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.

Bigotry endorsed

Parochialism is common in virtually all ethnic communities (and Jews are not immune.) The desire to feel included and comparable to similar cultures may partly explain a recent debate at Columbia University law school on the growing ties between Israel and India. The Columbia Spectator reports:

After attending the talk, I realized that much of the content was not academic in nature and was politicized to the point of propaganda. The panelists included members of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the former Indian ambassador to Israel, and the United Nations Development Programme. By the end of the talk, I found the panelists to collectively reflect a very biased and unrepresentative point of view that is not shared by the majority of moderate-minded Indians and Israelis.

The AJC, one of the lead organizers, recently endorsed an article by Indiana University professor Alvin Rosenfeld conflating Jewish criticism of the Israeli state policies with anti-Semitism. The AJC’s decree has sought to silence a constructive debate on Israeli state and foreign policies by labeling any dissent as falling inside the category of anti-Semitic hate speech.

Although the panelists harked back to long-time relations between India and Israel and glorified India as one of the only nations with no traces of “anti-Semitism,” the two nations only established normalized diplomatic relations in 1992, coinciding with the rise of a Hindu nationalist-led Indian government. The talk offered little convincing substance that the two countries shared much in common aside from rising Hindu nationalist and intolerant AJC-style fundamentalisms.

The theme reiterated throughout the talk was that both India and Israel are democracies under attack by a Muslim fundamentalist threat-both internal and external. This rhetoric of fighting a common war on terror against an Islamic enemy serves to fuel a rising Islamophobia that has become mainstreamed in Israeli, Indian, and even American discourse. We can see manifestations of these policies in Israel to justify the occupation of the Palestinian territories, in India to create a motive for the state-sponsored pogrom against Gujarati Muslims in 2002, and in the United States with Guantanamo Bay and a wide array of civil-liberties infringements against Muslims/ Muslim-Americans.

In the current political climate, anti-Muslim sentiment is hardly uncommon. Professor Raphael Israeli, currently in Australia on a lecture tour, has spoken out against the supposed Muslim threat. Of course, he doesn’t see himself as racist, merely stating some uncomfortable facts. The man has form, however, as explained by Irfan Yusuf:

For instance, immediately following the July 2005 London bombing, Israeli wrote a public letter to Tony Blair insisting that British officials recognise what he described as the myth of peaceful Islam.

Of the 50 or so victims of those bombing attacks, at least five were of Muslim origin or heritage. Among them was a bank clerk in her early 20s named Shahara Islam who was on her way to work. Israeli wanted British officials to regard her family name and her faith as a threat to their nation.

In June 2004, Israeli wrote a paper entitled Islam’s Sway Over Turkey in which he castigated the inexplicable Western policy of appeasement towards Islam which he claimed was predicated upon the false assumption that there was such a thing as moderate or pragmatic Islam. Israeli went onto castigate US and Western opposition to the genocide of Bosnian and Albanian Muslims in the Balkans. He repeats similar themes in a chapter he has contributed to a book called Muhammad’s Monsters. As a visiting historian, Israeli is entitled to interpret the history of Muslim civilisations and peoples in any manner he chooses. If he chooses to defend genocide and ethnic cleansing, that is his prerogative. It is also our prerogative as Australians to expect that visitors to our country not make public statements which cause division and incite hatred.

Barely a week goes by when a letter-writer in the Australian Jewish News argues that Palestinians are prone to violence and inherently anti-Semitic. The fact that these Jews have probably never met a Palestinian, let alone spent time in Palestine itself, is clearly beside the point. Racism is racism, no matter how it may be dressed up, defended by the intellectual class or denied.

15 comments ↪
  • Addamo

    I listened to a fascinating but disturbing Podcast by Ilan Pappe today. during the speech, he explains how the condition of viewing Palesitnains as sub human has become endemic to Israeli society and Israel's amen corner, that they are able to witness human rights abuses against Palestinians and regard it a necessary and acceptable.
    http://aud1.kpfa.org/data/20070219-Mon1700.mp3

    In spite of nearly a million Palestinians being ethnically cleansed in 1948, and the ingoing process of forcing Palestinians from their lands and homes, they are expected to remain benign and accept their fate. It's very tragic.

  • E. Mariyani

    Barely a week goes by when a letter-writer in the Australian Jewish News argues that Palestinians are prone to violence and inherently anti-Semitic.

    Defending racism by claiming that the entire targeted race is little more than a pack of wild animals, and that this is good grounds for race-hatred hardly makes one look like a moral – or coherent – human being. Are people such as the letter-writer so morally and intellectually damaged that they cannot see the contradictions in their every bile-saturated sentence?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    "Ethnically cleansed?" My god, your delusion knows no bounds! Dude they declared war on the Jews, tried to push them into the sea, but got their asses seriously whooped. So tough titties to them, I say.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    You don;t even know your own history. What a comical figure you are. Ilan Pappe wrote a whole book on the subject. The decision to remove up to 1 million Palestinians was made before the 1948 war, but the war gave a convenient pretext to carry it out.

    Benny Morris contended that there two options to overcome the fact that the Jewish populating is Israel was vastly outnumbered. ways you can resolve this dilemma. One he describes as the South African way, creating a Jewish state and disenfranchise the indigenous population. That's one way he called the way of transfer, to kick the indigenous population out.

    Shlomo Ben-Ami wrote in his book that by the 1930s, the Zionist movement had reached a consensus that the way to resolve the dilemma is the way of transfer. So you see Viva, the plan was in opace long before the 1948 conflict.

    Of course, one can't do this anytime, because there are moral problems and international problems. Israel waited for the right moment. And the right moment comes in 1948. Under the cover of war, you have the opportunity to expel the indigenous population.

    Benny Morris has said that, "Yes, Palestinians were ethnically cleansed in 1948.” T

    It seems you are ill informed on this subject.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    The Palestinians are treated terribly in the occupied territoriss and as second rate citizens inside Israel, so yest, they are being flattened in a sense.

    Lieberman has obviously been brought into the government as a sign thet enthic cleansing is becomming maintream policy.

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    You really are pathetic. The ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians was planned long before the 1948 war, though the war itself provided the pretext that Israel's leaders were waiting for.

    Illan Pappe wrote an entire book on the subject if you want to get yourself up to speed. Benny Morris and Shlomo Ben Ami recognize that the ethnic cleansing took place, so I am bewildered by your desperate attempt to conflate this event with some act of self defense.

    Someone needs a crash course in history. You're an embarrassment to the Zionist cause.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Ilan Pappe!!!??? Oh stop it, you're killing me. How hysterical. I knew that you and Ant basically parroted Finkelstein, but you also use Pappe. How embarrasing. Dude Pappe is a long-disgraced Cultural Studies teacher and an anti-Semitic Communist. You have really blown your cover by revealing he is the source of all your appalling ideas.

    Clearly, you have not read any of Benny Morris's reviews of Pappe's "history."

  • Addamo

    Viva,

    Oh bully you. Yes anyone who reports what you don't want to hear is a fraud, an anti-Semite yadda yadda yadda. I suppose Benny Morris is also a fraud and an anti-Semite and also makes you laugh?

    Clearly you are not aware that Benny Morris himself recognises the ethnic cleansing of 1948. You are the one not exposing himself but soiling yourself in the process.

    As for appalling ideas, is it not your position that human rights abuses are justified in the name of Israeli expansion?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    Benny Morris's research shows that during the war started by the Muslims, a minority of the Arab fighters against Israel were sent outside Israel. The vast majority lefty of their own accord. Why don't you read his books?

    How bizarre that you do not applaud this for being humane. The only other alternative? What happens to enemies in all wars. Kill them. Are you saying that would have been preferable? After all that was the only aim of the Muslims towards the Jews.

  • Addamo.

    Viva,

    There is nothing to applaud. Condem certainly. The plan to evict Palestinians was made before the 1948 war. This is recognized by former Forign Minister for Israel, Shlomo Ben Ami and b'tselem among others.

    There was no other way to realize a Jewish majority in Palestine. Surely you cannot deny that this is the basis for the ideology of a Jewish only state?

    Benny Morris has claimed in interviews that he recognises that Israel has undertaken ethnic cleansing in Palestine. Were you not aware of this?

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    TRagically, for you, there was no such plan.

  • Addamo

    Oh yes there was Viva, and it was not tragic for me. it was tragic for three quarters of a million Palestinians.

    You shouls really study Benny Morris rather than pretend to have read him.

    In "1948 and After" (chapter 4), Benny Morris deals at greater length with the role played by Yosef Weitz, who was at the time director of the Jewish National Fund's Lands Department. This man of noted Zionist convictions confided to his diary on 20 December 1940: "It must be clear that there is no room in the country for both people (…) the only solution is a Land of Israel, at least a western Land of Israel without Arabs. There is no room here for compromise. (…) There is no way but to transfer the Arabs from here to the neighbouring countries(…) Not one village must be left, not one (bedouin) tribe."

    Seven years later, Weitz found himself in a position to put this radical programme into effect. Already, in January 1948, he was orchestrating the expulsion of Palestinians from various parts of the country. In April he proposed – and obtained – the creation of "a body which would direct the Yishuv's war with the aim of evicting as many Arabs as possible". This body was unofficial at first, but was formalized at the end of August 1948 into the "Transfer Committee" which supervised the destruction of abandoned Arab villages and/or their repopulation with recent Jewish immigrants, in order to make any return of the refugees impossible. Its role was extended, in July, to take in the creation of Jewish settlements in the border areas.

  • viva peace

    Addamo

    The fact you have not linked your source tells us a lot about your anti-Semitism, and thus why you and your ilk are so irrelevant to this debate.

  • viva peace

    Hmmmm….still no source. Let me guess, neonazi.com?

  • Viva sounds like s/he is ethically cleansed!