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.

A real hatred

An Iranian exhibition displays virulent anti-Semitism:

The title of the show is “Holocaust International Cartoon Contest,” or “Holocust,” as the show’s organizers spell the word in promotional material. But the content has little to do with the events of World War II and Nazi Germany.

There is instead a drawing of a Jew with a very large nose, a nose so large it obscures his entire head. Across his chest is the word Holocaust. Another drawing shows a vampire wearing a big Star of David drinking the blood of Palestinians. A third shows Ariel Sharon dressed in a Nazi uniform, emblazoned not with swastikas but with the Star of David.

Such examples of Jew-hatred are cause for real concern, though are sadly familiar in many Arab nations.

14 comments ↪
  • boredinHK

    This is a very strange exhibition.

    It seems the public aren't nbecessary. The government decides what the people should look at. Too bad really,

    the public appear to be being betrayed.

  • Progressive Atheist

    Actually, the depictions of Sharon in a Nazi uniform emblazoned with Stars of David and the vampire wearing a Star of David drinking the blood of Palestinians are quite apt. Zionists are the new Nazis, and Palestinians are the new Jews.

    The Star of David is not a Jewish symbol. It is a Zionist symbol.

    It seems Antony is no longer able to distinguish between being anti-Jewish and being anti-Zionist. It's a distinction that the Zionists have themselves blurred. Here's proof. From the NSW Jewish Board of Education's own website, Special Religious Education for Jews in primary schools in NSW has been politicized, with Jewish children being taught loyalty to Israel.

    The primary school curriculum, which operates in a three-year cycle, aims to provide the children with:

    * A broad knowledge of the Jewish festivals;

    * A knowledge of Jewish life-cycle events;

    * An awareness of basic Jewish values;

    * An identification with the local Jewish community and with Israel; and

    * A sense of pride in being Jewish.

  • Suze

    A bit OT but, since one of the issues with Iran is the possibility of its signing deals with Russia and China, has anyone got any thoughts on this- Chad has just ejected two oil companies for non payment of taxes and the speculation is that a Chinese concern may fill the gap.

  • Ian

    Suze, my understanding is that China has already signed deals with Iran and is investing billions to bring new oilfields there into production and on pipelines to transport the oil via Kazakhstan. I find it hard to believe they will simply stand by and allow the U.S. to threaten their access to Iran's oil.

    In fact I wouldn't be surprised if they use US/EU sanctions to accelerate the pipeline laying. It could be that when sanctions end America finds China has bought up most of Iran's output. The Iranians have said many times theyd like China to be their major customer. Mad King George I has already shot himself in the foot several times on foreign policy, but sanctions could end up delivering a near fatal economic blowback.

    BTW – I heard today the Chinese are investing US$200 billion in ethanol plants. Sure beats Howard's shortsighted, tinkering at the edges LPG subsidy!

  • Addamo_01

    You are rightg Ian,

    China have signed a $200 billion deal with Iran. What's more, Russia and China have iincluded Iran into the Shanghai Corporation Oraganisation, which is a trading block formed by these two to compete with Europe. It includes a number of countries including Brazil and Venezuela also. It is also a defense pact of sorts.

  • Leo Buddha

    Progressive Atheist wrote

    The Star of David is not a Jewish symbol. It is a Zionist symbol.

    Please explain.

    Who was David?

    How long has the Star of David been used?

    Which people have used the Star of David and why?

    Progressive Atheist also wrote

    It seems Antony is no longer able to distinguish between being anti-Jewish and being anti-Zionist.

    How does Progressive Atheist distinguish between being anti-Jewish and being anti-Zionist?.

  • JohD

    David was the second Kings of the United Kingdom of Israel – one of two sucessor kingdoms of an earlier Kingdom of Israel; the other being Judah.

    The Star of David became one of the symbols attached to Judaism, others, eg. like the Menorah were more significant, but the Star was also used. It has been associated with Judaism for several hundred years, most notably in Europe.

    In 1948 the State of Israel adopted it as its national symbol. Since then, it has been associated with the State of Israel and Zionism. In fact, the State of Israel invests considerable energy towards equating Zionism with Judaism.

    For all practical purposes, people not very knowledgable about Judaism equate the star of David with Zionism, as per the desire of Israel.

    If you have a problem with people criticising of lampooning the Star of David, take it up with the Zionist, who purport to speak in your name. If you have no problem with Judaism being equated with Zionism, then shut the f*ck up, you have no business complaining when people make the mistake.

  • Addamo_01

    JohD,

    Interesting background. But if the star of David was not associated with Jews until 1948, why were Jews in the WWII concentratino camps forces to wear stars on their clothing?

  • JohD

    No, I think it has been associated with Judaism for at least 5-700 years. Legend has it that it was the symbol associated with King David, but there appears to be no archeological evidence for it as far as I can make out. But it is definitely associated with Judaism.

  • Ian

    David was the second Kings of the United Kingdom of Israel

    Except that both the historical and archaelogical evidence does not support there ever having been a united kingdom, in fact it shows the opposite.

    Nor is there any evidence that David ever existed. To quote one of Israel's leading archaelogists, Ze'ev Herzog, David and Solomon are

    no more historical than King Arthur

    David is in fact the name of an old Cannaanite god dating to before about 2,500 BCE. About 20,000 clay tablets were discovered at Ebla, Syria in 1975 which contain the names of Canaanite gods including "Ab-ra-mu (Abraham), E-sa-um (Esau), Ish-ma-ilu (Ishmael), even Is-ra-ilu (Israel), and from later periods names like Da-'u'dum (David) and Sa-'u-lum (Saul). Just as Christianity has taken over many pagan traditions and personalities, so apparently did Judaism.

    So whatever the origin of the 'Star of David' it wasn't a symbol anyone from the original Israel would have recognized except perhaps as an idol from an earlier time.

    The Kingdom of Israel only existed for about 73 years around the 8th century BCE, during a period of political strife in Assyria the then regional power. It was blown away when the Assyrians reasserted their authority and its people scatterd to the 4 winds.

    The southern kingdom, Judah & Samaria survived longer, but didn't amount to much for most of its history. Jerusalem was a small dusty village covering less than 4 hectares. Most of the the main structures predate the Jewish period.

    Israel Finkelstein and Neil Silberman's The Bible Unearthed is a good starting point for exploring the real history of the region.

  • Addamo

    That's quite intresting Ian,

    Makes a lot of sense. The Cannaanite lines re supposed to be somewhat associated with Satanic cults and human sacrifice.

    Weird.

  • orang

    Well I'm shocked and stunned. So when we're they promised the land again?

  • Ian

    So when we’re they promised the land again?

    As a practising godless heathen its been a while since I read the 'Good Book' but I seem to recall that the covenant with God about the land is related in Exodus (Shemot). As 95% of Exodus seems to be myth rather than fact you do have to wonder about the other 5%.

    Plus, as I understand it, the covenent wasn't quite the cast in stone, permanent arrangement that some claim. There apparently were conditions and there is disagreement as to whether the Israelites keep up their end of the bargain.

    But this 'God gave us the land' argument isn't restricted to the covenant. Most native peoples claim a spiritual connection to the land. Aboriginals certainly do, so do native North Americans. If you're going to recognize one groups 'divine' right then you have to recognize them all. After all it could have been the same God making the same promise. In which case when would be a good time to hand back Oz, and America, to its deity sanctioned owners?

  • I believe the words "Zionism" and "Zionist" should be expunged from all political discourse. They have so many meanings to so many people, that the vocalization "anti-Zionist" is about as significant as the miaouw of a cat or the neigh of a horse.

    Here's a little something I wrote a long time ago:

    HOW MANY ZIONISMS?
    By Steve Brook

    [There is increasing evidence that antisemitic feeling is increasing globally. The fact that the Israeli-Palestinian crisis still remains unresolved is probably playing a major role in this. Also it is being fed to some extent by films such as Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”, which aroused a storm of controversy. More than ten years ago, in its summer 1994 issue, the Australian Jewish Democrat published an article by Steve Brook titled “How Radio Gumleaf Won Through”, about the stormy first three years of Melbourne Community radio station 3CR. The article touched upon the accusations of antisemitism that were levelled at the station almost from its foundation in 1976. This is an extract.]

    …The angriest and potentially most dangerous response to 3CR did not come from the political Left, which tended to see the station as its own child, headstrong and undisciplined perhaps, but still in the family. Jewish community organizations were not constrained by such parental feelings.

    This is not the place to go into arguments about either the degree of overlap between anti-Zionism and antisemitism or about Israel's policies in the 1970s, especially as they affected the Palestinians. With a nod in the direction of structuralism, it will be enough here to venture the notion that since the formation of the state of Israel in 1948, at least three Zionisms have been abroad. These may be labelled Zionisms A, B and Bl, the first having positive connotations and the other two negative.

    Zionism A is the legitimate national independence movement of the sorely-tried Jewish people, which expressed itself in the creation — admittedly (sometimes) at Arab expense — of the state of Israel after the Holocaust and the Second World War. It is a powerful but benign influence in Jewish communal affairs.

    On the other hand, Zionism B is an ugly outgrowth of colonialism; it is an ethnocentric Jewish movement which has expelled tens of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from their homeland and has denied civil, political and land rights to those who remained. Except as a cynical Zionist A argument, the Holocaust has almost no significance.

    Zionism Bl, the other negative Zionism, is that of the traditional antisemites of the British National Front, the Australian League of Rights and similar bodies. Here, Zionism is seen as a modern manifestation of the eternal Jewish drive to world domination through both capitalism and socialism. The Holocaust, if it happened at all, was a thoroughly understandable gesture of irritation on the part of Christendom. One of the best known of the sacred texts of these groups, "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", originally a Tsarist Russian concoction, was widely used by the German Nazis as a school textbook. It has since been republished in a number of Arab countries…

    Jews are naturally inclined to identify with Zionism A, even if numbers of them may not agree with particular policies and actions of the Israeli government or of local Zionist organisations. Whether members of "real" Zionist bodies or not, their feelings for the continued existence of Israel as an identifiable Jewish state are strong, and they tend to see themselves as Zionists — even if only in this limited sense. The right of Israel to exist is never in question.

    Fine ideological and semantic distinctions are lost on random radio audiences, which must include large numbers of people without any liking for Left political rhetoric. Not all Jews are Zionists, not all Zionists are Jews, and not all anti-Zionists are antisemites, but such subtleties as these were fogged in the process of communication. The “commonsense” equation is Zionist = Jew; Community Radio lost large numbers of potential supporters, and not only in the Jewish community…