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 honest record is lost in Zionist spin

On Monday I discussed last week’s conference in Sydney on the media and Islam that was attended by any number of prominent politicians, journalists and academics. There was robust debate and healthy disagreement on issues of Islam, religion, Israel/Palestine and the “war on terror.”

This week’s Australian Jewish News (AJN) continues its slide into ever-greater parochialism by highlighting a talk by an inconsequential Jewish leader:

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff offered a “brave” defence of the Jews following his address last week at a conference about the media’s coverage of Islam.

Titled “The journalist and Islam”, the two-day conference at NSW Parliament House, convened by Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies, was opened by former NSW premier Bob Carr.

The audience of almost 100 people fired most questions at Alhadeff during a panel discussion following his presentation, in which he showed a rash of antisemitic cartoons published in the Islamic media.

“Speaking as a Jewish Australian, we have a concern that a great deal of the media coverage that comes out of the Middle East lacks context and lacks balance,” he said.

“The assailants are drawing a dotted line, blaming the Jews living in Australia, the Australian Jews, for what is happening over there.”

He said the proliferation of anti-Zionist and antisemitic material in the Islamic media “sends an unambiguous message that hatred of Jews is not merely permissible, but is endorsed and encouraged”.

Alhadeff’s speech contained any number of references to anti-Semitic media in the Islamic world – and such attitudes are inappropriate, racist and counter-productive – but refused to engage with the audience on the Israel/Palestine question, as if the conflict was completely separate to media representation of Jews and Israel. In this worldview, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Nobody said Alhadeff was particularly nuanced.

He saved his most delusional comment until the end of the talk:

“If you pick up any copy of the Australian Jewish News you will not find vilification of the Muslim people. We as a Jewish community and you as a Muslim community, we are all in this together. We have a shared interest.”

No vilification of the Muslim people? He’s got to be joking. Week after week the paper features letters written by racist Jews decrying the inherent violence of Arabs and stereotyping of Palestinians. Numerous editorials are content vilifying the Palestinian people and leadership as terrorists and worse. Many articles report the racist ramblings of yet another Israeli expert on something. For Alhadeff, Jews are inherently caring and open-minded while the Arab world is filled with Jew-haters. When he was editing the AJN, such positions were regularly expressed and endorsed.

The AJN had more to report, however:

But the other Jewish speaker at the conference, rookie anti-Israel author Antony Loewenstein, told the audience that Israel is a “rogue state” engaging in “ethnic cleansing” and described the Australian Jewish community as “terminally insecure”.

“As a Jew I am ashamed of my homeland,” he said.

The paper seems content to continue describing me as a “rookie author”. They hate the fact that my book has broken through their editorial grasp and no longer relies on whatever coverage the paper deems to provide. I shouldn’t be surprised that being critical of Israel means I’m “anti-Israel.” Again, the Zionist talking points are hardly sophisticated. Perhaps the writer of the article or the editor would like to let me know how many books they’ve written and how successful they’ve become. One colleague said such descriptions are common in student newspapers or community rags. Let’s not forget that the AJN is very good at providing space for marriage notices.

But the article had more to say:

The Macquarie centre, run by Professor Andrew Vincent, was last year forced to dump a Mid-East simulation for high-school students it designed, after allegations of “anti-Israel bias”.

We shouldn’t be surprised that the rag ignored the laughable charges against the simulations or the political reasons behind them. After all, the paper, like so many Zionists, is content parotting the line that the mainstream media is anti-Jewish, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. It’s encouraging that the community is investing so much time, effort and money into something so worthwhile.

The AJN ends the year with a predictable record of dishonesty and parochialism. Next year will be no different. They’ll be happy to know that more surprises will greet them in 2007. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Israel’s long-term future remains in serious jeopardy – due primarily to its inability to make friends in the Arab world, expanding the occupation and refusing to recognise Palestinian demands – and the AJN wants to focus on “media bias.”

Tick tock, Zionists.

no comments – be the first ↪