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.

Israel not ready to make nice

For a country that tries so hard to prove that it is joined at the hip with the US, Israel has a strange way of demonstrating its affection sometimes.

Condoleezza Rice received a humiliating snub from Israel yesterday when it refused her offer to act as negotiator between its government and the Palestinian authorities.

Poor Condi has been working so hard to try and kick start peace talks between the new Palestinian Unity Government and Israel, but Olmert is playing his cards close to his chest. He can’t reject talks completely, so he appears to be trying to buy time.

A US official said last night that Mr Olmert agreed to resume face-to-face talks with Mr Abbas in a possible move towards restarting substantive peace talks. The official said Mr Olmert and Mr Abbas would initially hold low-key “confidence-building” sessions in the wake of the moderate Palestinian leader’s new power-sharing deal with Hamas militants.

Whatever could Olmert have in mind?

Another shadow was cast over Ms Rice’s efforts by the arrival yesterday of 2,000 Jewish settlers at the northern West Bank settlement of Homesh ­ evacuated in August 2005 under Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan.

UDATE 1: Jonathan Freedland has written a fascinating article where he proposes that Israel is turning down a wonderful opporunity:

Now there is a chance to break the deadlock. The 22 member nations of the Arab League are meeting for two days in Riyadh, with the Arab-Israeli conflict high on their agenda. They are preparing to make a remarkable offer: if Israel withdraws to its 1967 borders, pulling out of the West Bank and Gaza, they will agree to a full and comprehensive peace, including normal relations, between the entire Arab world and Israel.

With this in mind, the only question is, what is stopping Israel from accepting the offer:

This, in case anyone has forgotten, is what Israel says it has yearned for since its creation 59 years ago, the acceptance of a Jewish state in the Middle East by its neighbours. What’s more, Israel has always feared that a separate accord with the Palestinians would not hold because the Palestinians would be too weak to make historic compromises – on, say, the holy sites of Jerusalem – alone. An accord with 22 Arab nations would remove all such worries. Any final settlement between Israel and the Palestinians would be underpinned, with the leading Muslim states giving their blessing to the concessions that would be required. And they would promise what Yasser Arafat never could: that the conflict was truly, finally, over.

Does it come down to the simple fact that the price is one that Israel’s leadership is not prepared to pay?

6 comments ↪
  • Question is Why does piddly little Israel have such a power to knock back the USs Secretary of State?

    Is Australia's strategy of slavish adherence to US policies diminishing our influence?

  • viva peace

    If I were Israel, I would refuse to even acknowledge anything the "Palestinians" come out with until they:

    1. Remove all the revolting clauses in their dopey Charter;

    2. Announce to the world, they recognize the UN member, Israel, and renounce their plan to wipe Israel off the map.

    Until then, finish the wall, do not comment on anything these whackjobs say, do not return any of their calls.

  • Marilyn

    viva peace, why should Palestinians lay down for the Israeli's and say kick me harder?

    It is Palestinian land that was stolen by the Israeli's and your deranged and illogical rants achieve nothing at all.

  • Andre

    Until then, finish the wall, do not comment on anything these whackjobs say, do not return any of their calls.

    Even when those calls are coming from those who sign Israel's welfare cheques?

  • Viva sounds like a white apartheid South African with the same racist attitudes and the same "Ubermenschen" approach to solving the intractable Middle East problems.

    What I don't understand is why Viva doesn't go and live in Israel? He is obviously so devoted to the cause one would think he couldn't wait to join the Israeli Defence Force.

    And don't they need all the support they can get?

  • viva peace

    Marilyn

    It IS the "Palestinians" who want to change things isn't it? You ask "why" should they…..? I don't say they "should." But what they have been doing up until now, sure hasn't worked.