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.

Israeli tolerance

A sad case of the way Arabs continue to be treated in the only democracy in the Middle East.

Tel Aviv – An Israeli man has admitted to killing Monday a Palestinian taxi driver from East Jerusalem, believed to be about 35 years old, police officials said.

The Israeli man, aged 25, told police he committed the murder because the driver ‘was an Arab,’ Israel radio reported.

And another.

Hundreds of Jews protested against an Arab family moving into the Naveh Zayit neighborhood in Lod on Saturday, and two demonstrators were taken in for questioning.

reparations for the protest began after residents of the neighborhood discovered that one of their neighbors had signed a contract to sell his home to an Arab family.

While it should be said that all modern societies have their social problems, these are certainly disturbing in the extreme. It’s hard to imagine either of these cases would be tolerated in the Western world.

29 comments ↪
  • BenZ

    It’s hard to imagine either of these cases would be tolerated in the Western world

    Not really.

    One only need look at the French murder of Ilan Halimi, a young French Jew who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by French Muslims to see you are quite wrong.

    Of course it's hard to imagine cases like that or other Islamist terrorism being reported on this blog…

    Note well also, that if the facts are as you report them no Israeli will be naming streets or soccer stadiums after this guy now will Israeli TV be worshipping him. That's more of a Palestinian thing, however I have *no* doubt you'll try to get plenty of mileage out of what can only be regarded as single isoalted and extremely rare incident.

  • gottcha

    Andre,

    These types of things are not tolerated in the Western world; nor are they tolerated in Israel.

    You are really spinning this. If the Israeli who killed the taxi driver was not prosecuted or punished then yes, you would have something to complain about. But, he will face the full force of the law in Israel, just as he should.

    Where I live in Australia there are plenty of ethnic minorities who complain and protest openly about other ethnic minorities moving into their neighbourhoods. A few weeks ago we had one ethnic group attack another with knives and some serious injuries.

    To claim that social problems only occur in Israel is quite unreasonable of you.

  • BenZ

    To claim that social problems only occur in Israel is quite unreasonable of you

    And standard practice on this blog.

  • ej

    Benz and Gotcha display their lobotmised amorality as per usual.

    'the full force of the law in Israel'. What full force? Joke.

    The issue is that this manifest inhumanity on a racist basis has been generated systematically through the racist character of the Israeli state and culture.

    Is there more to being Jewish other than supporting the grotesquerie that is Israel? Centuries of moral capital down the tubes.

  • gottcha

    ej

    I'd respond if I thought you made any sense.

    For example, where are the examples to substantiate your claims?
    And how are these examples unique to Israel?
    If Israel is racist, okay, but don't the surrounding Arab states also fall into this category with their Arab-only constitutions?
    Why is it that you cannot even visit most Arab states if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport? Isn't this racist?

    Lastly ej, your question "Is there more to being Jewish than supporting the grotesquerie that is Israel?' is completely misdirected for I am not Jewish.

    I have no problem criticising Israel when I think it is warranted. But, I won't jump on your bandwagon and curse and spit at the Jews simply because they are Jewish. If I see a crime I'll condemn it, and in this case the crimes were analogous to crimes committed all over the world by many other ethnic groups, not singularly the Jews in Israel.

    How about you ej, are you capable or willing to apply some objectivity to the scenario presented by Andre?

  • gottcha

    Why have both my responses been deleted?

  • gottcha

    Andre

    I have answered this question twice but my comment has been deleted twice. This type of behaviour is a real concern and it raises some serious questions regarding the claims of censorhip on this blog.

    “can you honestly name another Western country, or democracy for that matter, where hundreds would be allowed to protest against a family of a particular race or ethnicity moving into the neighborhood”

    What I have twice said is that yes, I can do this. how about Germany, Poland, Russia and France during the first and second world wars? The Jews living in the towns and cities of these countries were rounded up and burnt in pogroms and gas ovens by their neighbours and governments.

    I’ll screenshot this response so that I can repost it, if it too is deleted.

  • viva peace

    Unfortunately, it is a truism that Sunni Muslims cause great disruption, social tensions, and violence in every nations (western or not) they migrate to. Fortunately Australia's are quite sturdy and this no-nonsense, take no bullshit attitude has managed, thus far, to keep the Muhammadans in line.

    The Israeli's are reaping far too many years trying to accomodate these people. Israel needs to take a leaf out of Britain, the Netherlands, and France's book. And be chilled by Thailand.

  • gottcha

    viva peace

    Causing disruption and committing crimes are acts perpetuated by different peoples all over the world. It's racist to claim people commit crimes because of their race, and it leads to all types of discrimination and inequity.

    There are many good Muslims and there are many good Jews and Christians. It's always a good thing to focus on the commonalities we share, rather than the differences.

  • Andre

    Gottcha,

    To claim that social problems only occur in Israel is quite unreasonable of you.

    What part of "While it should be said that all modern societies have their social problems…" was I not clear about?

    The murder of the taxi driver could have been regarded as an isolated incident, but can you honestly name another Western country, or democracy fort that matter, where hundreds would be allowed to protest against a family of a particular race or ethnicity moving into the neighborhood? Yes, 2 were arrested, but the fact the the demonstration took take place at all is what is alarming. Where is the condemnation and the outrage? The family in question doesn't appear to be Hamas or Hezbollah.

    Imagine if 200 English people in Liverpool (England or NSW) demonstrated against a Muslim couple moving into their neighborhood? Would that not make front page news internationally and be followed up by unequivocal statements from the government denouncing such racism? Perhaps this may have taken place is America's south 100 years ago, but today?

  • Carrie Lewis

    For some strange reason I posted an example of true intolerance a little while ago and it seems to have disappeared into the ether.

    Does the murder by Fatah's Sirhan Sirhan of five people including two toddlers and their mother on an Israeli kibbutz followed by his subsequent public lauding and marytdom by the Palestinan Authority not qualify as an instance of gross intolerance to you Andre.

    And that's not the only example I can give you of official support by the Palestinian leadership of such barbaric acts. There are hundreds of them including about half a dozen or so committed this very day in Gaza and the West Bank with more to come unfortunately.

    Mickey Mouse anyone?

  • viva peace

    Gotcha

    There are many good Muslims and there are many good Jews and Christians. It’s always a good thing to focus on the commonalities we share, rather than the differences.

    Have you told Andre and Lowenstein about this?

    It’s racist to claim people commit crimes because of their race

    Is it now? First up, who cares if IT is? Secondly, this is irrelevant to anything I wrote, but it is EXTREMELY relevant to Andre's posting this thread. Unless you upbraid Andre I am afraid I am left with no choice other than to sigh and say 'typical hypocritical anti-Semitic pig.'

    and it leads to all types of discrimination and inequity.

    I could not give a flying fuck? And what the hell is "inequity?"

  • keep the Muhammadans in line – viva hate

    Spoken like a true slave-owner.

  • BenZ

    but can you honestly name another Western country, or democracy fort that matter, where hundreds would be allowed to protest against a family of a particular race or ethnicity moving into the neighborhood

    Well, there's Saudi Arabia where a Jewish person isn't even allowed into the country and there are "Muslim only roads" (here's a picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Christian_Bypa… )

    I am also quite confident that a Jewish person (even Antony Loewenstein) who telegraphed his intentions to live in downtown Gaza, would cause a reaction slightly more aggressive than a polite petition to the local Council.

    Of course I don't expect you or Antony to devote hundreds of posts to condemning either of those areas though.

    Meanwhile, EJ's comment is a shining example of the sort of comment which isn't censored here, in comparison to dozens of quite reasonable comments which are buried immediately.

  • BenZ

    Palestinians are the new Jews. That’s all one needs to know.

    Pray tell what happened to the “old Jews”. Moreover, why do these “new Jews”, the Palestinians continue to call for the murder of the “old Jews” – and why do you have little to say about this?

  • Marilyn

    Carrie, get a grip you silly woman. You rabbit on about 5 Israeli's – Israel slaughtered 683 Palestinians last year alone and there is hardly ever a week where Gideon Levy doesn't report the horrific murder of another Palestinian child or two or three or 141.

    Kids at play, or school or doing their homework. I watched Michael Franti's frightening film on the weekend "you are not alone" and he had the guts to interview Israeli soldiers.

    One of theme said "the first time you line up a 10 year old kid in your sights you say this is my red line, but after you have done it 20 or 30 times it just becomes normal".

    And these murderers are not charged, in fact the Israeli courts have made assassinations legal.

  • Andre

    Of course I don’t expect you or Antony to devote hundreds of posts to condemning either of those areas though.

    That's why I specifically asked:

    can you honestly name another Western country, or democracy for that matter, where hundreds would be allowed to protest against a family of a particular race or ethnicity moving into the neighborhood

    On the other hand, if you consider a totalitarian state like Saudi Arabia to be the high water mark of standards for Israel to aspire to, then fair enough.

  • Carrie Lewis

    Marilyn.

    You miss the point altogether. It's not just about the murder of these five people but the atmosphere of hatred and posion promoted by the PA.

    As if the murders weren't bad enough, the thing that determines their intolerance more than anything else is that the official position of those elected to lead the Palestinians has always been to laud murderers like Sirhan Sirhan. In his case, they made him a martyr and named a soccer team after him because of his acts. When the murders were carried out mobs in Gaza and Ramallah celebrated and handed out sweets.

    Those things are as heartless and as insane as someone from a democratic country ranting about the deaths of five innocents and describing it as "rabbiting on" while ignoring the fact that Palestinians are assassinating each other today at an alarming rate and they don't care whether children are caught in the crossfire..

  • gottcha

    I responded twice to questions by Andre and Viva and both my responses have been deleted. Is this the censorship a lot of people claim is taking place on this blog?

    This is quite baffling.

  • Andre

    Gottcha,

    So you had to reach back 60 years or more to come up with an example of such persecution in a Western country or democracy. I am not disputing the severity of the persecution that was inflicted on the Jews at the time, but wasn't WWII supposed to be a historic low point in modern civilization?

    Are you arguing that the holocaust and pogroms justifies the incidents I cited?

  • Andre

    It’s not just about the murder of these five people but the atmosphere of hatred and posion promoted by the PA.

    I take you feel this poison is worse than that of an the Israeli man who told police he shot the taxi driver because the driver ‘was an Arab?

  • Andre, I think the answer to your last question would be 'yes'. The Holocaust is used by some Zionists as a get-out-of-jail-free-card.

  • ej

    How can anybody with a skerrick of intelligence and humanity support Israel?

    Future sociologists and anthropoligists will study the cult of Zionism in amazement.

    The pervasive resorting to historical reconstruction, to ignoring of current facts on the ground (a mere 40 years of occupation and still counting, with perennial appropriations and assassinations), and to the fallback position of claiming that state terrorism is OK because Arab regimes do it as well.

    Where is the global propaganda network supporting Arab regimes? The only support is from WEstern establishments from whose grace they survive (and the origins of OBL's rise to infamy).

    The only parallel is in the SOviet Union's use of the Comintern and western COmmunist Party apparatchiks to help defend the indefensible.

    Palestinians are the new Jews. That's all one needs to know.

  • ej

    Benzine

    don't you read? don't you feel?

    'Palestinians continue to call for the murder of the 'old Jews''. Hello?

    The support of ongoing ethnic cleansing as a moral principle? Blaming the victim, the usual canard.

    That we have to tolerate loathsome high functionaries such as Rubinstein et al in the press, but also cretinous suburban gauleiters running around the edges is intolerable.

    The English language isn't robust enough to produce the vocabulary necessary to capture this madness. Not enough appropriate words. Grotesque? Obscenity? THose and more disgust without labels.

    The Israel lobby talks 'debate'. Debate to divert from the ongoing depredations.

    The Israel lobby talks 'desire for peace'. What? Makes you want to vomit.

    This website is not a 'debate'. It is an expression of outrage. So fuck off.

    I'm off as well, because the Israeli lobby vitiates all the conventions of morality. One is tainted by exposure to its sub-humanity. Sayonara.

  • Carrie Lewis

    "can you honestly name another Western country, or democracy for that matter, where hundreds would be allowed to protest against a family of a particular race or ethnicity moving into the neighborhood"

    Have we all forgotten about the Sydney beaches in 2005?

  • Andre

    Carrie,

    There was an obvoious inciting incident in Cronulla, which led to the riots. I keep repeating that every society has it's problems, but in the case of Israel, we are talking about an Israeli family (that happens to be Arab) moving into a predominantly Jewish neighborhood.

    The Sydney beach riots had nothing to do with anyone moving into a particular neighborhood. As far as these riots were concerned, it would be hard to imagine even the most extreme protagonists involved in that sorry event, demonstrating against a family of any particular race or ethnicity moving into their neighborhoods. Certainly not 200 of them.

    The Israel protest is more Germany circa 1939 that Brighton 2005.

  • Carrie Lewis

    Andre. I see a distinct comparison. In fact, I believe the behaviour of some on both sides was much worse but if you insist …

  • BenZ

    In the past, Arabs lived peacefully in areas like Haifa and many shops were co-owned by Muslims and Jews, or by a Jewish person with Arab (Muslim) staff.

    However when the Muslims started blowing up cafes and shops, one can understand why after a fashion the Jews would not be more sensitive.

    Of course there's a simple hypothetical that I would *love* Andre to take a crack at: Were a man in a Kaffiyeh to walk up the main street of Tel-Aviv, and a Jewish man, with a head covering and clothing to match walked up the main street of Gaza and both were to scream at the top of their voice "I am Muslim" or "I am Jewish" as was the case, who do you think would be safer?

    Similarly, I wonder who would be harrassed more – a woman in a short skirt walking through Haldon Street Lakemba or a Woman in a Hijab walking along Campbell Parade Bondi.

  • Andre

    Interesting hypothetical.

    Firstly, the Arab family were being harassed not because they posed a security threat, but because the local population did not want Arabs in their midst, Remember, that these were Israeli citizens, not members of Islamic Jihad.

    You don't see Americans protesting in the hundreds over the presence of Arab Muslims in their neighbourhood.

    who do you think would be safer?

    Hard to say. Look at what happened to the Arab Taxi driver.

    As for the woman wearing a short skirt and the woman wearing a Hijab, that's a pretty frivolous comparison. It's a sad reality that women in revealing apparel are likely to be harassed wherever they go. If you want to talk about Lakemba, the antithesis would more likely be Cronulla Beach, not a multicultural hub like Bondi.