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.

The public speaks on the conflict

Encouraging survey results are released in Australia:

Fewer than one-in-two Australians are strongly pro-Israeli or pro-Palestinian, a new opinion poll shows.

Both Prime Minister John Howard and federal Labor leader Kim Beazley are staunch supporters of Israel, but a national survey of 500 people has revealed a range of views on the Jewish state and the Palestinians.

The survey conducted by UMR Research for Labor-aligned lobbyists Hawker Britton asked respondents who they felt the most sympathy for – the Israelis or the Palestinians.

Twenty four per cent nominated the Israelis, 23 per cent the Palestinians, 33 per cent said neither or both and 20 per cent said they were not sure.

Of those who felt more sympathy for the Palestinians, 83 per cent said they supported Israel’s right to exist.

Unsurprisingly, Australia’s leading Zionist group is upset (and, of course, blames the media, actually incredibly pro-Israeli in this country):

Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein expressed concern at the near equal levels of support for Israel and the Palestinians shown in the poll result.

“They show the results of the relentless bias against Israel in sections of the Australian media, and demonstrate the need for Israel’s supporters to work together more effectively to promote greater understanding of Israel’s position,” he said.

Dr Rubenstein said it was a positive sign only a small number of people whose sympathies lay with the Palestinians thought Israel had no right to exist.

A more measured response appeares from the country’s Palestinian representative:

The head of the General Palestinian Delegation to Australia, Ali Kazak, said he was surprised the poll did not find more support for the Palestinian cause.

“All the indications I have are that the majority of Australians support the rights of the Palestinians and the minority support Israel and the occupation of Palestine,” he said.

Mr Kazak said those surveyed should have been asked if they support Palestine’s right to exist.

“The question should be whether people think Palestine has a right to exist because Israel already exists,” he said.

The age and gender breakdown is fascinating, so read the whole report.

The Australian Jewish News leads with the results this week and features a range of Zionist leaders who attempt to analyse the outcome. NSW State Zionist Council president Brian Levitan argues that a lack of support for Israel is probably based on – wait for it – anti-Semitism:

“When they say they support the Palestinians, what do they mean? They have been offered a state three time and have rejected it.”

Those ungrateful Palestinians really should stop complaining.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Grahame Leonard issues the most desperate statement. He says support for the Palestinians is likely to come only from “far-left groups”:

“[The left] is always pro-victim and they see the Palestinians as victims. Often the pro-left circles are pro-victim but this does not necessarily mean that they are anti-Israel. Our own knowledge of Israel suggests that they are victims of their leadership.”

Let me get this straight. Leonard is seriously suggesting that only “far-left” elements would support the Palestinians. It wouldn’t be because they’ve lived under occupation for nearly forty years under brutal Israeli occupation. No, of course not. “We’re” obsessed with blaming the victim. Actually, I’m very comfortable blaming the aggressor, Israel.

These poll results are pretty encouraging. I’m surprised that support for the Palestinians is so high considering the barrage, especially since 9/11, of anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian propaganda in the Western media and by dog-whistling governments. Such results are a slap in the face to Zionists who believe that Westerners automatically accept Israel’s aggression as “self-defence.”

US public support for Israel is high – and after all, real change won’t happen until the US government realises that its current, blind pro-Israel stance is unsustainable – but the situation is likely to change with a growing Muslim population and politically active citizens of the Islamic faith.

The struggle continues.

13 comments ↪
  • Chris

    It is not surprising that Jewish organizations were upset to find equal sympathy.

    Perhaps it is an indication of moral decay in Australia. Perhaps it is only the natural shift from the increase in Muslim population with a moral code that is, possibly radically, different than that moral code of a typical western civilization.

    Jews always thought that the support from typical westerners was from those whose eyes were open. But it seems that a growing Muslim population with its politically active citizens of the Islamic faith who have always had a blind pro-Palestinian stance (At least against Israel, they seems to dispise palestinians otherwise), will force a change in publication with an attempt to open the eyes of Austrailians, especially those who nominated Palestinians, neither, and not sure, especially not sure.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 24th, 2006 at 3:33 am

    Perhaps it is an indication of moral decay in Australia.

    You're right. First we put up with engaging in an illegal war, of which our government lied to us about. Then there is the occupation of that country we were supposedly liberating. Then there are the anti-freedom of speech laws. Then there is the unwillingness of the government to protect its own citizens from torture at Gitmo. Then we have Abbot trying to enforce his personal theology over women's reproductive rights. And so on and so forth.

    Yes, you're right. We are more easily able to accept immoral military occupations as legitimate these days.

  • GreginOz

    I think people get confused over two entirely seperate issues. The first is the actions of Israel, effectively a rogue State, illegally possessing atomics and practising a "soft" genocide against a seperate people. The second issue is one of cultural relativity; is a fundementalist society (Palestine) capable of meshing with the Western world and are suicide bomber tactics legitimate when pitched against tanks and choppers? Defending the right to exist by either State is a no-brainer. Do we, as Westerners, condone the oppression of a people simply because they are muslim? OR, acknowledging that this culture is backwards (there goes relativism!), do we defend it's right to exist?

  • orang

    I think most people read the evidence that breaks through Israel's propaganda blanket (hence the comment "is a fundementalist society (Palestine)"-this from a sympathiser! Palestine fundamentalist? I wonder where did that came from?) is disbelieving that this so called democratic state is indeed bent on erasing the memory of an entire people. (No such thing as Palestine, no such thing as Palestinians, Jordanians don't you know..Land without People for a People without Land …give me a fucking break,)

  • Chris

    Israel is not a rogue state, effective or otherwise. Exactly how is Israel's alleged nuclear weapons illegal? Did they steal them from someone? Is there an open court case charging Israel with some illegality over said alleged nuclear weapons?

    How does 'soft' genocide compare to the hard genocide desired by the Palestinian people and being practiced by the Arab in Sudan?

    And as there is no genocide being committed against the Palestinian people, spurious reports in 'off the wall' make-up news sources notwithstanding, I assume the actions of Israel to be, an the most part, and in keeping with the hightest traditions of most western democracies, legal.

    Exactly who is being oppressed because they are Muslim? It appears the Black africans in the Sudan are being oppressed because they are not.

    People reading propaganda which makes them think Israel is wrong has nothing to do with facts.

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 25th, 2006 at 12:59 am

    Israel is not a rogue state, effective or otherwise.

    Then why doesn't it end its occupation of the territories "acquired" during a time of war, pack the illegal settlements that have been built on land "acquired" during a time of war, and just leave the Palestinians alone?

    Non-rogue states don't engage in 30 year occupations. It's one of the things that keeps the "non" in their non-rogue status.

  • Chris

    It would seem that you have identified China as a rogue state.

    But your criteria for such definition is unusual. In fact, there doesn't seem to be that specific criteria in the definition as such.

    North Korea is often identified as a Rogue state yet does not meet your criteria.

  • Chris

    Various definitions for a rogue nation are available:
    http://dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/rogue_nation http://www.wordreference.com/definition/rogue_nathttp://dictionary.laborlawtalk.com/rogue_state http://www.elook.org/dictionary/rogue-nation.html

    All require that the nation be third world. Israel doesn't fit.

    There are other definitions but they are more subjective. So much so that most nations could be considered such by other nations.

    Here is an interesting take on the subject:

    The second issue lies with rogue nations. Michael Klare, professor of Peace and World Security Studies in Massachusetts’ Five College Program, defines rogue nations as states “of the Third World…said to threaten US interests because of their large and relatively modern militaries, their pursuit of WMD, and their hostile stance toward the United States and its allies.”[18] The proliferating presence of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in the world, while dangerous generally only becomes a true threat when acquired by rogue nations more willing to take risks and sacrifice the welfare of their people for the gamble of power backed by the threat of nuclear annihilation. Preventive war is justified where a capability to launch nuclear weapons is imminent within days or weeks, not necessarily intelligence that a strike is coming. This must also be accompanied with blatantly aggressive intent and there must be a clear case that military force is necessary and that diplomatic measures have been exhausted and failed. Given the greater magnitude and lower predictability of the threat these types of nations present, a state considering anticipatory action should have the right to take preventive action. The danger of constricting a nation to preemptive action in this case lies in the fact that proof of imminent threat might come too late to prevent the impact of a nuclear confrontation. These nations tend to be closed off and relatively secretive about their activities so proof of imminent threat becomes even more difficult to substantiate. Also, allowing for a rogue nation to gain nuclear capability after warnings of aggressive intent always places a nation considering anticipatory action in a catastrophically dangerous position. For a rogue nation that has already acquired these capabilities, all that is needed to justify anticipatory action is explicitly aggressive intent and only after all non-military options have been exhausted.

  • orang

    " defines rogue nations as states “of the Third World…said to threaten US interests ".

    Wow, that's a surprise. So if you're not deemed to be threatening US interests then you can't be a rogue state – even though to the rest of the world except Australia and the Marshall Islands, you're a rat bag state?

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 25th, 2006 at 6:31 am

    But your criteria for such definition is unusual. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be that specific criteria in the definition as such. North Korea is often identified as a Rogue state yet does not meet your criteria.

    Oh Chrissy. First, the word you're looking for is criterion. Second, a criterion does not a definition make, thus the fact that North Korea is not included is not relevant. Please lift your intellectual game.

  • Chris

    Please use excepted definitions. Making them up puts you way back there with Addamo. Then you're not playing an intelectual game at all.

    rogue state – a Third World state that possesses weapons of mass destruction and sponsors terrorism.

    Israel doesn't fit. Then you must acquit. (I plead guilty of plagerizing the dead)

  • edward squire

    Chris Mar 26th, 2006 at 2:07 am

    Please use excepted definitions.

    Accepted by whom? Dictatorship by means of definition is a tactic of totalitarian regimes and those who support them.

  • Chris

    Accepted by the dictionaries. Your criteria for acceptance makes it very subjective and then all are at a loss of the meaning. You will be as addamo is.