as possible in the hope of confusing their opponents.

    He was even beaten up once for telling lies on the streets of Afghanistan.

    Another lie. He was beaten up for being in the wrong place at the wrong time . It is one of the hazards of the job. He is one of the few investigative journalists left and I take my hate off to him for putting his life on the line to report from such dangerous parts of the world.

    You should be carful abotu such stupid statements. I had a friend (a photographer called Daniel Eldon) whoc was stoned to death in Somalia because the US bobed the wrong compound. This stuff happens and it;'s a tragedy, not somethign to mock so wrecklessly.

    Are you suggesting that Daniel Pearl was decapitated for also telling lies? Get real and stay on topic Nell. You are again running around like a chicken without a head in the desperate of finding something to salvage your precarious argument. You are truly hopeless Nell. Give it up. No one is going to think less of you for admitting you got it wrong.

    Santa Claus won’t go to Fisk’s house anymore because he has told so many lies.

    Now you’re just starting to sound like a lunatic. If this is about ego, then so be it but take a chill pill.

  • Nell Fenwick

    Addamo,

    You can't even understand very simple sentences. Fisk tries to pin the blame…

  • Addamo

    Nell,

    You can’t even understand very simple sentences.

    It is you that appears tt be linguistically challenged here. He stated quite clearly in 2001 that:

    No, Israel is not to blame for what happened last week. The culprits were Arabs, not Israelis.

    And yet you somehow read this as an attempt to pin the blame for 911 on Israel.

    You are not even basing your case on sentences. You are basing it on what he has NOT said. You also said earlier in this thread that most people in this forum diagreed with me, and I proved you wrong. See the problem? You are hearing or reading what you want to hear and read. Unfortunately, what you believe is clearly disconnected from reality.

    He doesn't try to pin the blame at all. Fisk writes what he believes. A man who has had his life threatened and been beaten up is unlikely to be afraid of anyone, so if he believed Israel was responsible for 911, he would have said it.

    NOTHING. Nothing he has said or written alludes to the notion that israel was responsible for 911. You won't be able to produce anything to that effect.

    You may believe that repeating your flawed assertion often enough will make it true, but then again, they do say that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome.

  • Nell Fenwick

    Addamo,

    But just as he did at Macquarie, Fisk goes on to explain how Israel is involved. Israel, Israel, Israel. It all about the Jews.

    Can't you read?

  • Addamo

    Wrong again. He says nothing about Israel being involve. Like the AJN, you are not interested in hearing what Fisk has to say, you just filter out the pieces that allows you to misrepresent his statements.

    Otherwise, you would have had the good sense to listen to the whole lecture.

    Yes he talks about Israel's attack on the UN compound in Quana. That’s a non issue. It happened and he was there to report the story. Is there something wrong with that? He is a Middle Eastern correspondent. It's his job to report what is taking place. If Israel commits acts of aggression, then it is his job to report it. Is that wrong? Same thing for Palestinian aggression. Are you suggesting that he treat Israel in a particular way?

    Now if you 'd hadn’t been so lazy and listened to the WHOLE of the presentation, you would have heard a great deal of time spent on Kosovo and his mentioning how he will be gong into detail about the Armenian genocide in his upcoming book.

    Your ears seem particularly sensitive to the mention of Israel because you are indoctrinated to run to Israel’s defense without condition or thinking it through.

    Fisk did not blame Israel foe 911. he didn’t say it, he didn’t hint at it and he made it clear he does not believe Israel were responsible.

    I can read. It’s a fact that Fisk made no such statement. You are basing your lame argument on what he did NOT say, so reading wouldn’t help you anyway.

  • Addamo

    But just as he did at Macquarie, Fisk goes on to explain how Israel is involved.

    Please point to the sentence that says, Israel were involved in 911. Please quote it. I just re-read your quote and saw nothing of the kind.

    I don't want to hear how he almost does it , or tries to do it, or about Eichman letters, or pubic hair, or bodily fluids, or Hellfire missiles, but where he actually states that Israel was responsible for 911. Either provide that statement that irrefutably states that Israel were responsible for 911 or be condemned as a liar and an Israeli propaghandist.

    The only statement Fisk makes about Israel and 911 is the following:

    No, Israel is not to blame for what happened last week. The culprits were Arabs, not Israelis.

    See, I can read. Questino remains, can you?

  • Nell Fenwick

    Addamo,

    What really upsets Fisk is that there are still Jews breathing.

  • Chris

    Addamo

    Mar 22nd, 2006 at 7:54 am

    Actually what i heard was that it was that Irving dared to raise this point at all that gopt him into trouble. I don’t believe his evidence was acutualyl challenged.

    ****************************************************

    What you thought you heard and what you believe based on what you thought you heard has been discredited several timnes on this blog. i'm shocked to see you do it again.

    The Irving trial over which he was discredited as a historian involved showing how his writing manipulated history rather than reported historical facts. Fisk appears to be guilty of reporting things that did not occur. He sought to prove it did by the minute detail he provided. Finding that minute detail to be totally false, it leads to the assumption that Fisk is, like Irving, manipulating rather than reporting.

  • Addamo

    What you thought you heard and what you believe based on what you thought you heard has been discredited several timnes on this blog. i’m shocked to see you do it again.

    It hasn;t stopped you and you have been discredited many more times than I have and to a much greater extent. You even deny that Fisk said Derrshowitz called him anti-Semtic, in piste of the MP3 and transcript.

    Fisk appears to be guilty of reporting things that did not occur.

    Appears? That's your trademarl way of lying is it not?

    He sought to prove it did by the minute detail he provided.

    Yuo referrign to his mistake about the Hellfire Missile model? Ny that statndards, does that mnot make every journalist a liar?

    Finding that minute detail to be totally false, it leads to the assumption that Fisk is, like Irving, manipulating rather than reporting.

    Soi therefore every journalist is like Irving.

  • Chris

    I have not been discredited at all, except in your dreams or nightmares. You, on the other hand, have been caught making things up many times.

    The Fisk transcript does not show Fisk stating that Dershowitz ever stated that questioning 9/11 was antisemitic. There has been no discussion between us regarding whether or not Dershowitz has ever called Fisk an antisemite.

    Are you lying, halucinating, getting a flashback to an event you barely remember happening but are stupid enough to declare it a fact? All of the above?

    By court standards, as seen in the Irving case, it shows that fisk is attempting to manipulating rather than report. That makes Fisk appear to be as manipulating as Irving. It does not condemn all journalists.

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