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.

Telling the world

Last week saw the United Nations Asian Meeting in Support of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held in Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian News Agency reports:

In the 16-point Kuala Lumpur Declaration issued at the end of the meeting, the participants reaffirmed the permanent responsibility of the world body to Palestine until the Israel-Palestine conflict was resolved based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

The peace settlement must also be based on the Madrid terms of reference, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map for Peace to ensure the inalienable rights of the Palestinians were fully realised in all aspects.

The Arab Peace Initiative mooted in 2002 by Saudi Arabia, among others, calls for comprehensive peace between Arab nations and Israel, while the Road Map for Peace envisages establishment of an independent Palestinian state co-existing peacefully side-by-side with Israel.

The participants comprising international experts, government representatives, Palestine delegation, inter-governmental organisations, UN entities, parliaments and civil societies also emphasised that Israel’s continuing occupation of the Palestinian territories, now in the 40th year, remained the root cause of the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Dr Andrew Vincent, director of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies, presented a paper at the conference (read it here.) He was “ashamed” of Australia’s position towards Palestine at the UN and the country’s foreign policy directions in the last years:

These fears and insecurities [of Muslims and refugees], used so successfully by the current Prime Minister, have led Australia, throughout its short history, to ally itself with what we call “great and powerful friends”. For the first part of the twentieth century it was Britain, and now since 1945 the United States. Indeed the whole of Australia’s foreign and security policy is predicated on the US alliance, and on keeping Washington happy, no matter who is in the White House or what misguided policies the White House may follow. Australia is far less sophisticated in this than our independent-minded neighbor New Zealand and more like America’s tiny Pacific dependencies such as the Marshall Islands, or Palau, our recent voting partners in the UN General Assembly on the Question of Palestine.

Vincent went on to discuss “voices of moderation” and the ways in which the Zionist lobby has attempted to censor Palestinian voices:

The pro-Israel lobby attracted some very unfavorable comment as a result of these events [the 2003 Hanan Ashrawi affair], which seriously divided Australia’s Jewish Community and the community at large, as the attack on Ashrawi was seen by many as an attack on free speech itself. A young Jewish journalist, Antony Loewenstein was so angered by the Ashrawi affair that he began researching a book, which was released this year entitled My Israel Question. This book quickly became a bestseller, much to the fury of the pro-Israel lobby.

I am proud to report that Antony Loewenstein is a member of the Board of Macquarie University’s Centre for Middle East and North African Studies, and some months ago we had a book-launch for him. But as a result of his Board membership, and of public comments I have made in the media, in recent months the University, the Centre and I have been attacked in Parliament and in the mainstream media, and accused of being one-sided critics of Israel, even though we often host pro-Israel speakers. But at least debate has not been stifled.

Vincent tells me that many of the conference participants were very interested to hear about Australia’s nonsensical position on Palestine. “The Australian diplomats were also notable for their absence in the opening session of the conference”, he writes, “which was attended by all other diplomats in the city (except the US).”

Australia’s mainstream media rarely examines how internationally isolated our nation has become when it comes to the Israel/Palestine conflict. Aligning ourselves with the dying Bush administration and a handful of Pacific island is both immoral and embarrassing.

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