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.

Will not last forever

When debate turns to Israel, Zionists often resort to bullying. It’s a tactic produced by an insecure, nervous yet aggressive lobby that simply refuses to accept alternative points of view. During the recent controversy surrounding the British academic boycott of Israeli institutions, similar tactics were employed. The result, unsurprisingly, was counterproductive and generated deep resentment:

The pickle is trying to determine whether the campaigns against such boycotts are actually motivated by concerns for academic freedom, or whether they are using the universalist ideal to stifle critical discussion of Israel.

We have found much more evidence of the latter. Through discussions with anti-boycott campaigners and a trace of the most common emails (not necessarily abusive) sent to the union and handed over by Natfhe, we found the vast majority of the tens of thousands of emails originated not with groups fighting for academic freedom, but with lobby groups and thinktanks that regularly work to delegitimise criticisms of Israel. We spoke to a number of these groups about their aims and the extent of their campaigns against the boycott. 

On a more positive note, Max Hastings highlights the fact that Israel can no longer rely on European Jewry:

Whatever the outcome of the current Palestinian chaos, meaningful negotiations with Israel seem unlikely. The most plausible scenario is that Ehud Olmert will proceed unilaterally to draw new boundaries for his country, which will absorb significant Palestinian land, and institutionalise such dominance of the West Bank as to make a Palestinian state unworkable.

If this is the future, it is likely to yield fruits as bitter for Israelis as for Palestinians. The world, far from becoming more willing to acquiesce in Israel’s expansion, is becoming less so. The generation of European non-Jews for whom the Holocaust is a seminal memory is dying. With them perishes much vicarious guilt.

Younger Europeans, not to mention the rest of the world, are more sceptical about Israel’s territorial claims. They are less susceptible to moral arguments about redress for past horrors, which have underpinned Israeli actions for almost 60 years. We may hope that it will never become respectable to be anti-semitic. However, Israel is discovering that it can no longer frighten non-Jews out of opposing its policies merely by accusing them of anti-semitism.

There is also evidence of growing disenchantment with Israel in the Jewish diaspora. Feelings have changed since 1948 and the days when Jews around the world thought it a duty to support “their” nation in the promised land right or wrong, in good times or bad. 

It’s a rare sign of hope in the current conflict. The US will undoubtedly continue to blindly support Israeli ambitions, but even this won’t last forever. What will it take for greater numbers of Jews to speak out against Israeli occupation and oppression? Unless, of course, they believe Arabs and Palestinians deserve little else. It may be hard to imagine now, but Israel’s current incarnation is simply unsustainable in the long-term.

9 comments ↪
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  • smiths

    well you must have been uploading this at exactly the same time that i posted it in another thread for you to check out,
    i think its a really good piece, nicely framed and stated

  • captain

    During the recent controversy surrounding the British academic boycott of Israeli institutions, similar tactics were employed. The result, unsurprisingly, was counterproductive and generated deep resentment:

    Thats an interesting way of looking at it. Deep resentment…hmmmm. When they were already advocating the boycott of Israel, do you really think they were receptive to discussion?

    Basically, the left has no tolerance for Jewish views which are regarded as part of a colonial conspiracy. Even pal universities are not boycotting Israel. The British are woefully out of touch.

  • Addamo

    I was hoping you woudl link to that article Ant, having jus tread it. Very interesting thoughts penned in that article.

    It raises an imoprtant issue. I remember reading an articel about the sense of urgency among China's leadership to assimiltae Taiwan. The fear was that the older generation who stil felt a sense of loyalty to the the mainland were ageing and with their passing, the any desire to unit with mainland China would pass.

    The same could be said of Israel's moral cache regarding the Holocaust. Martin Kramer suggests that there is a moral obligation for the US to support Israel, but this is a flawed reason, because the basis for that moral argument will diminish with time. Tragic yes, but time heals all wounds.

    This article makes a similar case in regards to the youth of Europe as well as Jews i teh diaspora. I think it goes without saying that the Jewish people in the diaspora that are doing the most to further the interets of the Jewish identify.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    I am intrigued by your insistence that Israel's right to exist is bounded by the Holocaust. Elsewhere you have already argued that the Holocaust is basically a propogandistic myth to justify Israeli actions against the Palestinians.

    Strangely though I have not read you challenge the right to exist of any other country on the planet on the basis of the mythical propoganda of their foundation.

    I wonder why that is….?

  • Comical_Ali

    "When debate turns to Israel, Zionists often resort to bullying."

    Name one anti-Zionist speaker who was bullyed and prevented from speaking by the "Zionists?"

    I on the other hand can name you at least three pro-Israel speakers who were prevented from speaking at universities, censored and denied their right to free speech by extreme leftwing groups (to which you belong) and Palestinian/Islamist groups.

    I also can name you two Israelis who were fired from a British university, quite simply because they were Israeli & nothing else. Can you name at least one Palestinian or Arab who had the same thing happen to them?

    I can also name you AT LEAST ten politicians, journalists, cartoonists, writers and artists who have gone into police protection…and not from "bullying zionists." Three of them have been murdered – two by Islamist radicals – a dutch film maker and a Japanese translater – and another by a leftwing extremist (much like yourself) who shot and murdered a Dutch politician.

    So its the Pot calling the kettle black, again.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    I am perplexed. For someone who was surprised to be referred to as a Zionist, you employ the textbook arguments of one. Perhaps you are not even aware of these reflex responses you produce, even when they are not elicited.

    What intrigues me is your propensity to blatantly lie about what is argued by those you disagree with. Where or where my friend, have I "ever" even suggested the Holocaust was a propagandistic myth – myth of course, implying denial? Both Edward and I have said we would give you $10,000 each if you could prove anyone has made that statement on this forum. That was over a month ago and you have produced nothing. Apparently you are so flush you don't need the money.

    You are evidently trying the tried and worn out all or nothing bait and switch, argument. Did you honestly believe no one would notice? Does this article or Martin Kramers speech even mention Israel’s right to exit? Or do you feel that Israel is so unsustainable, that without the Holocaust to buttress it’s legitimacy, it would immediately disintegrate?

    I pointed out what I consider a flaw in the moral argument for US’s obligation to support Israel, one that the article in question points to very clearly. Any moral or sentimental rational tied to a specific event will suffer from a limited shelf life. The holocaust will clearly be long remembered, as well it should, but as those who witnessed the event first hand move on, it will become more historically significant. I suspect this what actors like Melanie Phillips fear the most, which would explain her hallucinations of the Weimar in todays London

    Israel's right to exist is not at issue, nor has it ever been. In fact, the only party who seem to believe this is still an issue seems to be Israel’s apologists, because they are the only ones who ever seem to bring it up. The matter of relying on the moral justification for unconditional support from the US has nothing to do with Israel's right to exist either.

  • Aaron Lane

    Antony, you appear to have an interesting definition of bullying. If campaigning or protesting against the stance of a particular body is bullying–which is what you constantly imply on this blog–then I think you should also consider as bullies: environmental groups, every political opposition party in the world, gay and lesbian groups, child protection lobbies, groups advocating alternative modes of education, Muslim action coalitions, etc.

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