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.

Arafat was not guilty

The following April 4 Haaretz article, translated from Hebrew, confirms that the second Intifada, started in 2000, was not the work of Arafat but was provoked and stoked by Israeli intelligence:

Arafat was not guilty

Two new revelations by heads of the GSS and the security establishment

By Yossi Ben-Ari

On 1 March the Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies awarded the Tshetshik Prize for outstanding writing in the field of security. The event in Tel Aviv University allowed the attendees to hear the world-view of Avi Dichter and former generals Ami Ayalon and Yaakov Amidror. The theories of all three are worthy of extensive study, but here I will deal only with the analyses – “historical”, but very relevant to the present day  – of two speakers on the panel.

Dichter, the head of the General Security Service (GSS) in the five years of the Second Intifada, surprised all when he related that the interrogations of the many Palestinians who were arrested after the outbreak of the events in September 2000 clarified once and for all that Yasser Arafat was not behind the events, which had erupted spontaneously on the ground.

I was reminded of an article by Akiva Eldar (Haaretz, 13 February 2006), that quoted from the words of senior security officials who claimed that “the disturbances on the ground were not planned and that there it was not a plan from Arafat’s drawer that set them in motion.” Thus said Yuval Diskin, the deputy chief of the GSS then and its chief today; Dr. Matti Stienberg, special advisor to the GSS chief then; the head of Military Intelligence at that time, Gen. (Res.) Amos Malka; Col. (Res.) Ephraim Lavi, head of the Palestinian section in Military Intelligence/Research.

At that time Eldar also mentioned the writer of these lines, and he was right: an investigation that I conducted at the request of one of the intelligence services in November 2000, revealed that in the information that was at the disposal of the [intelligence] community in Israel in the month that preceded the events there had not been found any signs of advance planning for the violence by Arafat (who was himself surprised by it), or by others in the Palestinian camp. On the contrary, over the course of the two days after the outbreak of violence, Arafat tried to bring about calm, from fear of losing control. Only after he understood that imposing a calm would be likely to bring about a civil war, the collapse of the institutions of the Palestinian Authority, the destruction of the security forces and his own demise, did he chose to “ride the tiger”.

Despite their importance, these findings were distributed almost exclusively within the intelligence community and were not presented to policy-makers. It is astonishing to see that Dichter is among those who believed this: if the most central figures who were operating in the intelligence community then (the chiefs of Military Intelligence and the GSS) were of that opinion, how was it that the “intelligence conception” and the strategic outlook took shape in exactly the opposite direction? How was it that the stewards of intelligence believed one thing, and were compelled to agree something different and to act accordingly? Was there a “pre-conception” that was merely waiting for an opportunity to be implemented?

Regarding the second discussion: another former GSS chief, Ami Ayalon, responded hotly to what he perceived as the attempt by Gen. (Res.) Amidror “to scare the public”. With surprising frankness Ayalon related that in the course of his 38 years of service he, like his comrades, “specialized” in that work – how to intensify the perception of threat, in order to get a bigger budget. That insight was indeed manifest in the background of the security discourse in Israel, but it was particularly striking to hear such detailed words from the mouth of one who was the commander of a branch, a senior member of the General Staff and the head of the GSS, particularly because it raises the distressing thought that what is going on today in those establishments is not necessarily different.

How is all this relevant to the present day? The security establishment in Israel has been conducting itself with relative restraint in the past few weeks. Nevertheless, the internal suspense in the Palestinian arena, which has not yet taken shape, and the deep rift between the positions of the Hamas leadership and that of the government of Israel, are likely to cause the situation to deteriorate to new state of tension. As is usual in our region, tension and lack of clarity create an opening for excessive influence of the security forces.

So it must be hoped that a development like that will not be used in order to reinforce an exaggerated perception of the threat that lurks at our door, with the ratification of the budget for 2006; nor for an additional expansion of the security establishment’s influence on the creation of Israeli policy in the Palestinian sphere. The shaping and advancing of incorrect pre-conceptions in a situation of limited visibility is a distinct possibility. In order to reduce the chances, we still need strong nerves, patience, insight and much responsibility on the part of all involved. For after all, we still have a national duty to understand the events of 2000, before, God forbid, we are forced to open a new account.

The author is a brigadier in the reserves, and a former senior member of the intelligence community.

Translated from Hebrew by Mark Marshall

54 comments ↪
  • Captain

    Many of those killed were combatants.

    Wrong. According to B’Tselem, more than half those killed since 2000 were innocents.

    You haven't contradicted me at all. You merely can't read.

    It cannot afford to be seen as exterminating Palestinians, so it moderates this.

    Exterminating? Firstly this does contradict your master and secondly, there is no evidence to support it. Your imagination is running rampant.

    you suppor the killing of Palestinains is is nto?

    I support the killing of terrorists as a last resort. Unfortunately because the PA does not prosecute terrorists, there are many last resorts.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    I wonder how you can justify spending 24/7 spewing antisemitic bile and shedding crocodile tears over the Palestinians when it is crystal clear that you regard them as useless and disorganized cretins!

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    I'm beginning to know you well enough to realise you are evidently having one of your episodes and not to take your slurs personally.

    I would happily challenge you to point out what is anti-Semitic about anything I have said – especially when you compare my statements to the equally inflammatory statements made by Israeli apologists on this forum abotu Arabs and muslims in general.

    I admitted I was out of line recently with Captain and I apologized, but I am adamant I have said nothing derogatory about Jews.

    and shedding crocodile tears over the Palestinians

    Firstly I do not shed tears, but I do experience a great deal or rage and an overwhelming sense of helplessness at what is happening in the Middle East, both in Palestine and in Iraq. Similarly, I feel similar outrgae abtou Haiti and many parts of Latin America. The situation in the ME is a monumental disaster and the sheer injustice and inhumanity of what is being perpetrated against people in that region is enough to make anyone's stomach turn. That you appear unable to associate with this personal experience, unless the recipient happens to be Jewish, says more about you than it does me.

    when it is crystal clear that you regard them as useless and disorganized cretins!

    You can’t seem to make up your mind about this issue can you Viva. According to you, I am simultaneously dismissing Palestinians as moral cretins or purveying Arab exceptionalism. From my perspective, these are mutually exclusive positions, so which one is it? Let me know when you've decided.

  • orang

    Comical_Ali Apr 6th, 2006 at 12:48 am
    "….
    Arafat came to Wahid when Wahid was president of Indonesia and told him that the Palestinians could wait for 150 years and then “throw the Jews into the sea'’. Wahid replied: “What sea?'’"

    And then he incredibly broke into song saying;
    "All together now !
    She joined the navy to see the world, and what did she see, she saw the sea.
    She saw the Atlantic but it wasn't romantic and the Pacific wasn't terrific…"

    (to the tune of "We Saw the Sea" from the show Follow the Fleet .
    Choreographer: Hermes Pan, Music by: Irving Berlin, Max Steiner, sung by Fred Astaire)