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.

Not learning the right lessons

Last night’s massive protest in Tel Aviv against Ehud Olmert may have looked impressive on TV, but the reality was far different. Ehud Asheri explains:

How many people would have participated yesterday in a demonstration that would have called for a bold diplomatic initiative, including negotiations with Syria? Myself and two thousand others, tops. Nevertheless, this is the only reasonable demonstration that should have been held against Ehud Olmert. Instead, about 100,000 (maybe) showed up to express a general gut feeling: remove the man who failed to bring them victory. Just like frustrated soccer fans demanding the sacking of the coach, in the false belief that only a new coach can win the championship for them. This was the broadest and genuine common denominator of the children of all the tribes that gathered in Rabin Square last night; this is the main dynamic behind the disproportionate campaign that transformed the Second Lebanon War to the twin of the Yom Kippur War and has reached its peak at the rally; everyone spoke of “responsibility,” but they were really yearning for a victorious leader to restore their lost pride. Just for that it is worth starting another war.

The excited atmosphere was fueled by the excessive and revolting use of the war dead as firm proof of the leadership’s failure. When the bereaved parents are mentioned over and over again, you feel manipulation creeping up the back of your neck; when the protesters send Olmert “to work as a gardener in the military section [of the cemetery],” you understand that cynicism has overcome even those with good intentions; when the Winograd Committee dedicates the report to the memory of the “flowers, the IDF soldiers who were picked before their time during the war” (but forgets the civilian victims), you are unwittingly taken to the halls of populism (“they left behind a crying mother, a worried father, a sad brother, a yearning wife and a baby,” the committee waxed poetic); and when Ilana Dayan says in her program “Fact”: “I listened to Judge Winograd for half an hour and most of the time I thought about Yehudit Sela, the mother of Ben, who was killed in Debel,” it is obvious that the rationale has been lost, even among the most rational commentators.

So the multitude of Western commentators who are praising the Israelis for conducting the report in the first place should get a grip and actually ask themselves what Winograd truly stated. This was not about preventing another pointless and immoral war (Israel’s military and political elite are too blood-thirsty for that.) No, it aimed to tell Israel that maybe another leader could have done better, destroyed Hizbollah and achieved peace. This delusional thinking will only lead the Jewish state into another war soon enough (and for their own sake, hopefully lose that one, too.) Sometimes, humbling defeat is the only way for a nation to truly understand its failings. For Israel, though, it seems to have achieved little more than baying for the heads of Olmert and Peretz.

Only when open-ended US support disappears will Israel pay the necessary price for its folly. By then, however, it may be too late.

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