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.

Does democracy threaten Israel?

The challenges for Israel and it’s obsession with maintaining it’s Jewish indentity are comming thick and fast.

A Christian Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Dr. Azmi Bishara, who is travelling, is apparently afraid to return to Israel for fear of being arrested by Israeli Security Agency that is accusing his of treason and espionage. So what did Bishara do?

Bishara, it seems, is a threat not because of any particular action or statement but because he has become a symbol of a new kind of opposition within Israel.

Israel stifling dissent? Never.

The Israeli leadership are threatened by a proposal and a movement that they will struggle to argue:

The authors of the document called “The Democratic Constitution” maintain that the Arab citizens of Israel should be considered a “homeland minority” with national rights. The idea is to transform Israel into a bilingual and multicultural democracy for all its citizens, rather than a Jewish democracy, which they argue is an oxymoron. Such transformation would inevitably mean changing the laws of citizenship and immigration so that citizenship would no longer be granted automatically to any Jew wishing to immigrate but rather to anyone born within Israel’s territory or whose parent or spouse is a citizen, or to people persecuted due to their political beliefs.

Not long after the documents’ publication, Israel’s second-largest newspaper, Ma’ariv, reported a meeting between the head of the security agency, Yuval Diskin, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. During the meeting Diskin warned Olmert that the radicalization of Israel’s Arab citizens constitutes a “strategic threat to the state’s existence.” Diskin added that “the proliferation of the visionary documents published by the different Arab elites in Israel is particularly worrisome, [since] the documents are united by their conception of Israel as a state for all its citizens and not a Jewish state.” The head of the security services concluded that “the separatist and subversive patterns represented by the elites might engender a new direction and mobilize the masses.”

In other word, the Israeli government are openly admitting that democracy in Israel has to take a major back seat to the maintaining of Israel’s identity as a Jewish state. What’s more, they are prepared to go to any lengths to protect it – legal or otherwise:

Balad sent a letter protesting Diskin’s assertions, arguing that legitimate political activity whose aim is to change the state’s character should not be considered subversive or dangerous. According to Ha’aretz, the Israeli Security Agency replied that it “would foil the activity of anyone seeking to harm Israel’s Jewish or democratic character, even if that activity was carried out by legal means.”

Diskin’s words are telling. He admits not only that anyone who strives to alter the Jewish character of the state is considered an enemy and will be treated as such but that the secret service has no respect for democratic practices and procedures.

What greater indictment of Israel exists but the very admission that not only is it not a democratic state, but that democracy threatens it’s very existence?

More than anything else, Bishara constitutes a symbolic threat, since he personifies the recent demand of the Palestinian elite to transform Israel from a Jewish democracy to a democracy for all its citizens.

8 comments ↪
  • A Christian Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Dr. Azmi Bishara, who is travelling, is apparently afraid to return to Israel for fear of being arrested by Israeli Security Agency that is accusing his of treason and espionage.So what did Bishara do?

    Bishara, it seems, is a threat not because of any particular action or statement but because he has become a symbol of a new kind of opposition within Israel.

    I don't know the specifics of the case but a cursory glance at Bishara's Wikipedia entry suggests it was a couple of very particular actions that brought him to the attention of the authorities.

    In particular, he visited an "enemy state" (Wikipedia's words) in contravention of a law decreeing that Knesset members cannot do so. It might be a bad law in your opinion but the reason he would be of interest to Israeli security agencies is particular.

  • Marilyn

    Yes but the Wikipedia entries are posted by the interested parties so the Israeli's can say what they like without contradiction just as they do with many other things.

    Like the notion that the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque is a religious site in Jewish history when it is no such thing.

    Ehud Barak said it over and over again in 1990 and the media picked it up as if it is so.

    What a farce – a myth made out of nothing at all.

  • Marilyn – are you implying Bishara did not visit Syria after that law was passed? Is this the myth you are referring to?

  • viva peace

    Even the far-left anti-Zionist Haaretz writer Bradley Burston has said to the Muslims: "Love It or Leave It!" Bradley, we hear you down here in Australia!

    Sadly for the poor Muslim Israelis they are terrorized by Hamas, etc. If any of them were to show loyalty to Israel, they'd be forced to become a splodie!

    No wonder the Druze and most Christians sided with the Jews during the War of Independence!

  • Andre

    Viva,

    It's a shame you didn't read the article. Bishara happens to be a Christian Palestinian, but don't let that stop you trying to introduce distractions.

  • Pingback: Persecution and stifling democracy at Antony Loewenstein()

  • viva peace

    A Palestinian? Well then what was he doing inside Israe in the first place?

  • Andre

    Well then what was he doing inside Israe in the first place?

    Of Viva, are you playing at your infantile little word games again? Even Israeli news papers have referred to him as a Christian Palestinian.